By Course: ENVS 7 – Ecopsychology
Instructor: Terry Osborne
Assignment: Media project in collaboration with a local community organization
The Ecopsychology class is a first-year seminar that looks at human psychology as a variable in environmental issues. As the course syllabus describes: “Ecopsychology posits a fundamental connection between the human psyche and the more-than-human world, and examines both the role our psyche plays in affecting the health of the planet, and the effect the degradation of natural world has in return on our psyche.”
The final project in the course is a community-based learning experience. It is a group video project in collaboration with a local community organization. The stated goal of the assignment is to do a video project that explores the ecopsychological components and/or effects of the work the organization does. I spend time before the course meeting with the organizations to discuss possible projects that would meet their needs and desires and fulfill the goals of the course. Once we have a general sense of that, I let the students take over and determine the exact projects with the organization. The target length of the video projects was 2-3 minutes, but this could be adjusted based on the organizations’ needs and desires. This year the organizations the students worked with were the Upper Valley Land Trust, The Upper Valley Transportation Management Association, and Thetford Elementary School.
The UVTMA video you see below initially was to explore the obstacles that get in the way of Upper Valley residents carpooling or using public transportation, by interviewing people who overcame those obstacles. But for various, unexpected reasons, the original interviews could not take place (this is why I like community-based projects: it’s real life; you never know what’s going to happen, so you adjust on the fly). So the students and the community partner (Aaron) reconceived the methodology and the interviews, and that aspect of the process—and the first minute of the video, especially—are what I admire most about this group’s project: the way they worked with the community partner and improvised and shifted the project.
By Course: GEOG 43 – Geographies of Latin America: Culture, Race, Nature and Power
Instructor: Sharlene Mollett
Assignment: Media Project
Groups of 4-5 students will present short video documentaries to the class covering a key concept and case study related to International Development in Latin America (see syllabus too). You may choose to cover a topic you have learned about through the class or a related topic of interest. These documentaries can include visual and audio material produced originally by students and/or collected from a range of sources. These must be edited together into 5-7 minute short films. The concepts and ideas presented in the videos should link to key themes discussed and presented during the term. Students should introduce their video with a brief (1-2 minute) discussion with a guide to viewing your film (what are you aiming for with this film?). These short documentaries will consist of a series of video narrated by students. We will end the presentation with a Q and A session and a discussion of the key themes discussed.
By Course: AMES 7 – Environment and Development in China
Instructor: Ken Bauer
Assignment: Multimodal Research Project
The Multimedia Research Project is a multimodal essay, with a hypothesis and an overall argument supported by evidence. It integrates our in-class discussions and builds on close
reading of articles and lectures as well as the search for and analysis of multimedia sources on China’s environment and development. You will research a topic and create a multimedia project
(see Possible Research Topics below for ideas). The research project will provide you with an
opportunity to critically engage and analyze an environment and/or development issue in
The goal of this project is to increase the clarity of your writing skills in expression, coherence,
and elegance while building rhetorical flexibility in the use of images, words, film, audio, etc. The
hope is that students will gain literacy in multimedia as they sharpen their understanding of how
arguments are constructed. As a result of this project, you will:
• learn to do research with primary sources, including popular sources and peer-reviewed
• practice collaborative creativity as you comment upon, constructively support, and build
each others’ projects through group exercises and in-class workshops;
• use multimedia resources to support an argument, create effective transitions between
ideas, and develop your voice.
• add a set of multimedia skills to your toolkit for engaging the world beyond Dartmouth.
• consider critically the sources, assumptions, ethics of their arguments.
This project is pitched for an audience potentially larger and less specialized than the instructor
(though he will still end up grading it). Hopefully your research project will find a broader audience
and, potentially, engage with communities of scholars and netizens across the globe. Keeping in
mind that this film will be publicly available, students are required to work consciously in achieving
clarity, straightforwardness, and concision in their arguments. Further, students will be expected
to create and communicate with respect using appropriate materials. Guidance on respectful use
of the Internet and media tools can be found at Dartmouth Information Technology Policy: http://www.dartmouth.edu/comp/about/policies/general/itpolicy.html.
The research project (40% COURSE GRADE) is sequenced and will be completed in stages,
1. INSTRUCTOR CONSULTATION on April 18 to discuss your proposed research
2. You will participate in one iMovie TRAINING SESSION at Jones Media Center (April
25), in which you’ll learn video-making techniques. You can also learn about iMovie
at www.apple.com/imovie. There are also numerous Internet tutorials available
through www.YouTube.com, etc.
3. You will submit a TREATMENT PLAN (500 words) for your research project, due
April 28. The instructor will provide a form for the treatment plan (5% of the research
4. You will present a PITCH to your peers on May 2. Imagine you are the director and
have just 5 minutes to present your proposal to a potential producer. Your pitch will
outline your purpose, visual & audio content, and overall structure and argument.
Use a working title for your film.
5. You will participate in iMOVIE WORK SESSIONS during class on the following
dates: 5/2, 5/12, 5/19.
6. Since film is a public medium, we have a PUBLIC SCREENING of your films in class
at the end of the term (5/23 + 5/26). At the screenings, the filmmakers will not only to
present their own films but also assess their peers’ work.
7. You will submit on a FINAL COMMENTARY (500 words) on your filmmaking
experience (5% of final project grade). In this commentary, you will address the
a. Problems you encountered
b. Solutions you found
c. Resources you used
d. Thoughts about your process and product.
The instructor will provide a form for the final reflection (due June 2).
Technical Guidelines for Multimedia Research Project
Students will use iMovie or similarly accessible software as an editing program for this
assignment. Editing stations and portable hard drives are available for use through coordination
with the Jones Media Center. The instructor will arrange to make DV tapes available from Jones
for the taping and storage of projects. Students will present their multimedia research project to
their peers at the end of the term. Running Time: (including credits) 6 minutes maximum, 4 minutes minimum (NO EXCEPTIONS)
Images: Use any appropriate images from digital archives. You must credit all image sources at
the end of your film. You are encouraged to use your own photos if relevant.
Audio: Any kind – voiceover, song, music, sound effects. Remember the overall time limit when
you choose audio. You are encouraged to compose your own music. You must credit all audio
sources at the end of your film.
Video: 4 minutes maximum. Use video advisedly. Using more video does not correlate with a
better film or better grade. Remember that editing footage takes much longer than acquiring it.
Keep it simple and appropriate.
Credit and Permissions: In your film’s credits cite all sources – quotes, images, videos, or audio
recording – that you have used. See the following website for guidelines on crediting media
sources: How to Cite Media
For educational uses – such as showing your film to the class – you do not need to get written
permission for the use of others’ original material. But if you plan post your film on a web site or
screen it at a public (non-educational) event, YOU HAVE TO GET WRITTEN PERMISSION
BEFOREHAND TO USE OTHERS’ MATERIALS. However, you are permitted to post your film to
YouTube or other sites as long as: (1) you make it clear that the film is to be used FOR
EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY; and (2) YOU PROVIDE CITATIONS FOR ALL SOURCE
Final Submission: Save your film as a Full Quality Quick-Time file. Upload the project in the
“Multimodal Research Project” folder on the server space allotted to our class, which Jones
Media Center will provide.
By Course: Italian 3
Instructor: Scott Millspaugh
Assignment: “L’altra famiglia” Video Project
Produce a movie trailer for “L’altra famiglia” in groups with the assistance of the Jones Media Center.
In groups of three or four, you will conceptualize and execute a 90-second trailer for a film version of Dacia Maraini’s short story, “L’altra famiglia”. The trailer must include:
1. at least TWO SCENES from the story (these may be edited and don’t necessarily have to represent the scenes from start to finish);
2. appearances by all members of the group (including speech);
3. music; and
4. voice-over narration.
Your video project will be assessed on both group and individual bases. Out of 100 total points, 60 will be earned in the following “group” categories
- accuracy of all Italian language used (both voice-over narration and performance) – 12 points;
- content (your interpretation of the story in trailer form – the “idea”) – 18 points; and
- technical execution (the overall quality of the video, including sound and editing) – 30 points.
40 more points will be earned in the following “individual” categories:
1.collaboration (to be determined by your other group mates) – 15 points; and
2. performance (not acting, but your use of Italian language – including fluency and pronunciation) – 25 points.
I will provide a more exhaustive rubric when I return your scripts on May 8th.
When you meet with your group for the first time, please decide on a name for your production company, which you will include in the credits of the trailer. Think of something fun! (In Italian, of course!)
You will be assisted by the Jones Media Center, which will also provide access to the technology necessary to make your trailer (everything from computer stations with iMovie and video recorders to microphones and external hard drives). The timetable for your trailer is as follows:
Monday, April 28th: Susan Simon will visit our class and speak to you for 20 minutes. She will introduce you to the resources available at the Media Center and discuss strategies for conceptualizing your video project.
Wednesday, May 1st: We will have an hour-long training session in the Media Center in Berry.
Also on Wednesday, May 1st: Your trailer storyboard is due at the end of our training session.
Friday, May 3rd: I will hand back your storyboard, so you can begin work on the script.
Monday, May 6th: Your script is due at the beginning of class.
Wednesday, May 8th: I will hand back your script, so you can begin filming.
Monday, May 13th: Check-in day at the Jones Media Center. Instead of having a normal class meeting, we will convene again in the library. At this point, all of your filming should be complete and you will have started working on post-production.
Friday, may 17th: We will watch your completed videos in class, which must be introduced by the group. After we screen your video, you must also explain your creative choices and be prepared to answer questions.
By Course: AAAS 90 – The Black Male, Invented or Engineered?
Instructor: Antonio Tillis
Assignment: Documentary Video Project
In small groups of three, students are expected to create a short documentary film between 5-7 minutes in length. Group members are to select a topic that has a direct association to a topic matter presented in the course. The objective is to explore a topic introduced in the class that is of interest to your group within the framework of a 21st century epistemological understanding of the “Black Male.” As examples, you may choose to explore the theme of contemporary engineering of the Black male subject in 21st century film (selecting one film as text for analysis), Black male sexuality in the media or visual arts, Black male – Black female social dynamics around desirability, etc.
Through the development of this documentary, you are expected to engage the issues presented in the class. All groups are to have a minimum of 5 bibliographic entries or works that are not texts used in the class. (You may use works presented in class, however they are not a part of the minimum 5 outside readings/sources/references.) Additionally, you may choose to conduct interviews, use video footage pertinent to the selected topic. You are required to make a compelling argument about your topic using the chosen media (voice-over narration, video footage from interviews, audio, etc.)
In preparation, students will meet with Susan Simon (Jones Media Center) and with Prof. Tillis. Additionally, groups will meet Professor Tillis outside of class for developmental updates. The final cut of the documentary will be presented in class. At such time, a copy of the script and documentary are due.
This assignment is developed with the following learning outcomes in mind:
1. Discuss how the construct of the “Black Male” has been developed within the Americas and beyond as a racial-gendered group
2. Discuss the social, economic, political designed for the construction of the “Black Male” as a typology
3. Discuss the above mentioned and beyond in a cogent argument using film as the medium to critically engage the chosen topic of the group.
Group members will receive a grade for the written treatment, storyboard, script and bibliography. Additionally, the group will receive a grade based on teh final product. (see Sample Grade Rubric) Finally, each student will submit an additional written reflection (no more than 3typed pages) commenting on the film making process and other critical thoughts.
Susan Simon, Media Learning Technologist, Jones Media Center
Amy Witzel, AAAS and WGST Reference Librarian
By Course: BIO 148-ENVS 80: Polar Science, Policy and Ethics
Instructor: Ross Virginia
Assignment: Science Communication on Polar Change: A Video Project
Science has provided overwhelming evidence of human-influenced Arctic climate change and the likelihood that the pace of change is accelerating. The effects are and will be felt around the world in the environment, weather and oceanographic conditions, commercial shipping and fishing, exploitation of natural resources and energy, agriculture, and wildlife. Indigenous peoples’ way of life is changing, and new health and disease concerns are arising as climate changes in the North. Arctic residents see these environmental changes first-hand, but public awareness of these changes is low and the educational experience for young students in many northern locations does not provide an understanding of the drivers of change and the feedbacks that accelerate or decrease rates of change in biological and physical processes.
Video and multimedia presentations are being used more and more by researchers and teachers to communicate scientific concepts with diverse audiences. This assignment is designed to give you practical skills in producing a video product and in designing science- centered content suited for a target audience. You will work with one or two other students. The target audience for the project will be either: 1) the general US public, think of a Super Bowl infomercial to communicate information about climate change, or 2) high school students living in Greenland.
Susan Simon, media learning technologist with the Jones Media Center, will guide our project. She will lead a media workshop to introduce the basics on project design and will go through the technology and tools available to us on line and at the Jones Media Center. Class time will be devoted to working as a group and in smaller teams on forming the project and intermediate goals and short assignments will keep us on schedule. Three “check-in” sessions have been scheduled at the Jones Media Center during class time so we can work directly with their staff. More information will be distributed in class. My hope for this project is that it will be interesting, challenging, and I dare say fun.