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So You’re Thinking About Your NM Modules...

Updated: 6 days ago

It’s that time of the year again — module registration season — a time for timetable planning and modular credit counting. If this biannual process is giving you a little stress, we took the liberty of collating some reviews of popular NM modules to help you make a better decision. We interviewed students who took these modules last semester to get some insight into their experience and to see if they have any tips for their fellow CNM students.


Read on if you’re interested in finding out a little more about NM2207, NM2219, NM2220, NM3217, and NM3230!

NM2207 Computational Media Literacy

Professor: Dr Lonce Wyse 

Workload:

  • 3-hour Tutorial Lessons 

  • Weekly Homework

  • One Assignment

  • Mid-Term (exams are subjected to changes in Sem 2)

  • Final Exam

STUDENT A

Opinions on the Module Workload

“A very taxing module with demanding workloads, the workload itself is very heavy for a 2k module.”

Demand of the workload: 10/10

Exam Difficulty: Fairly difficult

Tips and Tricks

“Take with friends! Be prepared for the workload as it is almost 10h a week, with no breaks since coding is something which requires practice.”

Would You Recommend Others to Take this Module?

“Depends on what you want to achieve out of this module and whether it is your passion since this module is very taxing, and if you’re able to juggle between this module and the rest of your modules as this module has a very heavy workload”


STUDENT B

Opinions on the Module Workload

“Difficult is an understatement for people with no background in coding or any of the 3 languages learnt (HTML, CSS & JavaScript). Weekly 3 hour tutorial sessions, offline lectures & homework due on Sunday (giving you essentially less than 5 days to complete it) is no joke, especially towards the end of the semester when there is also an assignment due. While the heavy workload is an attempt to prepare you for the final assignment where one has to create & serve an online interactive game, the assignment is difficult and requires additional research on top of what is learnt in the module. In addition to the heavy workload, there is a pen & paper mid-term and a final exam, which makes this module very hard to balance if you are overloading or taking workload-heavy modules. Missing a class or week of lecture can be detrimental as the module moves rather fast, cramming 3 languages in a semester. However, the professor & TAs are very understanding and helpful in aiding the learning process throughout the semester so you’ll definitely learn a lot. With coding being a useful skill in our day an age, saving an SU for this module will be good.”

Demand of the workload: 10/10

Exam Difficulty: Very Difficult

Tips and Tricks:

“Keep an SU, and take this module only if you are taking lighter workload modules in the semester. This module requires consistency, and consulting your TA or Prof Lonce is especially important in learning and acing this module!”

Would You Recommend Others to Take this Module?

“No, unless you have slight background knowledge or have an SU.”

NM2219: Principles of Communication Management

Professor: Dr Jiang Shaohai

Workload:

  • 1 Group Project and Presentation

  • Mid-Term

  • Final Exam 

STUDENT A

Opinions on the Module Workload

“The group project requires you to come up with a PR campaign to solve a problem for an organisation of your choice. The final exam consisted mainly of MCQs, fill in the blanks and short answer questions.”

Demand of the workload: 4/10

Exam Difficulty: Manageable (4/6)

Tips and Tricks

“It is advised that you memorise all the lecture slides as the exam questions are mostly just copy and paste from the lecture and tutorial slides, so if you pay attention to the slides and know your definitions, the exams are manageable! The report and presentation aren’t challenging either, my group was mainly left to our own devices. My tutor, Shreya, was ready to help when we asked for comments but we didn’t end up changing much”

Would You Recommend Others to Take this Module?

“It’s relatively easy to do well for this module if you study for it, but I wouldn’t say it was particularly interesting. I was pretty bored in lectures. I personally wished the module would’ve been less theoretical and taught more practical application.”


STUDENT B

Opinions on the Module Workload

“The module is manageable and it’s more of remembering content for the exam and group work. It’s definitely easier than the core modules (NM2101, NM2104, NM2103 and NM1101E) and easier to manage.”

Demand of the workload: 5/10

Exam Difficulty: Manageable (4/6)

Tips and Tricks

“Try to work with friends if you can! It would make the process more fun. For the group work it would be good to consult your tutor as much as possible and gather feedback. As for the exam, just make sure to revise your words and memorise definitions, but I heard that there won’t be exams for the next semester!”

Would You Recommend Others to Take this Module?

“Yes, it teaches useful content though it would have been nicer if it was application based. However, it doesn’t seem difficult to score though it is quite content heavy so just watch out.”

NM3217 Principles of Communication Design

Professor: Tan Kai En

Workload:

  • 3 Individual Assignments

  • 1 Group Project and Presentation

STUDENT A

Opinions on the Module Workload

“The workload is a little heavy granted it’s a 3K mod, the first three individual assignments test you on your understanding of the design principles that were taught over the course of two weeks (i.e. abstraction, photography and typography) and the final group assignment pulls everything together with a newsletter/magazine. In between lectures, there are also in-lecture exercises that are pretty easy which you just need to do and put on your blog. I would say the workload was a little heavy because assignments only came in closer to recess week and we only got our group assignments nearing the end of sem, plus it kinda felt like there was an assignment due each week because while we were given 2 weeks to complete it on the same week we were expected to come in with a 90% completed work to present to the class for feedback. So it can be a little tough.”

Demand of the workload: 8/10

Exam Difficulty: NIL

Tips and Tricks

“You really don’t need prior knowledge in any adobe software at all and manoeuvring the software is actually really easy. Instead what would be good would be downloading the ‘cracked’ version of these software so you don’t have to go back to school just to use the computers. Go beyond the feedback given in class, go out of your way to email your tutor after you’ve made changes to you 90% completed work, Kai was an amazing tutor and never failed to give very valuable feedback.” 

Would You Recommend Others to Take this Module?

“Yes yes and 100 - times yes. It’s a risk because it really is a mod that is difficult to do well, especially if you can’t draw a circle to save your life. But the lessons taught in the module really are valuable and as long as you apply what you learn and constantly ask for help, I think you should be able to do just fine.”


STUDENT B

Opinions on the Module Workload

“The workload is extremely heavy, but this was because I was overloading with Utown mods as well so it was quite a struggle to dabble with. The individual assignments were manageable, but the challenge comes in trying to do well in them as it’s hard to tell if you have a good design or not. I got assigned pretty okay group members, so it wasn’t too bad. Though I did hear my other friends having to ‘tank’ the project, so maybe I was just lucky.”

Demand of the workload: 8/10

Exam Difficulty: NIL

Tips and Tricks:

“To be honest, I’m really not sure because it’s quite hard to determine whether or not you have a ‘good design’. The software is easy to learn and as long as you prepare well for the feedback sessions it would go okay. Maybe I would suggest attending this module with friends, so that at least you can ask them for help if you’re struggling.”

Would You Recommend Others to Take this Module?

“Yes, they did teach very useful skills and it was very fun despite the workload. Though just be warned that scoring well is truly subjective.”

NM2220 Introduction to Media Writing

Professor: Dr Wu Shangyuan

Workload:

  • 3 Individual Assignments

STUDENT A

Opinions on the Module Workload

“NM2220 is one of the more popular NM modules due to how practical and relevant it is, especially if one is intending to enter the journalism field. The module teaches us how to write for different types of media, from traditional news story articles to public relations (PR) releases and even social media captions. Naturally, there is a lot of writing involved in this module with one or two writing exercises during each tutorial (in which the tutor would invite students to share their writing in front of the class and then offer some advice) and even during lectures (where the lecturer would randomly pick a row of students to share). This sounds daunting, especially for students who are shy, but it genuinely helped us to improve our writing. The three assignments were also rather enjoyable, especially the second one where we could come up and write a feature story. We could also include other forms of media (photographs or videos) which really allowed us to expand our creativity.”

Demand of the workload: 6/10

Exam Difficulty: Manageable 

Tips and Tricks

“Read other news articles, and try your best to consult your tutor whenever you can because the writing portions can be quite challenging.”


STUDENT B

Opinions on the Module Workload

“In all honesty, this module’s workload is immensely heavy for a level 2000 one. I would say that it may be one of those modules that could be on par with level 3000 ones in terms of workload and maybe even rigour. Throughout the 13 teaching weeks of the semester, you will have to submit 3 individual assignments (news story pitching, feature story writing and social media writing for my semester) worth 10 percent, 25 percent and 15 percent respectively. These percentages are actually too little for all the effort you will have to put in for every single one of them. On top of these, there is also finals that has a weightage of 40 percent. The paper can be finished in 2 hours but every single minute is immensely precious due to the nature of the questions.”

Demand of the workload: 9/10

Exam Difficulty: Manageable (3.5/6)

Tips and Tricks:

“Do your assignments early! Plan your study timetable well to ensure that you have time for all of them and that you will finish all 3 asignments on time. ”

Would You Recommend Others to Take this Module?

“Yes, if you would like to do media writing especially journalism in the future. It is a very good first taste of the industry’s rigour.”

NM3230 Digital Storytelling

Professor: Sarah-Tabea Sammel

Workload:

  • 3 Individual assignments

  • 1 Group project and presentation

STUDENT A

Opinions on the Module Workload

“Through this module, I got exposed to a camera and learnt photography and videography techniques which I had no prior knowledge about. This module was pretty manageable given that it is a level 3000 module. There are no examinations for this module, except for occasional pop quizzes on kahoot to mark our attendance for lectures. Other than tutorial attendance and class participation, there were individual assignments, which were sufficiently spaced out throughout the semester. There was also a group project, and it was manageable as there was sufficient time to complete it, alongside constant feedback from the tutor. 

Demand of the workload: 7/10

Exam Difficulty: NIL

Would You Recommend Others to Take this Module?

“Yes! If you are a beginner and would like to learn photography and videography, this module would be good to take as it is hands-on and teaches you the basic skills you need!””

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