Online Courses for Television and Digital Media Production

Jul 19, 2018

While online television and digital media production degree programs are uncommon, students can find some individual courses online. These can be taken alone or as part of associate's, bachelor's, or master's programs in digital media and web design production.

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Online Media Production Classes

Below are some of the common online courses in television and digital media production. They are often found in certificate programs or hybrid degree programs.

  • Introduction to Multimedia Production Course: Generally one of the first classes in the program, this course covers the basic elements and techniques of filmmaking, video and radio broadcasting and digital media production. Topics include the editing process, basic production tools and aural and visual design. This class may be broken down into several specialized introductory courses. Students generally complete production projects to be graded by the instructor.
  • Journalism and Communications Course: Because of the shift from newspapers and magazines to online media, this class is integral to digital and television production. Students learn all aspects of production for radio and online video newscasts, including allocation of budget money and production scheduling. The class may also cover post-production marketing. Creating real-world projects uploaded to the Internet gives students hands-on experience in this course.
  • Screenwriting Course: In this class, students learn about the full screenwriting process from creative inspiration to screen adaptation. Generally offered in the middle of the program, this class may include writing workshops but focuses on the producer's approach to scripts. At the advanced level, students may write a full-length screenplay as a course-long project. The online course generally includes movie-watching and prerecorded lectures.
  • Movie Production Course: This class is generally offered near the end of the program. Students learn the mechanics of producing either a full-length film or short episodes for the Internet. Emphasis is on the producer's perspective of the budgeting, creative design, casting, screenplay adaptation and ultimate distribution of the film. A collaborative project may supplement lectures.
  • Senior Portfolio and Independent Project Course: Students complete an independent media production project to fulfill this course, which is usually the last offered in the program. Because most online courses focus on digital media, this project generally involves new media and Internet production. Instructors work with students to edit their highlight reel, which is the film and digital media industry's version of a resume. Graduates are equipped to begin applying for entry-level television and media production jobs.
  • Digital Cinematography Course: Through readings and online lectures, student learn about visual storytelling tools and techniques. Digital cinematography principles are explained. Other topics include the specifics of production, including cameras, lenses, lighting and composition. Online screenings are used to illustrate several topics, including bluescreen, greenscreen and other special effects.
  • Audience Measurement Course: In this course, students learn about the collection and evaluation of audience statistics. Emphasis is placed on how the data can be used to make sales, marketing and content planning decisions for television providers.
  • Media Ethics Course: This course provides an overview of ethical issues in the media industry. Aspiring producers examine cases that relate to the moral aspects of financial, legal and career advancement decisions.

Program Information

Fully online degree programs in television and media production are rare, since extensive hands-on experience with cameras and other equipment is required in this field of study. Those that are available focus on television management or digital media. Graduates in digital media may find entry-level jobs in multimedia production, web design or video editing and production.

More often, universities offer online classes as part of their campus-based television production certificate or degree programs. These hybrid online degree programs may be found at the associate's, bachelor's and master's levels. Students not seeking degree credit may sometimes enroll in individual classes.

Individuals who want to pursue careers in the television and/or digital media industry can take relevant online courses related to production of content, with topics including media ethics, screenwriting and cinematography. Fully online programs are scarce, but online courses may be offered as part of a certificate or degree program.

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