When the New Jersey Department of Environment Protection knew it was time to update its website, Web developer David Scymanski ’95 knew there was neither the time nor the resources to devote to its 13,000-page project. So, Scymanski turned to area schools, including his alma mater, for assistance in exchange for a unique learning opportunity. One class at Rider University enthusiastically stepped up for the challenge.
As part of capstone course, COM 460 Multimedia Production III: Advanced Interactive Design, students have a chance to flaunt their recently acquired web-savvy skills and gain real world experience as consultants for businesses hoping to increase their web presence.
Under the direction of Dr. Yun Xia, associate professor of Communications, students spent the entire academic year consulting with the NJDEP and providing website redesign recommendations. In May, the students gave a final presentation to seven representatives, including Deputy Commissioner Irene Kropp.
“The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection provided this wonderful opportunity to participate in the production of their website,” said Dr. Pamela Brown ’73, professor and Chair of Communication and Journalism, at the presentations on May 7. “I’m very pleased that our students had this opportunity.”
Xia said it was a challenging project for the students, who were still learning technical web skills. Still, the students, who were broken up into groups, were able to sift through the complex website and redesign 50 pages. During the presentations, the students described how they streamlined the design and provided easy navigation throughout the website. View their recommended redesign here.
“Mission accomplished,” Xia said. “I would like to see this partnership between Rider and the DEP continue in the future.”
Kropp definitely sees the partnership continuing in the future. She thanked the students for providing recommendations and expressed how happy she was with their work. “The next step is to present their recommendations to the commissioner,” she said.
A majority of the students taking the class were upperclassmen, hoping to break into the multimedia field.
“It was the first time I worked with another company. I learned how to communicate with a client in order to find out what they want,” said Chelsea Ricciardi ’13 of Marlton, N.J., a Communication major who has a summer internship with minor league baseball’s Camden Riversharks. “The experience will really help me in the future.”
Learn more about Rider’s Web Design and Multimedia program. For more information on web consulting services offered by COM 460 Multimedia Production III: Advanced Interactive Design, please contact Dr. Yun Xia at 609-895-5489 or firstname.lastname@example.org.