Instructor’s Guide to Media Activities
The purpose of this guide is to help you design effective instruction which incorporates digital media. It will help you develop activities that avoid many of the pitfalls that can make these projects frustrating for you and your students – and ensure that the digital media projects you assign are educationally sound, interesting and motivating.
Designing + Implementing
For every minute of a completed project, several minutes will be required for production. These times include all relevant tasks from planning to publishing and assume familiarity with the necessary software.
|Project Type||Min Time Needed||Max Time Needed|
|3-5 min video: interview/informal (minimal production value)||60 minutes||3 hours|
|3-5 min video: remix/mash-up||60 minutes||3 hours|
|3-5 min video: creative/high production (special effects, field recording)||4 hours||20 hours|
|10-12 min podcast: interview/informal (minimal post-production)||30 minutes||2 hours|
|10-12 min podcast: creative/high production (special effects, field recording)||60 minutes||3 hours|
Some steps in audio and video production, such as file compression, take a certain fixed amount of time. Requiring students to produce deliverables throughout their project will mitigate situations where it is impossible to complete the necessary work by a deadline. Examples of deliverables are listed below. Consult with a Media Commons consultant to determine which apply to your assignment.
|Outline1||key concepts, overall vision or approach, cast and roles, 3rd party media needed||early, before any production|
|Script1||dialogue, listed by speaker; can be rough (talking points) or verbose (to be read directly)||25% into project timeframe|
|Storyboard2||sequential list of shots, sketches, direction||25-50% into project timeframe|
|Rough Cut1||unfinished audio/video edit||75% into project timeframe|
Develop a Schedule
|meet with MC consultant early in, or prior to, the semester to discuss project and to schedule in-class workshop(s)|
|1||introduce project and rubric to students|
|2||form student teams|
|3||in-class workshop with MC consultant|
|4||outline and script due|
|9||rough cut due|
|13||video completed and published to Sites @ Penn State|
|14||peer to peer critique (as comments on Sites)|
There are a few basic guidelines that have a place in every project you assign and will vastly improve your chances of success.
Talk to us before the semester.
We can help you design your activity – and we’ll be better prepared to help your students if we understand their needs.
Assign group projects.
Media authoring involves multiple roles that often work simultaneously. Working in teams will improve the overall quality of outcomes. We recommend teams of 2-3 students.
Decide on publishing format(s).
Will students be posting their work to their Penn State blog, iTunes U or YouTube? Or would you prefer they put a video file on a flash drive?
Assign short projects.
A good rule-of-thumb is that final videos should be 3-5 minutes long, and podcasts should be at most 10-12 minutes.
Require mid-project deliverables.
Audio and video production is very feasible with a little upfront planning. Last-minute work is usually of very poor quality, if it’s finished on-time at all.
Provide copyright information.
Students can’t put their work online or use it in their e-Portfolio if they’re appropriating 3rd-party media illegally.
It is important to match the design of your activity with the level of thinking you hope to achieve from your students. Assigning a project that is either too complex or too simple may not yield the learning outcomes you expect. The following chart provides some basic examples matched with a range of target thinking skills.
|Creating||putting together ideas or elements to develop an original idea or engage in creative thinking||Short Videos or Podcasts|
choose an overarching theme and tie in several course concepts to demonstrate understanding of interrelationships between concepts and the ability to transfer knowledge to new situations
selecting, evaluating, and integrating 3rd-party media (as Fair Use) to create an original work
|Evaluating||judging the value of ideas, materials and methods by developing and applying standards and criteria||Critique via Blogs|
post videos or podcasts to a blog and elicit discussion around that media as blog comments; provide a list of required elements to include in comments
|Analyzing||breaking information down into its component elements||Video Analysis|
create a gallery of video clips illustrating a concept (ex. moments in a news broadcast which illustrate persuasive rhetoric)
|Applying||using strategies, concepts, principles and theories in new situations||Podcast Interviews|
identify experts, craft questions, and conduct in-the-field interviews
produce a video presentation formally illustrating key concepts
|Understanding||explaining ideas or concepts; comprehension of given information||Reflection Podcast|
provide verbal feedback or interpretation on a topic to demonstrate basic understanding
comment on existing media using various audio/video annotating tools
You should allocate a few points in your grading for organization, production value, and communication of message. The bulk of the points should be applied to the quality of content. Although production value may not seem important, paying attention to details will keep students focused and will improve learning outcomes.
compositing, effects, etc
|5 – excellent editing, lighting, etc|
3 – shows understanding of quality production
1 – poor picture quality, sloppy, etc
completion of deliverables
|5 – completed documentation (outline, storyboards) establishing plan for project|
3 – completed documentation (but it did not contribute significantly to project plan)
1 – did not turn in all deliverables
vocal, written or visual expression of purpose
|5 – establishes message and communicates purpose clearly|
3 – message is present but confusing or disorganized
1 – unclear what this video is trying to communicate