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Case Study: EDPSY 014

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Diversity Issues Multimodal Project

EDPSY 014: Introduction to Educational Psychology provides future teacher candidates with an understanding of major concepts, principles and theories, and related research of teaching and learning framed by child development, young adolescent development, and adolescent development. Students work in small groups as part of the course to identify issues of diversity in education and to create multimodal projects that present research on these issues to a wide audience.

Project in Brief

Course: EDPSY 014 (Introduction to Educational Psychology)
Instructor: Martha Strickland
Number of Students: 32 per semester
Semester: Fall 2011-Spring 2018
Duration of Assignment: 13 weeks

Key Benefits
Students are at the beginning of the process of becoming a teacher and, as such, need to start to develop a scholarly mindset towards diversity. Upon completion of this project, students should be able to: 1) identify and research an issue of diversity in education as a scholar; 2) accurately and effectively articulate their research for consumption in the public sphere using modern media techniques; 3) intentionally engage in the process of learning and using intentionally available technologies in pursuit of their teaching despite individual levels of comfort with the tools; and 4) demonstrate the ability to collaborate as co-researchers and co-presenters spontaneously and iteratively with their peers.
Application to Other Courses
As a foundational course for Education majors, students in EDPSY 014 develop skills necessary to become pre-service teachers. Vital, longterm practices are instilled from the very start by asking students to not only research contemporary diversity issues in the classroom but to translate this research into easily accessible presentations for wide audiences.

EDPSY 014 students will add the media production skills acquired in the course to other presentations. Specifically, when they enter their methods courses, they are expected to effectively leverage multimodal work into their lesson planning and teaching.

Project Description for Students
By completing the Multimodal Diversity Project, each teacher candidate will demonstrate deep and critical understanding of how research informs a school issue related to diversity.

Multimodal Presentation

Goal: 3-minute production to inform classmates/university students of the issue and position(s) on the issue
Required Contents: Research-based information that is produced as a documentary.
Project Planning: Consider the steps found on PSU Media Commons Website (mediacommons.psu.edu/students/)

  • Audience: Classmates/University Students
  • Training/Template:
    1. Create an account with Spark (the platform you will use for your multimodal project spark.adobe.com
    2. Upload one interview, an introduction video and create a draft of your Spark post presentation.
 Be creative, clearly and convincingly communicate with supported information


Technical Items: mediacommons.psu.edu/students/

You have a choice of software and device.

  • Required components for video editing:
    • Able to do voice over
    • Create transitions
    • Add titles
    • Access still images
  • Device: (must support movie making software and internet access)
    • Windows PC
    • Apple device [iPhone, iPad, Mac]
    • Android [tablet, phone]
  • Address the following:
    • Lighting
    • Best Practices
    • Broadcast Release Form (MUST be submitted for each producer and anyone in the movie)
    • Copyright (MUST include credits at the end for any references and media used)
    • Free Media Library (mediacommons.psu.edu/free-media-library/)
  • Spark Post

    Should include video introduction, short interview and supporting text/graphics.

    • Production: must include content & use of technical components as listed above.
      • Length: no more than 3 minutes.
    • Editing: using software & Free Media Library
      • Be sure to have title, effective transitions and attributions/citations
    • Publish Multimodal Production


    Creativity, Clear Communication, and Content (supported by scholarly sources & integrated with learning theory) are all necessary. See Rubric on Canvas for further details.

    Evaluators: Dr. Strickland & Nick Smerker (Media Commons)

Grading Process
The assignment counted towards 35% (105 points) of the overall course grade. The grade includes all aspects of the multimodal assignment and milestones: Preparation, feedback and reviews (10 points), paper (40 points), final multimodal project (40 points) and teamwork (15 points). The grading rubric was provided to students ahead of time so they knew what to expect.


  • One Button Studio
  • Video camera or mobile phone
  • Adobe Spark
  • Audio + video editing apps


  • Identifying diversity issues
  • Researching scholarly and popular
  • Articulating findings
  • Working in groups of peers
  • Interviewing experts

Target Skills

  • Researching
  • Writing
  • Presenting findings
  • Communicating clearly
  • Intentional reflective practice
  • Working in teams

(Instructor’s) Lessons Learned

“Being able to facilitate collaboration across teams of learners to create intentional group dynamics is crucial for success in both their professional, academic lives as well as beyond. Groups will often identify their own roles organically, allowing students to leverage individual interests, talents and skill sets – and rely on one another’s as well.

Providing a public-facing outlet for publishing projects not only ensures that student-led research becomes informative for the larger community but also raises the stakes for groups in a beneficial way. Since its second or third iteration, this project has included a research fair, YouTube channel, conference or some combination of options there-of where finished work is put on display. The quality of work that is, from the start, intended to be seen outside the classroom is much higher across my courses.”