This assignment is intended for classes that include an examination of new/digital media (e.g., Media Literacy, Media Studies, Digital Media & Society, Digital & Social Media, Communication Technologies, etc). It is designed to help students draw connections between critical scholarship and everyday use of digital media; to give them an opportunity to identify, develop and share knowledge and skills related to digital media; and to provide them a chance to practice and develop their communication skills. This assignment could be implemented as either an individual or group project.
For this assignment, you will create and present a tutorial about digital media, using digital media. Your tutorial should be geared toward providing both technical instruction and media literacy on your chosen topic. While your tutorial should be theoretically/conceptually informed by course materials (readings and in-class discussion), its subject matter is up to you. For example, you might create a tutorial on managing personal data online; using social media for political/activist purposes; creating a wiki; understanding and navigating race, gender and sexuality on multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs); etc. Please create your tutorial in a form you can share online. For example, your tutorial might take the form of a website, a blog, a wiki, a short video, a podcast, etc.
This assignment includes several components: a proposal, a project update, your tutorial itself, a presentation (with an accompanying visual aid) and a written analysis.
- Proposal (300-500 words): First, compose a proposal for your project in which you identify the focus of your tutorial, its purpose, your target audience (e.g., high school students; older adults; people involved with a particular cause; etc.); and how you will go about constructing your tutorial. In other words, what is it you want to do? Who are you trying to reach? What is your underlying goal? How does this goal relate to theories and concepts covered in the class? What steps do you need to take to create this tutorial?
- Project update (200-300 words): Your project update should be a document that describes a) how your conceptualization of your project has changed and developed since your proposal, b) where you are in the process of constructing your tutorial, and c) the steps you need to take to complete the tutorial. You should also specify 2-3 concrete learning objectives that support your tutorial’s underlying purpose. For example, if you are creating a tutorial on how to use Twitter to organize a protest or rally, your learning objectives might include 1) how to create a Twitter account, 2) how to craft short, powerful messages and 3) how to circulate your messages strategically.
- Create & post your tutorial online: On the day your tutorial is due, post a brief description (2-3 sentences) along with a link to the tutorial on the discussion forum
- Presentation (10-15 minutes): Prepare a presentation that describes your tutorial (its target audience, its purpose, how it works, etc.) and explains how your tutorial is informed by course theories/concepts. Ideally, your presentation will also include a brief demonstration of how your tutorial works. If for some reason you are unable to provide an in-class demonstration, please be sure to include some kind of visual and/or aural aid to help illustrate what your tutorial is and how it works.
- Written analysis(2400-3200 words): Your written analysis should elaborate on the material you shared in your presentation.
- Briefly summarize the focus of your tutorial, its target audience, its underlying purpose, and the 2-3 learning objectives it’s designed to meet.
- Next, describe how your tutorial is designed to reach its target audience, achieve the learning objectives, and work towards the underlying purpose. What kinds of decisions did you make to reach out to your target audience? What did you do to learn about your target audience, their needs, and their pre-existing skills and literacy with digital media? How did you consider their needs, goals, skills and digital media literacy in constructing your tutorial? In other words, how did your knowledge of your target audience impact your decision-making? How is your tutorial designed to reach the learning objectives you identified?
- Discuss how your project is theoretically/conceptually informed by readings and class discussions. What concepts or theories are relevant to your tutorial? To its purpose? Its leaning objectives? Its design? Be sure to define the key concepts relevant to your tutorial and cite relevant course material.
- Finally, briefly assess how effective you believe your tutorial is in reaching its target audience, meeting the learning objectives, and working towards the underlying goal. What are your projects strengths? Limitations? What might you to make your tutorial more effective, reach a wider audience or have more of an impact? A strong analysis will incorporate a discussion of the feedback your peers gave you on the day of your presentation.