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The experiences of the faculty and staff involved in this project, along with many discussions about the issues outlined in this report, has led the group to develop this list of practical recommendations for faculty members attempting to add media-rich assignments to their courses.

  1. Expect that multimodal media assignments will require extensive time investment by all involved, students, faculty, academic support.
  2. Find or create examples or models of expected outcomes.
    • Preferably, the professor would create the model using course based content and using the technology work-flows and resources recommended at their institution.
    • Academic support should assist with the creation of a model and get feedback from the professor on what aspects of the learning experience might be emphasized.
    • Develop a rubric for evaluation of student outcomes based on the professors own experience creating a model project.
  3. Develop course assignments with assistance from academic support - technologists, librarians, oral communication and writing center experts. Develop media literacy, information literacy, and digital literacy exercises/discussions using course content and examples. Although students are inundated with media messages and with technology, they are generally not savvy about using media and technology to express their knowledge.
  4. Structure media assignments as a sequence of learning experiences building upon each other over the course of the semester so that content can be assimilated simultaneously with critical literacy's skill development. And/Or, structure media assignments across the semester as a series of drafts/versions that students receive feedback on as they develop and understanding of the content and the skills to communicate in media formats. At a curricular level, attention should be paid to building critical literacies within programs over the course of a student's undergraduate career.
  5. Build into the assignment multiple methods and opportunities for evaluating student progress in the stages of a media project (ex: storyboard/script review, original footage or audio evaluation, edited version draft one, etc.). This enables the professor to gauge and guide student understanding and progress. This is particularly important as the emphasis in learning is on the process more than the outcomes.
  6. Consider public presentations of students final projects, whether to the class or the world. This tends to increase the quality of the student work and may also have additional benefits (students perceive their media messages as having greater impact/effect on larger population - marginalized conflict podcasts empowered students voices in social activism).

At the institutional and inter-institutional levels, what is needed most right now is simply more communication. Faculty, staff, and administrators must be open and frank about what works and what doesn't; how resources can be garnered and used more efficiently; what is practical and what isn't in the near term; and how to plan strategically for a future in which media-rich assignments will surely continue to evolve and will likely continue to become more and more central to pedagogy and scholarship in the liberal arts. We are grateful to NITLE for its support of this project over the last two years, and hope that it has been only one small part of a long-running and broad conversation among colleagues across many institutions.