Integrating Blogging into my Honors Multimedia Production Course
When I first began to contemplate how I might integrate blogging into the courses that I teach, I was thinking about small, individual assignments that might lend themselves to using a blog. However, after reading the articles, I now think that it may be more useful to incorporate blogging as a central and ongoing part of my "Honors Multimedia Production" course. While much of my course content involves working with software and issues related to design and technology, there are a number of ways I've been trying to extend the course into new directions. First, many of my students haven't been exposed to cutting-edge interactive multimedia content in the same way that they've been exposed to film and other media. I think it's important for them to survey and explore contemporary interactive design and the studios and artists who are making it. Secondly, I want students to examine some of the critical issues and theory related to new media and contemplate the ways in which new media is a unique art/communication medium. I think blogging may be an ideal way to get students thinking about and exploring these things.
Rather than doing a series of individual blogs, my plan is for all of my students to participate in one central, collaborative course blog. I already maintain a website (http://karlcleveland.com/157) that is the "bible" for my course, and I think that I can integrate the course blog as part of that site, so that all the resources and material for the course will be in once place. But, with the blog, students will be able to help shape the content and resources available and contribute to the "collective intelligence" of the course.
My plan is to require students to post at least one thoughtful entry and one comment per week to the blog. Each entry will also need to include a link to an external resource or example. Each week, I will provide a few resources and links and a specific task to research and explore online. Alternatively, I can develop all the tasks and related links in the beginning and students can pick and choose which to write about (provided they cover all the tasks by the end). Each task will relate to interactive media arts and focus on the following five exploration themes:
Exploration of Studios/Artists -- Find cutting-edge multimedia design studios and/or artists who develop interactive multimedia artworks/projects for the Web, CD-ROM, or installation and comment on their work, design philosophy, and techniques.
Exploration of Design Principles -- Find examples of effective and compelling interactive multimedia design and dissect the design elements, uncover the design principles and techniques that are at work, and how these principles are applied and/or operate within the examples/
Exploration of Technology -- Comment on a recent or expected future technology that will affect the creation, production, distribution, and/or experience of multimedia products
Exploration of Process and Practice -- Find and research interactive multimedia design studios/firms that provide information on their creative/developmental process. Review and compare the process of two or three such firms.
Exploration of Critical/Theoretical Issues -- Examine critical theory related to new media/multimedia with emphasis on providing a definition and/or historical context for new media as a unique art/communication medium. Consider what is unique about how new media objects/experiences create the illusion of reality, address and involve the viewer, and represent space and time. Identify concepts or characteristics that are unique or intrinsic to new media (i.e., interactivity, participation, integration, narrativity, hypermedia, nonlinearity, immersion, collaboration, personalization, database use, real time processing, forms of distribution, etc.) and find example projects that utilize these characteristics.