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The Multi-Media Experience: Documenting Arguments, Proposing Change. Jeannie Parker Beard, MAPW Kennesaw State University Kennesaw, Georgia. Kansas State University Digital Ethnography

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The multi media experience documenting arguments proposing change

The Multi-Media Experience:Documenting Arguments, Proposing Change

Jeannie Parker Beard, MAPW

Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw, Georgia

The multi media experience documenting arguments proposing change

Kansas State University

Digital Ethnography

Created by Michael Wesch in collaboration with 200 students at Kansas State University.

Overview proposal argument documentaries
Overview: Proposal Argument Documentaries

  • The need for student-produced new media texts

  • Theory and practice

  • Challenges of opening the classroom to new media texts

  • Formulas for success

  • Possibilities

  • Work in progress and looking ahead

New media as student text
New Media as Student Text

“If business and technical communication is increasingly electronic, then one must teach students to use the new digital tools available for writing.”

Jay Bolter, Eloquent Images

  • Beyond print literacy

  • Engaging students with the texts of our times

  • Applying rhetorical skills to electronic media

  • Educating critical consumers and critical producers


“Our literate culture is simply using the new tools provided by digital technology to reconfigure the relationship between the material practices of writing and the ideal of writing that these practices express.” Jay Bolter, Writing Space

“The time is right to reflect, and to rethink radically.” Gunther Kress, Literacy in the New Media Age

“Digital media continue in this line of challenges to the dominance of the printed word, by claiming to provide a new kind of interaction between the user/viewer and the digital application.” Jay Bolter, Eloquent Images

Social theory
Social Theory

“Multiliteracies also create a different kind of pedagogy, one in which language and other modes of meaning are dynamic representational resources . . . In addressing theses issues, literacy educators and students must see themselves as active participants in social change, as learners and students who can be active designers-makers of social futures.”The New London Group,

“The Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Designing Social Futures Harvard Educational Review (1996)

Theoretical call to action
Theoretical Call to Action

  • Recognizing the multiplicities of literacy

  • Enabling student success in new modes of literacy

  • Understanding the dynamic between visual and verbal texts

  • Recognizing design strategies from page to screen

  • Establishing rhetorical foundations for digital media texts

  • Creating a forum for activism and social change

Theory to practice
Theory to Practice

  • “Among humanists, it is teachers of writing who are actively seeking to close this gap between theory and practice.” Jay Bolter, “Critical Theory and the Challenge of New Media”


“It is impossible to pretend the lives of the people coming to school have not been shaped by texts that don’t look or function like academic essays . . . New media needs to be opened to writing.” Anne Wysocki, Writing New Media and Applications for Expanding the Teaching of Composition “Prosumer Approaches to New Media Composition: Consumption and Production in Continuum.” Daniel Anderson, KAIROS 8.1 (2003)

“A Review of Digital Video Production in Post-Secondary English Classrooms at Three Universities” Melissa Meeks and Alex Illyasova, KAIROS 8.2 (2003)


  • “Documenting Arguments, Proposing Change: Reflections on Student-Produced Proposal Documentaries” Jeannie Parker Beard, Using Technology in English Studies

  • KSU Press, Release date TBA

  • So, do I have to know how to do this?

  • What went wrong? Or, “That wasn’t what I had in mind.”

  • Access to technology and training

  • Validating digital video as text

  • “I can’t hear that.” Or, technical difficulties

Formulas for success
Formulas For Success

  • Laying a foundation

  • Strategies for invention

  • Proposal Arguments: Defining problems and offering viable solutions

  • Clear, Process-Oriented Objectives

    Allison Crockett’s steps for student video production

  • Assessment Guidelines

  • “Try and maintain a great sense of humor. Unless you are un-humanly lucky, things will go wrong.” Advice from Cynthia Selfe, from “A Review of Digital Video Production in Post-Secondary English Classrooms at Three Universities.”

Allison crocket s steps for student video production

First, the concept or a thesis/main idea is created

Then a treatment or brainstorming occurs—a more developed and detailed idea coming out of the concept

Next, an extended treatment or an outline might follow

Research or getting your elements—which might include interviews, film and video footage, music stills, graphics, etc.—is next.

Then, depending on your elements, storyboarding or a more developed and complete outline follows.

The script or draft is developed around this time.

Finally, post-production or possibly a second/final draft occurs where you blend the elements together to tell your story.

Allison Crocket’s Steps for Student Video Production


  • “Save Darfur” video:

  • Enhancing student learning and applying rhetorical skills through student-produced new media texts

  • Engaging students through digital literacy incentives

  • Providing a forum for audience-inspired student work

  • Encouraging critical production and consumption

  • Incorporating diverse learning community themes

  • Fostering excellence in the new age of 21st century literacy studies

Work in progress looking ahead
Work in Progress:Looking Ahead

  • Many things to explore and learn

  • Open to many possibilities

  • Exciting for students and instructors

  • Need for more research and validation

  • Finding new ways to incorporate developing writing technologies