Final Project Video Presentations

Students created videos describing their final projects on language and identity in Latin America so that their peers could view them outside of class and provide feedback.

Goals:

  • To allow student to consolidate their ideas, share their project with the class and receive feedback
  • To provide students with the opportunity to learn about and experiment with other means of knowledge representation (video and sound)
  • To free up more time for discussion in class by moving presentations to an online format

Class: Anthro 1795: The Politics of Language and Identity in Latin America

Introduction/Background: This course explores theory and research in linguistic anthropology. Students learn about how social identity in Latin America is shaped by contention over language and discourse. Students are responsible for creating a final research project. Before the project is complete, students create multimedia presentations explaining their findings so that their peers can view them on YouTube and provide feedback.

Procedure:

The activity essentially entailed the students relating the findings of the research they had done so far to the class, both orally and through a video uploaded online, and then discussing it with the class as a whole. Due to this factor it also required that the students already felt confortable mutually sharing their thoughts, ideas, and criticisms.

  • Prior to this particular activity, the students submitted a one-page proposal of their final  project (on topics concerned with language and identity in Latin America) and a draft of their project.
  • Instructions for the activity were posted to the course's Canvas website. A detailed email (attached) describing the format of the activity was also relayed to the class through email and orally during the prior weeks. The activity began with an explanation and sample video that showed how videos can be created that can provide elaborate means of knowledge representation. The instructor discussed the many online resources on the topic of media creation (e.g. lynda.com). He also encouraged students to visit him or the instructor during office hours for assistance.
  • Students, outside of class hours, constructed a video presentation detailing the work they had done on their final projects up until that point. This video presentation was stipulated to be a maximum of 8 minutes in length, and could incorporate both visual aids (powerpoint slides edited into the video timeline) that they constructed themselves, as well as brief audio and video clips they had found that applied to their projects. /
  • Once the students had created their videos, these were then uploaded to the course YouTube channel (here) where they could be viewed by the class as a whole prior to the lecture. Students were required to post their videos 48 hours before their in-class presentation date.
  • In total, there were 8 presentations per class session, so students then had to view 64 minutes of their peers’ videos prior to each session.
  • During the lecture, each student had 2 minutes to resituate their project before leading a discussion in which they could ask to their peers for help in finding sources, narrowing the perspective of the analysis, determining points of particular interest and appropriately applying theory, amongst other things.
  • Not only did this allow them to share their project with the class, but students also enjoyed the varied perspectives and interpretations of their peers. The uploading of the videos to the internet also provided the added benefit of a means of sharing their work far outside of the classroom.
  • The activity was assessed on a complete/incomplete basis as part of their final project grade.

Materials:

The students were required to use sound recording devices (mobile phones) and video editing software available to them free of charge on the internet, such as Movie Make or iMovie

Comments:

The activity introduces students to other means of knowledge representation that can be shared with people in an engaging manner. From the perspective of class management, it also has the benefit of moving the presentation of works-in-progress outside of class hours so that more time can be devoted to discussion the work in a collaborative manner.

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