This assignment will be completed in two parts to help us move from theoretical discussions of digital media to your final projects (where you actively engage with these issues in a practical way as you create your videos).
Part One: Finding Examples of Digital Media
For October 3, find 3 online pieces of digital media that make you say “wow.” That might be wow in a good way or in a bad way or some combination. All three pieces shouldn’t be from the same category (good or bad) — mix it up a little, so you can have a variety of texts to consider.
Also, the examples you choose should vary in media and modes of communication in some way. iow, they shouldn’t all be animations, nor all web-comics, nor machinima, nor lolcats, nor scholarly multimedia, etc. You can have 2 from one “kind” and at least one from another kind. This is to prevent you from getting stuck into one way of visualizing how a project might proceed.
Here are some completely random examples where you might start. As you can see, some of these have something to do with digital writing studies, and some of them don’t. Your examples may or may not have anything to do with writing studies. My main goal with this exercise is to have you explore different ways of presenting information/ideas/creativity using digital media.
- Why We Need Government-Run Universal Socialized Health Insurance [animation]
- The Machine is Us/ing Us [screencapture video]
- Helenistic Encomium: A Reflection on Comics and Rhetoric [screencapture video]
- An A-Word Production: Authentic Design [animation]
- The Longest Poem in the World [twitter-feed poem]
- Ytwitter? [twitter-feed essay, from students in last semester's class]
- Documenting my Multimodal Creation [a process blog about a DM (digital media) project]
- When Revision is Re-Design [a process webtext about a DM project]
- different projects from the Spatial History Project [crazy untold technologies that we'd have to explore; this is a bit more than a final project for this class...but there are tons of digital media websites out there that present scholarship in new, visualized ways]
- OpenPlay games (there’s 3 of them) [Flash games]
- random World of Warcraft machinima [in-game screencapture]
To complete this assignment you should find 1-2 others in addition to any of the above that you’ve chosen, but you need three examples total. Read the pieces with the multimodal reading heuristic in mind, which we discussed in class (and is linked from the Schedule).
Once you’ve read these pieces, you should make a new post on your blog in which you
- provide the title of the piece and link to it or embed it (if possible), and
- annotate/describe the piece in a 5-10 sentences, as it relates to the multimodal reading heuristic. The point is to be explicit about how the piece is working and why you chose it as an example.
- In addition — either in the same blog post, in another blog post, or just in notes that you bring to class next week (i.e., be ready to discuss this in class) — list questions that you wish had been included in the heuristic that you would have liked to use to describe/annotate your pieces of digital media. Such as, what’s missing from the heuristic; what ways of reading and/or concepts and/or technology does it overlook/exclude?
All three examples should be described/linked in one blog post (this will be your “research” post for the week). These posts are due by October 3.
Part Two: Developing Evaluation Criteria for Digital Media
- Pick a successful piece from the class discussion about digital media texts (one of your own or another student’s), and apply the new evaluation heuristic to it to determine which/whether it is a valuable/useful tools to read and evaluate that text.
- Then apply this heuristic to one of the assigned pieces we watched in class and examine whether it is a valuable/useful tool with which to read and evaluate this piece of scholarly multimedia.
- Decide which of the concepts/terms/questions from the heuristic seem most relevant to each of the above two texts – the digital media text and the scholarly multimedia text.
- Create a NEW PAGE on your blog in which you describe (will be somewhat lengthy: 5-6 paragraphs and/or a bullet-pointed/annotated list) your choices from the heuristic and justify why you think those choices are the most relevant ones to digital media AND scholarly multimedia.
- Part 2 is due by October 17.
Things to consider:
- Be sure to describe the predominant genre(s) of the digital media example, especially because you may find that your choice, in comparison to the scholarly multimedia example, may not elicit a shared set of relevant criteria. Does the sharing, or lack of sharing, have something to do with the genre(s) of the texts? does the heuristic, which were meant for scholarly multimedia, work for the digital media text you’ve chosen? Tell me why your two texts do — or don’t or can’t or shouldn’t — have the same evaluation criteria.
- Be sure to link to or embed the textual examples and/or include screenshots as necessary, which will help me see/understand why you’ve chosen the criteria you have.
- This assignment is similar to an analytical/response essay in that you need to make sure I can understand your point (e.g., which criteria you’re justifying and why) by defining/summarizing the criteria you’re using, describing the textual examples through writing or screenshots, and making it clear to me through references to the texts and the criteria why these things (text in relation to criteria, or vice versa) make sense together while others didn’t make sense to include.
- For class next week, October 22: Be prepared to discuss (list & justify) your chosen criteria in class. Consider this a “dry run” of the evaluation heuristic we just created!