MU Sites provides endless possibilities for extending the learning environment beyond the classroom into the digital sphere. From online discussion boards where class members post to teaching design principles through building websites, you can utilize this technology to enhance your classes. Below are examples of sample assignments professors at other universities have used with the website capability.
Taunine has her students write two digital essays. Students must cite class sources and outside sources in the essays, but the twist here is that the essays have to contain at least three non-text elements arranged to accompany the text in impactful ways. These non-text elements can be images, gifts, video clips, etc. Combining traditional writing with visual elements makes the text relate to the real world in tangible ways. Another assignment Taunine assigns is a commentary on digital media. Students are encouraged to be creative as they use digital tools to create their take on what media means. The commentary is accompanied with a 1,000 word “Artist Statement” that includes an explanation of how the project fits in with current class readings and how the project conveys the commentary the student was making. Taunine’s shot-by-shot video analysis project is another project where students pick a film clip and add annotations to it about editing, music, sound effects, etc. through a program called Popcorn Maker.
ENG 718 Video Lexicon Assignment by Dave Fisher
Dave had his English grad students make a writing video lexicon where students have to write a video script that dramatizes a hard literary theoretical concept for first year college freshmen and then make that script into an engaging video. He also has students create a live tweet reading of the week project where students pick a chapter from one of the class texts and all live tweet as they read it. The instructor then pulls up the Twitter feed during a class discussion as a starting point for the lecture to identify key elements of the material.
ENG 363 Assignments by Dave Fisher
Dave has his students develop an entire separate community analysis website that is linked to a student’s domain that presents a community through interviews, artifacts, language practices, and tensions. All the text, visuals, etc. include commentary that describe how each element contributes to the unique community. Additionally, Dave assigns a community action proposal and campaign during the semester. Students identify a problem, present a solution through data analysis, and then prepare an entire ad campaign complete with a self-made YouTube video, branded logo, and promotional text for the proposed solution.
AMST 385 Assignments and Rubric by Kim Loudermilk
Kim’s classes work on a website throughout their whole semester that archives historical memories about a specific event in the 1960s. Students write blog posts about how to research these events, as well as how our country has memorialized the event. The websites include historical documents, movies, oral histories, fashion, etc. to archive a moment in time, and then students provide analysis on how the actual history of the vent compares to our nation’s memory of the event.
David assigns students to one of three different blogging roles throughout the week. The students rotate through the roles of readers (posting initial questions from the reading), responders (responding to the questions with words and visual content such as videos and pictures), and historians (summarizing the class discussions). The class posts are syndicated through a WordPress plug-in so that students post to their individual blogs, but sees the collective works.
ENG 101 Class Portfolio by McKenna Rose
The class portfolio assignment is basically a website that contains all the students’ work from the semester. One project that is required is a Weather on Facebook assignment where students track what people say about the weather for two weeks on a day-to-day basis. The students create an infographic of the results. This can be replicated for any subject, but the idea of tracking a specific topic through social media is intriguing. Another project is the virtual tour guide, where students are required to make a website that represents a significant place or memorial, complete with a site tour, explanatory webtexts, and other immersive tools.
ENG 210 Visual Rendering by McKenna Rose
McKenna’s students take a portion of the The Taming of the Shrew from William Shakespeare and turn it into a digital infographic made from Piktochart. Students are required to choose a guiding topic or claim and then use quotes and images to represent the supporting ideas. Later in the semester, they are encouraged to make a series of podcasts representing a scholarly webtext on some aspect of Shakespeare the class has covered.
ENG 101 Video Group Project by McKenna Rose
Students are assigned a video group project where groups make a 5 – 7 minute video with infographics, diagrams, and text according to a script centered on a main idea from one of the two stories that they read together. In addition to posting the video and script on each of their blogs, the students also have to post a making of page that details how each group member’s expectations changed over the course of the project and how the research and sources used impacted the final product.
ENG 101 Meme by McKenna Rose
McKenna has her students complete a three-part blog assignment where students blog about a specific environmental issue. In the first allegory blog, students select a picture or image as an allegory connecting the object to a global environmental issue and describe how that image applies to the situation. Another part of the assignment is to create two memes that invite viewers to think about the same issue in a new or unexpected way. The memes are accompanied by a statement stating the student’s creative process as they selected their picture and text.