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Case Study: Introduction to Chinese

CHIN 121. Professor John Crespi, Colgate University

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

This introduction to modern standard Chinese emphasizes understanding and speaking, with practice in reading and writing approximately 300 characters in both traditional and simplified forms. Students who elect both parts of the sequence are introduced to all the basic structural patterns needed for ordinary conversation. Degree credit is given for completion of one term. Enrollment: 9-14

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.

Master pronunciation, review vocabulary and grammar patterns, practice writing.

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

Acts as a review towards the end of the course.

Describe your assignment design/structure.

Write and dub the off-screen narration for a digital story introducing your family and any other aspects of your life, interests, place of abode, study habits, etc. that you want to present. You will: 1) produce a narrated digital story using images and voiceover in iMovie, and; 2) orally present your project live from memory to the class with accompanying images projected. The script should be about 300 words (syllables). Use as many Chinese characters as possible. Each sentence should use a grammar pattern or vocabulary from our text so far. As you write, try to think about images that would go with your narration. No minimum requirement for the number of images you use, but each one should be well integrated with your narration.

  1. 11/24 Script (draft 30%)
  2. 11/25 25-minute iMovie practice in Keck
  3. Thanksgiving Break (take pix)
  4. 12/3 Script (final draft 20%)
  5. 12/10 Digital Story due (50%)
  6. 12/11-12 Oral Presentation (15% of final)

Digital Story Grading:
1) Pronunciation & tones (60%); 2) fluency (15%); 3) expressiveness (15%); 4) creativity and imagination (10%).

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


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


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

Basic introduction to video-editing software (iMovie)

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

Digital still cameras (mostly students' own), Keck computers, 2 USB mikes in Keck (better sound than the headphone mikes). Some students work on their own laptops.

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

Graded mostly in terms of language skills mastery outcomes. Also includes oral presentation from memory. Low emphasis on technology--students can take it as far as they want, or simply focus on language skills.

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

Me: 2-3 hours working up and revising project assignment handout. 25-50 minutes in Keck introducing basics of iPhoto and iMovie.

Carol Smith: keeps USB mics at help desk; self or student aides available if students need help (she says they needed very little)

students: not sure. the multiple tasks of writing, rewriting, practicing reading, recording, taking pictures and editing probably varied widely.

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

I've taught this assignment once, but have done other similar ones at the 100 and 200 level of Chinese. I don't think I'll change much if I do it again.

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

Above average. I am most familiar with iMovie and iPhoto, and try to keep up to date on the updates.