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Case Study: Special Studies for Honors Chinese

CHIN 499. Professor John Crespi, Colgate University

Please provide the course description as it appears in the catalog and the typical enrollment for the course.

EALL High Honors Project: "Finding American in China: My Grandfather's Journey" 30-minute documentary using PhotoShop and FinalCut Pro to manage scanned photos and documents, archival recordings, and video interviews) enrollment: 1

This student originally planned to write a standard thesis on her grandfather's experience immigrating to the U.S. in the 1930s and serving in the U.S. Army for the Flying Tigers in China in WW II. Since she had several hundred scannable photos from her grandfather's scrapbook, I recommended a digital story format.

What are the learning goals of the media assignment(s) in the course. If your course assignments contain both analysis and creative production components, describe the learning goals of each.

We more or less winged this one. I knew the student was very talented and determined, so I was confident we could have some success.

What are the relationships of the media assignment(s) to the other aspects of the course?

There were no other aspects to the course, since with was an honors project.

Describe your assignment design/structure.

Meet with student once a week to go over voice over script, look at materials, view rough cuts, etc.

To what extent does your assignment design address issues of visual/aural literacy?

It was a hands-on immersion in visual/aural literacy.

To what extent does your assignment design address issues of information literacy?

There was extensive research involved. Sources ranging from scholarly monographs, interviews, archived audio interviews, primary documents from WWII era, extensive on-line searches for appropriate images, etc.

To what extent does your assignment design address issues of technology skills?

The student worked very independently doing scanning, voice overs, using the video camera for interviews, etc. She picked things up very quickly.

What are the resources necessary for your assignment (content/materials, institutional support, equipment)?

Video lab, video camera and tripod, scanner, microphones, etc.

Describe how you evaluated the project outcomes? Did you evaluate process? Outcomes? Both?

Fortunately the outcome was so good I didn't have to worry about process.

Estimate the time invested in the project by you, your students, and academic support staff.

I didn't really work that hard on it beyond the weekly meeting--it was true independent work by the student. The student did have multiple training sessions with CEL. She spent a huge amount of time doing this project. Incalculable.

How many times have you taught this course/assignment? What would you do differently next time?

Once. It was a special case.

What is your level of expertise with respect to media technologies and scholarship?

Above average.