Friday, January 8, 2016

ENG 407C: Major Project

For the major project in the Advanced Professional Communication course, I wanted students to get a better understanding of different communication platforms, as well as a more complex understanding of audience and purpose. Since the majority of our students are English (literature) majors, I decided to try a transmedia project. Here is the current project page that I plan to use:

Transmedia Project

Our major project will ask groups of students to contribute content/materials, based on a novel chosen by the class, on at least two different platforms. In short, the project is based primarily on this Nerdist article by Amy Ratcliffe (READ IT NOW!). 

Once you've read through the article, and to better understand what you will be expected to do, we can also use this flow chart designed by Steve Peters:

Transmedia storytelling flow chart

In short, as a class, we will select a novel and then create content using this novel as a starting point. Some possible novels we might consider include
  • The Outsiders
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • The Shining
Ideally, I would like us to consider a novel that everyone in class has read and that everyone is familiar with. Also, we can discuss if a novel that has already been presented in different mediums would be effective for our purposes.

Each group will select a platform (each group will have a different platform) and then determine how and why they want to deliver the information and the best ways to do it. Each individual must contribute to the final deliverable, and, ideally, all contributions will align to present a complete element to the larger class "story." To help create a complete "story," each group will first present their plans, and then present a preview of the work that they will be submitting (see description of PPT presentations below). Each group will be responsible for delivering information on two different platforms over the course of the semester.

At this point, I am going to leave the rest of the project open for interpretation because I want you all to be as creative as possible. We will have plenty to discuss in our first class meeting (January 25).

  • Understand how different platforms deliver information in different rhetorical contexts
  • Find and evaluate different software and platforms for delivering content
  • Develop skills using specific software and platforms for delivering content
Readings and Platforms/Software
Some starting points for reading. Each student should do their own background research for this project and contribute resources to the class repository.

Fan Fiction

Collaborative Novel Writing - Generative Literature

Possible Platforms
Historical Timeline
Text Messages

Planning Presentation PPT (2)
Final Preview PPT (2)
Final Content on Specific Platform (2)

Evaluation Criteria
Each group will be responsible for TWO (2) sets of deliverables, spaced out over the entire semester. The point distribution (below) is for each project:
  • Final Draft for Evaluation + Reflection = 5 Group Points; 15 Individual Points (20 total)
  • Group Planning Presentation = 4 Points
  • First Draft = 1 point (Individual)
  • Peer Review Response = 2 points (Individual)
  • Group Final Preview Presentation = 4 Points

The final deliverables will be evaluated based on criteria negotiated as a class starting with the following:
  • Presents content effectively based on the specific platform
  • Clear connection to other contributions on the specific platform
  • Offers new perspective on and enhances the novel
  • Provides insight to a specific aspect of the novel
  • Captures the style of the novel effectively
  • Shows effective revision and editing
Create a separate text that answers the following questions:

What was your understanding of the project?
    • An overall statement about your approach to the project
    • Assumptions you made about the background, audience, or purpose of the document
    • Connections that your document makes to other documents in the group
    • Problems, conflicts, or contradictions you faced with missing information
    • Contributions that you made to the larger group effort
How did your understanding of the platform improve through your work on this project?
What other considerations should be understood to accurately evaluate this project?

The Reflection must be submitted as an attachment ONLY (Word or Word-readable document). Please submit the reflection at the Assignment link at the same time that you submit the final draft for evaluation.

Project Timeline
This project will last the entire semester, and there are a number of deadlines that you have to keep in mind.
Feb 22: Transmedia Project #1 Group Planning Presentations (5 min. PPT)
Feb 29: Transmedia Project #1 Peer Review (in class)
Mar 7: Transmedia Project #1 Teacher Review
Mar 14: Transmedia Project #1 Group Preview Presentations (5 min. PPT)
Mar 18Transmedia Project #1 Due for Evaluation

Apr 11: Transmedia Project #2 Group Planning Presentations (5 min. PPT)
Apr 18: Transmedia Project #2 Peer Review (in class)
Apr 25: Transmedia Project #2 Teacher Review
May 2: Transmedia Project #2 Group Preview Presentations (5 min. PPT)
May 6Transmedia Project #2 and Reflection Due for Evaluation

Planning and Preview PPTs
For each deliverable, you will prepare two five-minute Ignite presentations for the class. The first one will describe your planning and the goals for each individual contribution. The second one will be a preview of your final deliverables. Each PPT slideshow should consist of twenty-two slides (Title Slide, 20 body slides, Contact Slide), each set to rotate automatically after 15 seconds. Each group will present their slides in class, and, remember, each presentation is only 5 MINUTES!. If you go over 5 minutes, you will be downgraded severely, so make sure you have a script to go along with your slides. Slides should include carefully selected, carefully sized images (i.e., these are visually intensive presentations, not text-heavy slide-documents). Individual slides should not include more than ten words.

We will also discuss this part of the project and look at some examples in class.

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