Multimodal Products: Ideas for Final Essay Project

As a part of your final essay project, you are to compile and produce some multi-modal artifact, a video, an audio file, a photo essay, or something of the sort that can be circulated on this blog.  The artifact must pertain to your written essay and interpretation of the Nevi’im and Kethuvim.  Finally, your group must integrate your artifact into a presentation before the class during the final week of class.

These are three simple facts that apply to every group.  However, the pathway to research and creativity will be different for each group.  As you all seriously begin to think about possibilities, I wanted to share some ideas, thoughts, expectations, and parameters. 

What is Multi-Modal production, and why are we doing something like this in a literature class?

Last year, the University of Kentucky instituted a major curricular shift from classes that emphasize “traditional college writing” to classes that ask students to integrate all forms of communication as they think critically and engage in our community.  Specifically, students are asked to form a specific technical literacy in which they communicate across Web 2.0 platforms and create new forms of learning besides the “traditional college essay,” which has a limited audience.  This type of learning isn’t just happening at the University of Kentucky; rather, it’s taking place in progressive programs all across the country, like UT Austin and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Eventually, everyone will be expected to produce content and organize information on the web.  This class is a chance to make that step in the context of our study of the Old Testament.

What counts as multi-modal?

In theory, anything that is considered communication and anything that can be captured and circulated using new media can be considered multi-modal.  Think about the following artifacts that can be compiled as a part of a multi-modal product:  Advertisements, audio files (.mp3), blogs, collages, comic books, interviews, phone conversations, lectures, field observation, photos, blogs, posters, presentations, charts, graphs, skits, films, videos, television shorts, websites, performances.  The list could go on.

What should we use to compile these types of communication events?

The goal of this project is for you to compile “content” or information that pertains to your interpretation of literature.  There are a wide variety of tools available online to do this, and I want to provide a list of ideas.

  • Photo essays:  Use online hosts like Photobucket or Flickr to construct a photo stream that corresponds to literary interpretation.
  • Audio short:  Use an audio editing software like Garage band or Audacity to string together audio sources, including your own voice.  Here’s an example of one I did about a year ago.
  • Twitter list:  Use Twitter to make a list of other feeds/sources of information in a given knowledge sphere.
  • Video:  Use video editing software to create a documentary, interview, etc.
  • Collage:  Produce some art that can be scanned in to a digital format.
  • Conversation:  Use Skype to call someone and record the conversation.  Then, edit it and bring it in with other artifacts.
  • Screencast:  Use the free software Jing to make a screen cast and then turn what you have into a video or make it part of a video.

This is just a start.  There’s much more that can be done.

Where should we get content?

Anywhere you can!  Use your imagination.  Most people can draw.  Many people have nice digital cameras, or at least cameras on their cell phone that can be used.  Other smart phones or digital cameras can capture video.  Still other phones can record audio.  Some people have digital flip cams, while others have digital voice recorders.  Use these to talk with people, do some site research, or create content.

Questions? Let me know.


About Andrew Battista

Andrew Battista is Librarian for Geospatial Information Systems at New York University
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1 Response to Multimodal Products: Ideas for Final Essay Project

  1. Pingback: Teaching Composition | jmar18

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