Workshop Recap: Students as Digital Content Creators

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Thank you to everyone who attended yesterdays workshop, Students as Digital Content Creators: Benefits and Pitfalls of Multimedia Assignments. A special thank you goes to Karen Gonzalez Rice and Suzuko Knott for sharing their ideas and experiences (good and bad!). For anyone unable to attend, here is a brief summary of the event.

The idea for this workshop came out of discussions among and experiences of the Technology Fellows. We also know many faculty are excited, overwhelmed, intimidated, and/or curious about multimedia assignments, and this was an opportunity to have a frank conversation about them.

Multimedia assignments provide great learning opportunities for students: to strengthen their voices in multiple media, develop new skills, learn about copyright and intellectual property in the roles as consumers and creators, think more creatively about presenting information to different audiences, and work collaboratively. There are more potential benefits than I could list here! We heard from Karen Gonzalez Rice, Assistant Professor of Art History, who presented a digital exhibition project and Suzuko Knott, Assistant Professor of German Students who presented a creative video assignment she incorporated last semester.

Some of Karen’s goals in the semester long exhibition project are to have students interact with lesser-known works of art and to apply art historical knowledge to unfamiliar artists and works. In the past, a semester long exhibition project aimed to meet these objectives and give students experience creating a physical exhibition – from concept through installation – using the Wetmore Print Collection. This semester, she is moving the exhibition online. While preserving the major goals of the original project, the digital exhibit will afford her and her students more time to spend on research, writing (and much re-writing), and exploring the relationships between the works. In addition, the result will be an online artifact available to the world that will also promote one of the very special and unique collections at Connecticut College.

Last semester, Suzuko implemented two digital media assignments in her first year seminar. She hoped that by creating original content, students would feel ownership of their work and express themselves creatively in a medium other than the written word. In addition, students would actually be practicing the concepts that they were studying in class and learn about the New London area. Some challenges she faced were the myth of the digital native (students feeling more confident in the technology than they actually were), time (projects were more time consuming than anticipated), and tension between production value and content. In all, Suzuko’s stated learning outcomes were met but the road to achieving those outcomes had more twists and turns than anticipated.

Thank you again to everyone who attended!

Image credit: By celineo (IMGP5179) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

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