As we know, college teaching has mostly shifted from old-school “Sage on the Stage” lectures to “Guide by the Side” active-learning projects. I would like to share an active-learning project that I developed for my GCC mass communications classes -- a mostly successful small-group animated video exercise -- that could be useful for other subjects too.
I learned about animated video projects during On-Course training at Santa Monica College, where I also teach media studies and journalism. The On-Course facilitator led us through the process of creating 1-2 minute videos in Royal Society of Animation (RSA) style. Here’s the professional example he showed us: https://youtu.be/zDZFcDGpL4U.
The idea is to have each small group of students research a topic (in my case, a media theory) and create a short, animated video about it to educate their classmates. The project encourages teamwork, critical thinking, visualizing information and working with technology. At the same time, discussion-shy students, artists, and tech-savvy students get a chance to shine. Nearly all of my students at Glendale and Santa Monica are bilingual (or trilingual), so I also gave extra credit for bilingual or second versions of the videos in another language.
You can check out the student videos on my Youtube playlists: https://www.youtube.com/user/sobsatz/playlists.
The project worked great for most groups. The one semi-flop was a group with personality conflicts – they produced two different videos for the same theory.
I give my students a three hours of class-time to work on the video. Here are the steps:
I am always amazed by their creativity.
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