Moving Pictures and Words: Multimodal Projects in College Composition

Avarice and good intentions: these roads led Laura Ng and Karen Redding to multimodal composition pedagogy. As instructors, the authors are greedy when it comes to incorporating successful techniques into their course. Like more teachers, they constantly seek – through borrowing, adaptation, and invention – new strategies to help their students learn. This constant search means that they keep an eye on the latest developments in composition and pedagogy, and the phase “multimodal composition” immediately piqued their interest, particularly with its implications of process-oriented writing and creative interpretation.

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New Visual Literacies and Competencies for Education and the Workplace

This chapter examines how new visual literacies allow students to create meaning and develop competencies needed for the 21st century. Today’s generation is continually exposed to visual and digital media. Through empirical work, this chapter highlights how emerging visual technologies such as big data, infographics, digital badges, electronic portfolios (ePortfolios), visual social media, and augmented reality are facilitating the development of technology-related skills required for students in academics and in the workforce. Each visual technology platform will be examined for their usefulness in promoting engagement, subject-matter knowledge, and collaborative learning outside the traditional classroom approach.

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“They’re not just for Fridays anymore”: Media literacy, Hollywood, Historical Inquiry, and Hollywood Films

For generations, and perhaps since the inception of the motion picture industry, teachers of history have recognized the utility of incorporating Hollywood, or commercial, film productions into their classrooms as a visual stimulus.

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Toward a New Vision for Media Literacy Instruction

In 2007, film critic Kevin B. Lee began publishing “video essays,” which he described as videos that “take footage from films and reconfigure them using editing, text, graphics and voiceover to reveal startling observations and insights, visualizing them in ways that text criticism can’t,”1 on his blog Also Like Life. When I started working at the University of Maryland’s Nonprint Media Services Library (now Library Media Services) in 2013, I knew I wanted to incorporate this technique into our instructional efforts. Traditionally, NPMS’s instruction had focused on finding audiovisual materials; our new objective was to teach students how to create something new from the items in our collection.

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Sequential Art in Library Credit Instruction: Exploring Multiple Literacies Through Graphic Novels, Comics, and Comix

Sequential art is a unique storytelling medium that combines visuals and content in a deliberate, specific delivery in order to engage audiences on emotional and cognitive levels. Consequently, graphic novels, comics, and comix are a rich educational medium for undergraduate credit instruction in academic libraries, precisely because this alternative delivery of content can effectively educate many learning styles. This article documents the development and implementation of an undergraduate, upper division credit-bearing course in an academic library that examined multiple types of literacy through the medium, with commentary on instructional strategies for other academic librarians and professors.

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Teaching Visual and Media Literacy Skills Through Media Production Technology

Information professionals such as archivists and librarians are faced with the challenge of preserving, describing, and providing access to information encoded on a variety of media, both text based and visual. While the visual and media literacy discourse recognizes the role of information professionals in visual, media, and information literacy education, the literature contains few pedagogical approaches those charged with training informational professionals at the graduate level. This chapter discusses one approach to visual and media literacy instruction in the Moving Image Archives course offered at the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences, and suggests one method for visual and media literacy instruction at the graduate level. This technology-based approach addresses the “designing and creating” competencies from the Association of College and Research Libraries Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, creating an environment that simulates production by introducing students to the tools and technologies of media production. This approach could also be used in other academic disciplines, such as film and media studies, where students learn to analyze and interpret specific media products, but do not engage directly with the technologies used to create these images.

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Stories of Service-Learning: Guidelines for Increasing Student Engagement with Digital Storytelling

This article describes a project at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) Libraries in which two library staff members–a librarian and a media specialist–collaborated with a Communication Studies professor to provide assistance for two sections of an Intercultural Communication class in the creation of digital stories. As part of the course requirements, students performed service hours with community organizations and then created digital stories as a way to reflect upon and share their experiences. The project provided students with an opportunity not only to create and reflect but also to acquire digital media and visual literacy skills that may be helpful to them in future coursework and employment. In this article, the authors will describe how the digital storytelling project was designed and executed at UNR and provide guidelines for executing digital media projects to increase student engagement and to support a variety of learning objectives.

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Multimodal Composition in Teacher Education: From Consumers to Producers

In the twenty-first century, visual texts are vital to learning in English language arts (ELA). As English educators, we know the importance of telling and sharing stories in various formats in order to build community as well as facilitate deep understanding of the concepts we teach. In our methods courses for undergraduates, two of our course projects help students think creatively and reflectively about themselves as ELA teachers, particularly in this time of changing demands, standards, and high-stakes testing. Further, these projects also help to expand students’ understanding of visual and digital ELA content and promote their development as sophisticated consumers of these texts. However, the projects also encourage students to be producers of digital content and to better understand the affordances of multimodal composition. We ask students to use digital tools such as iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, and VoiceThread to achieve our goals. In this chapter, we share the multimodal assignments we use and student project examples. While we teach in a university setting, we discuss adaptations to these projects that make them applicable to learners in other contexts.

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Integrating Visual and Media Literacy in YouTube Video Projects

Advancements in social media technologies have made it easier than ever to locate, produce, and share online video. Much of the rapid expansion of online video can be attributed to YouTube, which has become the largest and most popular video-sharing platform online. The development of visual and media literacy (VML) competencies is valuable when engaging with social media content and technologies like YouTube. This chapter illustrates how VML have been integrated within a set of educational YouTube video projects in an online university course that has been offered regularly since 2008. The projects discussed in this chapter were designed for an audience of adult educators, but have applicability in K–16 classrooms. YouTube was selected as the central video platform for several reasons, which include practical, technological, and societal factors. Competencies described in published definitions of VML frame the discussion. Curation projects involve finding, interpreting, and evaluating video resources, which are grouped into collections for educational purposes. Educational video creation projects include video blogs, remix, PowerPoint movies, and interactive videos.

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Equipping Teacher Candidates with Media Literacy Skills: Best Practices in Online Education Courses

This paper provides an overview of how to reach the millennial generation, primarily at the higher education level. However, it does address an audience of K­12 teachers, higher education faculty, researchers, administrators, and practitioners, who not only teach the higher education population of students, but who prepare students who will one day attain a postsecondary education. Currently used practices that have been grounded in theory are presented along with evidence of curricular integration of visual and media literacy skills. The skills are in alignment with the standards of the Association of Colleges and Research Libraries (ACRL), the definition of visual literacy from the International Visual Literacy Association (IVLA), and the definition of media literacy from the National Association of Media Literacy Education (NAMLE).

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Media Arts Centers as Alternative Archival Spaces: Investigating the Development of Archival Practices in Non-Profit Media Organizations

In the United States, archival institutions have prioritized the preservation of commercial and Hollywood cinema overlooking small-scale media production by non-professionals and independent media artists. Media arts centers, however, have played a pivotal role in the continued access, use, and preservation of materials produced by the communities that they serve. These non-profit media collectives were imagined as a distributed network of organizations supporting the production, exhibition and study of media; serving as information centers about media resources; and supporting regional preservation efforts. However, media arts centers have remained over-looked and unexplored by the archival field. This dissertation seeks to shift this balance, including these artist-run organizations as part of the network of archives and collecting institutions preserving independent media.

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Learning Through Mini-Documentary Video Projects

Mini-documentary video projects are short factual videos that can be created by students. The mini-documentary video is generally suitable for entry level skill sets and online distribution. Multiple interrelated competencies can be attained while researching a topic, collecting media assets, recording original content, composing, editing, and producing a mini-documentary video project. This paper outlines a conceptual framework for learning through mini-documentary production, which is based on experiences working with adult students in an online course featuring video editing for YouTube. Three interrelated areas where learning can occur are discussed: (1) visual and media literacy, (2) copyright and fair use, and (3) educational video design. Strategies that have worked in past iterations of the course are described as well as problems or issues to be aware of prior to implementing projects like this in the classroom.

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Building Blackboard Innovation Practice Platform Based on Multimedia Literacy

“Considering some deficiency of college students’ innovative project construction and general lack of innovation incubation platform, this paper puts forward a framework of Blackboard-based multimedia innovation practice platform. Logically, the platform contains three correlated layers: the multimedia literacy layer (foundation), incubation layer (core) and innovation practice layer (goal). From the perspective of multimedia literacy, the function of the platform is designed. Several years of practices have proved that the building of the platform is helping and motivating more and more college students to step on the way of innovation practice.”

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