#ctpf22 Multimedia Story Assignment

About the Multimedia Story Assignment

The Multimedia Story Assignment has six primary goals:

  1. to help students learn the principles and practices of effective multimedia storytelling
  2. to help students learn and put into practice ethical storytelling research practices
  3. to help students learn how to compose a single narrative using multiple modes of communication
  4. to help students step out of their comfort zones with regards to composing online
  5. to build on their experiences with collaboration
  6. to reflect on the work they have created

The assignment is informed by five Course Learning Objectives:

Objective 1: Effective Communication
Students will begin to understand the foundational and contemporary principles, practices, and ethics of effective media communication, in particular in terms of how it applies to writing, typeface, photography, and social media.

Objective 2. Multimedia Storytelling
Students will begin to understand the principles and practices of effective multimedia storytelling, including non-extractive co-creation, and be able to analyze and create media objects which effectively apply multiple media rhetorical and aesthetic goals.

Objective 3. Inclusive Use of Communication Technologies
Students will begin to develop and enhance their use of various communication technologies for the purpose of creating intentional, precise, and inclusive media objects with specific rhetorical and aesthetic goals.

Objective 4: Inquiry and Reflection
Students will begin to develop their understanding of the important roles of inquiry and reflection during the reading, creation, and communication process.

Objective 5: Experimentation
Students will begin to develop their ability to step out of their comfort zones and take risks with their approaches to and understanding of communication, design, and storytelling practices and techniques.

Your Multimedia Story will be include the following:

  • Individual Proposals
  • A Gear Discussion
  • Photos
  • Video and/or Audio
  • Alphabetic Text
  • Layout Sketches
  • Complete Multimedia Story Draft
  • Final Multimedia Story
  • Multimedia Story Reflection

Multimedia Story Assignment Specifics

For this assignment, each student will research, create media for, compose, and publish to a subdomain on their website a multimedia story that contains at least the following modes of communication:

  • alphabetic text
  • photographs
  • video or audio

The modes of communication must be implemented in such a way that they work in concert to tell a seamless narrative. Students may choose to enhance these modes by adding others (such as gifs, graphics, and so on) they believe they will enhance the story.

Student may choose from two presentation approaches for their story:

  • alphabetic text-driven with other media enhancing the story (like “Snow Fall”)
  • photography-driven with other media enhancing the story (like“Kickball” and  “Detroit Bike Culture,” with the addition of video or audio)

Word counts, photo numbers, and video/audio lengths to be announced soon.

When completing the background work for their multimedia story, students will put into practice what we have learned about non-extractive co-creative engagement practices and open-ended interview techniques. When composing their stories, students will put into practice Lambert’s seven stages of storytelling as well as many of the blogging techniques (lead, bold text, and so on). When creating photographs, students will put into practice the composition and soulful image techniques we have learned.

All stories will adhere to the best practices for inclusive design.

In order to facilitate collaboration throughout the project, students will be broken into groups of 4. Though students are broken into groups, each student is responsible for composing their own unique story using media that they have created. In other words, alphabetic text that they, themselves have written and photographs that they, themselves, have captured. (We will discuss what that means for video work at a later date.)

Choosing a Topic

When choosing a topic, students should focus on locating an SJU-affiliated group, organization, community, event, or person that they believe would make for FOUR engaging stories.

Because of the non-extractive co-creative approach we are taking, at least one of your group members must have a direct connection with whatever group, event, or individual you choose to work with. Further, whomever you decide to work with will receive copies of all raw footage you create, which means that they can then use that material when creating content they may want to create. The process, then, is mutually beneficial. They will also have a say in the final presentation of the material so both you and they are sure they are presented accurately.

SJU Partner Proposal

Your proposal will take the form of Blog Post 3.

Details can be found in the Design Blog Assignment Prompts section.

Creating the Story Page

Your final multimedia story will be presented on its own page in a new subdomain. Here are the steps to set everything up:

Step 1: Create a Subdomain, Install WordPress, Link to Subdomain

Please follow the steps in the below video to learn how to create a subdomain, install WordPress on it, and link to it from your main site.

This video describes what a subdomain is and why one would need one, how to create a subdomain, how to install WordPress on the subdomain, and how to link to it from a main domain. It covers:

0:00: Introductory remarks
0:48: Defining a subdomain and why someone would create one
3:00: Creating the subdomain
4:15: Installing WordPress of the subdomain
7:10: Linking to the subdomain from the main domain

Step 2: Install and Customize the WordPress Himalayas Theme

In the WordPress dashboard of your subdomain, please complete the following:

  1. Install the Himalayas theme by going to Appearance –> Themes and Click Add New. Search for Himalayas. Install and Activate the theme. We are using this because it provides a nice single page layout.
  2. Install the Classic Editor and Fonts plugins. If you don’t recall how to do that, see the intro to WordPress and Google Fonts Plugin videos I created.
  3. Set the theme layout to have no sidebars by clicking
    1. Customize, then
    2. Himalayas Design Options, then
    3. Default layout for pages only, then
    4. Select the third icon in the row
      screenshot showing to select the no sidebar design option
    5. Click the blue Publish button to save changes.
  4. Create a new page (not post) for your story and name it something meaningful. (The title can be changed later.)
  5. Make the new page the static home page by going to Settings –> Reading and Click Static Home Page radio button and then select the new page from the menu. Be sure to save changes.
  6. Edit/Compose the About page that describes you and gives information about the story. Discuss how you completed the story — number of interviews, total hours of footage, number of visits with your partners, etc. These will help people who see the story more fully understand the extensive work you put into it and, in a way, validate it.

Important Dates

Note that due dates may change based on various events during the semester. Be sure to check the Course Schedule for updated due dates as they may not always be reflected here.

  • 10/26: Individual Proposals Due by 11:00pm
  • TBD: Photos and Video and/or Audio drafts due
  • 12/2: Alphabetic Text Drafts Due
  • 12/5: Complete Multimedia Story Draft #1 Due
  • 12/5 – 12/7: Class Canceled for Conferences
  • TBD: Final Multimedia Story Due

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