“Elixr: Student Video Projects in Critical Writing Education” is a case study of a video “mash-up” assignment given in Freshman Seminars in Critical Writing taught by Dr. Jacqui Sadashige at the University of Pennsylvania. Working in groups, Dr. Sadashige’s “mash up” clips from various sources into a short video that illustrates a theme. Projects encourage students to think critically about media by providing them with insight into the media production process. Students reflect on what they learned in essays. Through both text and video, the case study provides descriptions of the assignment, instructional strategy behind it, and technical support for students, and examples of student work. Interviews with Dr. Sadashige and students from the course are included.
Improve critical thinking skills through creative writing. Explore argumentative forms of writing. Create video projects to refine research, editing and writing skills.
Target Student Population:
The primary audience for this material is instructors who may be able to apply the assignment to their own courses in critical writing and analysis. The secondary audience is instructors in other disciplines, who, though not able to apply the assignment as directly, may be able to apply the general type of assignment illustrated into their courses. A tertiary audience may be instructional technologists and other faculty support staff, who can use this material as an example when introducing faculty to student video projects.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Type of Material:
Case story with multimedia applications to highlight key elements
This material is designed as self-contained, independent study. It could also be incorporated into a workshop or broader set of materials about developing critical thinking skills or assigning student video projects.
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Evaluation and Observation
By incorporating a combination of explanatory text, video interviews, student examples, and course materials, the case story presents a comprehensive view of the assignment.
It is important to read the Help section if you have never viewed an Elixr presentation before to make navigating through the material easier.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Descriptions, testimonials, and examples provide a strong case for using the techniques introduced as well as the information needed to get started.
Though links to resources are provided, it would be easier to jump right into developing similar assignments if there were more of a step-by-step getting started guide.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Intuitive interface backed up with clearly written online help. Includes closed captioning and text transcripts of video interviews.
Having the transcripts as a transparent overlay of the videos could still present a challenge to a viewer with a visual impairment.
Other Issues and Comments:
Overall a very well structured case study that nicely introduces how a video mash-up may be used in a critical analysis assignment.