Examples of Digital Media Assignments

Examples of Digital Media Assignments Created by Students

Videos on Environmental Issues and Sustainability

Thomas Eggert

Thomas Eggert is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Business and the Environmental Assistance Coordinator for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. He had his students teach middle school classes about environmental issues and sustainability, first without the use of digital media, and then incorporating videos into the class. This assignment was valuable to his students both technically and substantively. Technically, students needed to develop the skills necessary to record and edit the video. Additionally, they needed to learn how to develop a story that was both entertaining and educational. Substantively, students needed to understand their content well and learn how to communicate it effectively to reach their intended audience. His students enjoyed creating digital media assignments and thought it was an effective way to teach middle school students.

To watch the videos that Eggert’s students produced, visit: http://go.wisc.edu/385qg9

Online Magazine

Kathleen Culver

Kathleen Culver is an Assistant Professor in Journalism and Mass Communication. Her class of 20 undergraduates spent a semester working in teams to create an online magazine called Curb (www.curbonline.com). The magazine featured various sources of digital media that included audio, video, slideshows, and timelines. While her students mainly pursue careers in professional communication, she felt the skills and satisfaction they received from these types of assignments were invaluable. Working with digital media assignments helped students become adaptable and analytical. Having these skills can help lawyers as much as it can help journalists. Through her experience, Culver found that lessons in new tools helped foster students’ creativity when using traditional tools. These skills were transferable with other assignments, such as writing research papers, and traditional skills were transferable with digital media assignments.

Digital Narratives @ University of Wisconsin - Learning Through Stories

"Stories are what kept us around the first campfires and made us paint on cave walls. They entertain us. Stimulate us. Educate us. Give us a sense of connection. The social element of stories allows learners to see things from new perspectives. Storytelling has been long-recognized as a powerful learning tool. Going through the process of creating a story – digital or not – promotes self understanding, concept understanding, information literacy, communication literacy, and interdisciplinary learning. 'Digital' is just another broadly-defined medium through which to tell stories. Digital storytelling can take on many forms but has become generally associated with a short video overlapping written and recorded voiceover with still and moving images, and often a soundtrack. These are often told in the first person and are based on personal experience. Teachers at UW-Madison have used their own stories and students' stories to teach course concepts and build authentic classroom community. Through the use of student produced digital story assignments, faculty offer students a way to reflect on and articulate their understanding of course concepts." - Digital Narratives @ University of Wisconsin

Examples of Digital Media Assignments Created by Students

Boolean Operators

Alexis Spry, a graduate student in the School of Library and Information Studies, was assigned to work with Emily Wixson, a librarian from UW-Madison Libraries for her practicum. Wixson had planned on teaching high school biology students how to use library resources but wanted to find a new way to engage them. Her interest in the use YouTube as an instructional tool led her to ask Spry to create a video on boolean operators – a topic she felt would be appropriate for the audience.

Spry found the Boolean Operators project valuable because it provided her an opportunity to learn new software programs. “It felt like real work,” she said, "because part of a librarian’s job is to prepare tutorials." Her greatest challenge was to ensure that the tutorials addressed the audience appropriately, because she had never worked with children before.

To watch Spry’s Boolean Operators video, visit:
http://go.wisc.edu/k195lp

Native American Dancing & Timeline of a Stroke Victim’s Experiences

Kim Ukura, a UW-Madison student, was given an assignment in her journalism class to use multimedia to tell a story in less than a minute. She chose to cover the Art & Maral Shegonee at Kids in the Rotunda event, as it was rich in audio and visual opportunities. The slideshow she created was called Free Spirit Dancing.

To watch Ukura’s Free Spirit Dancing slideshow, visit:
http://go.wisc.edu/483z37

Kim Ukura also creating Saving Donna’s Brain during her internship with the Capital Times. Working with photographers was a new experience for her, but she was able to apply the fundamental skills of multimedia storytelling that she developed through her previous course work on this project.

To watch Ukura’s Saving Donna’s Brain video, visit:
http://go.wisc.edu/97t1i2

Salsa Workshop for Athletes

Kaylee DeGrace and Jessica Bachiochi were given an assignment to create a multimedia story in less than 24 hours. They quickly found a compelling local event – a sports studies class in which the students attended a salsa workshop taught by an organization called Muevete. To create their Salsa Workshop for Athletes project, DeGrace and Bachiochi captured video of the workshop, and interviewed the class professor, students in the class, and Muevete members.

DeGrace said the assignment allowed her to explore not only the technical aspects of producing a digital story but also gave her an opportunity to explore different social issues such as dance as a sport and dance and gender.

To watch DeGrace and Bachiochi’s Salsa Workshop for Athletes video, visit:
http://go.wisc.edu/gs73yb

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