[Course news] Deadline reminders

I am writing to remind you of two deadlines.

Doodle poll responses due before midnight tonight
First, if you have not completed the Doodle poll yet, you must do so before midnight tonight if you want me to take your schedule into account when setting up your group’s hangout for next week.

You can find the link to the poll for your group in the email I sent to you and your fellow group members on Sunday.

Issue/Cause Proposal and Team Contract due Friday at midnight
Next, you have just under two days left to complete your website Proposal and Team Contract for your Issue/Cause Website. These documents do not need to be very long, but they do require some forethought and they should be detailed, so you should not delay working on them.

It may be effective for one or more members of the group to take the initiative in creating these documents and coordinating work between other members of the group. Whatever method you chose, if your group has not started drafting these documents yet, you should begin working on them immediately.

In order to complete the proposal, you will need to first settle on a topic for your website. Again, if you have not done so already, you should do so immediately. You may wish to have each member of the group suggest a topic, then put the list to a vote, or you may delegate one member of the group to suggest a few topics and vote on those. However you choose to address this assignment, the longer you delay this step, the more likely it will be that you will not be able to complete the proposal on time.

A good topic for this assignment will be one that is not too broad to be tackled in the space of 1,250 words / 10 images and which can be thoroughly researched in the time frame of the assignment. If you have questions about topic choices or anything else, please do not hesitate to contact me.

[Course news] Final reminders for submitting the Remix video

Some final notes about posting your videos:

Be sure to carefully review the procedures for posting the videos to the portfolio page of your personal website on the Week 11 Detailed Schedule page.

One thing to remember: If you have never shared a video through a video sharing service before, keep in mind that it may take some time to upload the video (depending on the file size), and it can sometimes take a few (or many) minutes for the video to appear on the site after you upload it.

For these reasons, think about your file size when you save your video. If you have a slow internet connection, don’t max out the quality settings so that the video is >1GB, or it will never upload. And allow some extra time for the video to convert on the sharing site after it is uploaded.

As always, let me know if you have questions.

[Course news] Week 11 updates

I hope you all had a wonderful spring break. Here are some general updates.

Week 10 Grade Reports and peer review
Your week 10 grade reports are now available in your Google Drive folders. Please let me know if you have any questions about them. I saw much improvement in the quality of your peer review documents; there was a lot of excellent advice and helpful feedback. I am looking forward to seeing the final videos that you all produce.

Remix projects
Your remix videos are due before midnight on Friday. Because there are no other assignments due this week, I will delay posting your week 11 grade reports until I have finished grading this assignment.

Please consult the week 11 detailed schedule for information about posting the project to the portfolio page of your personal website.

If you have any last-minute questions about the assignment, please let me know. I will hold my regularly scheduled office hours this week and I will be available for other meetings if you are not free during that time.

Looking forward
Next week we will begin our final project, a collaboratively-produced website devoted to a compelling issue or cause. This group project will require you to bring together the various skills you have practiced during on your other assignments—creating a WordPress site, identifying (and practicing) rhetorically effective multimodal communication, video production—in a larger assignment that will allow you to also practice effective group work.

Your groups for this project will roughly reflect your hangout groups from Week 10. I will send an email to all of you at the beginning of week 12 identifying your group members and providing more details about the collaborative aspects of the assignment. Please begin reviewing the assignment description and the schedule for weeks 12-15 and let me know if you have any questions about the assignment or the group work process I have outlined.

In general, I think you all are doing excellent work in the class. We have entered a busy point of the semester as more and more work is coming due in your classes. Keep your focus and continue to work hard in the course so that you all can finish just as strongly as you have started.

As always, let me know if you have any questions for me.

[Skills] Additional resources for video

I wanted to point all of you to two kinds of resources that may be helpful for your projects.

First, if you want to edit audio in ways that your video editing program won’t let you, you may find Audacity useful. This free program works on Windows and Mac and gives you lots of powerful tools for manipulating audio.

Second, if you find you would like to incorporate video from your computer screen—screencasting, or recording video of what you see on your computer as you use it, a technique used to good effect in the video at the top of this post—you have the following options:

Mac users can use Quicktime Player. All you have to do is select File > New Screen Recording, and you can import the resulting file into Imovie.

Mac and Windows users can use Screencast-O-Matic, a full-featured screencasting program. It’s only drawback for our purposes is that if you use the free version it will put a small watermark in the video with the logo for the program.

If you decide to use one of these programs and have questions, or if you would just like feedback on your project, please do not hesitate to contact me.

[Course news] Hangout #3 agenda

Here is the agenda for Hangout #3.

  • Review video remix assignment description
    • Assignment requirements
    • My expectations
  • General video notes
    • Cellphone video dos and don’ts
    • Scrolling text legibility
  • Discuss style examples
    • Animation
    • Cutting
    • Movement
    • Detail
  • Discuss revision practices for videos (from W/D)
  • Discuss personal website submission 2
    • Don’t forget about this project
    • Be sure to review the assignment description
    • Considerations in moving your site
      • Moving portfolio
      • Updating me with new location

[Course news] Rubric updates for Remix assignment

As you prepare for your Remix assignment and get ready to review each other’s storyboards, I want to direct your attention to the rubric for this assignment. Specifically, I recently added additional description to the “Quality” and “Remix” descriptors on the rubric to make what I will be looking for in your videos and how they will be evaluated more clear.

These descriptors can be found on the course assignment page under the heading “Chapter remix grading.”

[Skills] Notes on creating a storyboard

Image from storyboard

image via: Chris Campbell

Creating a video requires a lot of pre-planning. When writing a document, it is relatively easy to delete a sentence that doesn’t work and start over, but it is difficult to do the same with video. For this reason, filmmakers traditionally have relied on detailed notes, in the form of a storyboard, to help guide their work.

If you have never created a storyboard before, one helpful way of conceptualizing the assignment might be to think of it as a rough draft of your video. This draft will articulate all of the elements of your video—audio, visuals, movement, etc.—in a way that will allow you to revise your plan for the video before you start.

Be sure to carefully read pp. 96-99 of Writer/Designer. When you do, pay special attention to the lists on pp. 97-98 . They will help guide your thinking about the project and this assignment.

If you are having difficulty getting started, it may help to practice creating a storyboard for one of the sample videos that was shared on the forum. As always, if you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

[Course news] Updates related to Doodle poll for Week 10 hangouts

I have emailed you all a link to the Doodle poll for the Week 10 hangouts. You should receive the email at your MIX address. As with the last poll, please add your name (no one else will see your schedule except me) and select all the time slots in the poll that you are available.

I have also updated the Week 8 detailed schedule with information about the time line for completing the poll. Your responses to the poll are due before midnight on Thursday, 3/5.  Please check the schedule for the complete details.

The time period when we will compete the hangouts is Saturday, Mar. 14 – Wednesday, Mar. 18. I will be traveling for a conference the following weekend, so I included the Mar. 14-15 in the poll to allow for some flexibility in our schedules.