Course Overview

LMC 3403, Section A/ENGL 1101, Sections A1, HP1, J2
Georgia Tech, Fall 2016


Halcyon Lawrence
Office: Stephen C. Hall Bldg., 121-5
Office hours: MW 10–11am and by appointment

Lauren Neefe /
Office: Highland Bakery (nr. Tech Tower)
Office hours: MW 12:30-1:30pm and by appointment


LMC 3403/ENGL 1101-A1: MWF 9:05–9:55am / Hall 103+106

  • Portfolios due: Fri. 12/9 by 10:50am 

ENGL 1101-J2: MWF 10:05–10:55am / Hall 103

  • Portfolios due: Mon. 12/12 by 2:20pm

ENGL 1101-HP1: MWF 11:05–11:55pm / CULC 123

  • Portfolios due: Wed. 12/14 by 10:50am


This course links the first-year composition and technical communication curricula by exploring the hierarchy of the senses and questions of speech in human-computer interaction design. It asks students to conceptualise a world where speech has to be designed for specific and novel communicative interactions, as with Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri. It asks, How do we make sense of what we hear? What makes a good speech interaction? And how can design concepts we use for visual and textual design be deployed in speech interaction design? The course seeks to build a vocabulary for thinking about modes of listening as well as speech or sound that doesn’t rely on text and visual elements and cues. Organized into modules on the media history, bias in technology, and the future of voice representation, the course asks students to critically examine the fundamental similarities and differences between human-human interaction and human-computer interaction. Multimodal projects will include group presentations, blog forums, and a podcast that reconceives a present-day interface as a sound- and speech-directed experience.


Available at the campus bookstore or online at or

  • Nass, Clifford and Scott Brave. Wired for Speech: How Voice Activates and Advances the Human-Computer Relationship. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005. ($31)
  • Sound Studies Reader. Edited by Jonathan Sterne. New York: Routledge, 2012. ($54)
  • Additional readings will be listed and available on the Schedule.


You should bring your laptop as well as paper and pencil/pen to every class.

You should have access to the Microsoft Office software suite and the Adobe Design suite, either on your computer or via one of the university’s media labs. You can access many shared-license software applications at


Please familiarize yourself with these resources and use them while completing coursework throughout the semester.

  • A free Gmail account. The account will be used to access Google Drive.
  • Personal laptop. Bring your laptop to class regularly in order to access online work.
  • T-square is used to collect assignments and display grades.
  • Access to GT email account. Most correspondence will be conducted through email—it is the easiest way to get ahold of us, and our preferred way to get a hold of you. Course announcements will be made via email.
  • ( is a valuable resource for learning how to use software with which you are not familiar. Training for use of software for this class is the student’s responsibility.
  • Multimedia Studio ( in the Georgia Tech library provides access to software for creating multimodal projects and hardware including a plotter, color and black-and-white printers, scanner, and audio/recording equipment.
  • Communication Center ( in Clough 477 provides students assistance with developing, drafting, and revising all their communication multimodal artifacts. Additionally, the staff includes professional tutors especially trained to assist non-native speakers.  
  • Purdue On-line Writing Lab (OWL) ( is a convenient and comprehensive writing resource that covers all facets of writing, including grammar and other writing conventions.  


In addition to those 3403/1101 outcomes determined by the Writing and Communication Program and Georgia Tech more generally (click links to view), the following learning outcomes may be expected in this course:

  • Acquisition of a foundational vocabulary for discussing and analyzing sounds, voices, and modes of listening
  • Understanding of the basic principles of human-computer interaction
  • Recognition of the interdependence of seeing and hearing in guiding interactive experiences
  • Understanding of the sociocultural implications of design choices in speech-directed interaction.