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Case Study: AEE 440

Communication Methods + Media

AEE 440 is designed to teach students mass media techniques for reporting and promoting extension and related programs, including message preparation, presentation, and strategy development. Activities in the course include: lectures, hands-on field days, Media Commons workshops and computer labs. Assignments include projects requiring the use of written, verbal and visual communication skills.

Project in Brief

Course: AEE 440 (Agricultural and Extension Education)
Instructor: Brad Olsen
Number of Students: 40
Semester: Fall 2012
Duration of Assignment: 5 weeks

Key Benefits

Students will complete this class with the ability to:

  • Identify strategies for information dissemination via mass media for educational and promotional purposes.
  • Interrelate communications and educa3onal theory and methodology as applied to agricultural extension education.
  • Develop practical skills and a rationale for selecting and using a variety of communication methods and media for conveying agricultural and other subject matter informatin to select audiences.
  • Review communications theory, methods and media by demonstrating their competencies through projects and practical assignments.

These skills were called upon by the students in the creation of their video projects and ePortfolios.

Project Description for Students

Assigned on October 31st
Final project idea worksheet due in class by November 5th
Presentation of final projects due in class by December 3rd – 12th


The highlight of this course has traditionally been the 10-minute educational video. The process of producing a video reinforces all three forms of communication: visual, verbal, and written. A powerful video uses great imagery to capture and hold an audience. An audience learns best when they can connect with a human presenter who conveys information through clear and enthusiastic speech. The video production process proceeds more smoothly with the proper planning and a detailed video script.

The primary aim of this course is for students to increase their knowledge, skills, and abilities through practical, hands-on experiences. Therefore, students should have several available options to fulfill the final project requirement for this course. Each of the following options incorporates visual, verbal, and written communication through video and other forms of media.


Students will choose to complete one of the final project options, either individually, or in a group of up to 4 people (max). Each project has a corresponding set of guidelines, upon which the final project will be graded.


  • 10-minute educational video about a topic of your choosing.
    • 2 experts
    • All group members
    • Video script
  • 10-minute video recording of program proposal presentation informing and showing audience how to do something.
    • Variety of camera angles – close ups, cut-ins for instruction
    • All group members
    • Video script
  • Conduct a new survey research project and present the findings to the class along with a 3-5 minute video summary of the results.
    • Survey instrument
    • 30 respondents
    • Present methods, data, findings, conclusions, and recommendations in class
    • 3-5 minute video summary of survey results (voice over images and video related to survey topic)
  • Develop a full (external) WordPress site for a club, organization, or personal entrepreneurial aim.
    • 3-5 welcome video
    • Contact information
    • Mission, purpose, objectives
    • About us information
    • Primary content – events, benefits, members, activities, products, etc.
  • Video projects for Pasto Ag Museum or other on-going video projects.


The point distribution is listed below:

  • Class participation and discussion: 10%
  • Surveys/reflections: 20%
  • Quizzes and Idea Worksheet: 10%
  • Program & Media Proposals 30%
  • ePortfolio: 10%
  • Final Project: 20%

For the video, students will:

  • Choose a final project option they are most comfortable with.
  • Research information on their assigned topic.
  • Receive Media Commons training on working with audio and video equipment and editing using GarageBand or iMovie software.
  • Identify appropriate media tools and techniques for their chosen topics and project options.
  • Complete projects and present in class.

Download the Assignment

Grading Process

The final project is worth 20% of the course grade. Students worked individually or in groups and had 5 weeks to complete their final assignments.

Projects were evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Research quality
  • Evidence of collaboration
  • Video quality
  • Composition quality
  • Quality of public speaking
  • Correct grammar use
  • Research and media source citation


  • iMovie
  • Video camera
  • Still camera
  • GarageBand
  • WordPress


  • Researching topics
  • Working in groups
  • Effective communication
  • Conveying information using multimedia

Target Skills

  • Researching
  • Writing
  • Photography
  • Website Creation
  • Storytelling
  • Conducting Surveys
  • Presenting

(Instructor’s) Lessons Learned

“My hope is that the students in this course will learn to appreciate digital media as a constructive tool in both their personal and professional pursuits.”