Digital Authorship
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Digital Authorship

Case Study of a Digital Author

Work with a partner to document and analyze the creative work of a digital author. This could be a YouTuber, Instagrammer, TikTokker, or another creative individual who has embraced the identity of a digital author. Analyze the choices they make and discover what aspects of their work are most appreciated by their target audiences.

Working with a partner, you will create a short (under 5 minutes) video that gives insight on this individual’s work by applying the critical questions and key concepts of digital and media literacy. Your purpose is to help a general audience recognize the value of critically analyzing the creative work of digital authors.

DUE: February 28, 2022

Criteria for Evaluation

  1. Working collaboratively, you have developed a video case study of a digital author using critical questions to examine their context, purpose, values, and the choices they make in their creative work.
  2. Your video has a strong thesis statement and you have applied theories, concepts and ideas you are learning in this course. You have generated new questions about the cultural practice of digital authorship. The video is well-organized and professional in quality with strong use of language and imagery.
  3. Each partner has written a brief (500–750 word) reflective essay that describes the creative production experience, along with a Works Cited list to identify all the information sources you used in your writing and research process.
  4. Each team member has posted their video and essay to our class Medium publication. You have tweeted a link to your work using the #EDC534 hashtag.

A Suggested Work Process

Because this project is completed under deadline pressure, you and your partner will need to collaborate intensively but also “divide and conquer” to get the work done. This is a suggested work process to help you visualize the stages of creative production:

SELECT A DIGITAL AUTHOR WHOSE WORK YOU WILL ANALYZE. For this assignment, you work with a partner to identify a digital author who creates and shares their work on YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok. (With the permission of the instructor, you may choose another individual who produces creative work in a different medium.) Because the choice of a digital author and a particular work product (or digital artifact) will shape the content of what you discuss in your video, choose a digital author whose work is interesting and important to both of you, as you will be considering the potential social, cultural, political and economic implications of this person’s creative expression.

SELECT A PARTICULAR WORK TO ANALYZE. It’s a good idea to review several examples of the creative individual’s work in order to understand their identity and to appreciate their growth over time. Then, select one example to examine in detail. In your analysis you must deconstruct and analyze the choices they make and discover what aspects of their work are most appreciated by their target audiences. Use the 5 critical questions of media literacy to get started:

  1. Who is the author and what is the purpose? Who’s the intended audience?
  2. What techniques are used to attract and hold your attention?
  3. What lifestyles, values and points of view are represented?
  4. How might different people interpret this message differently?
  5. What is omitted?

Depending on the content of your digital author, you may consider using other questions for analyzing media messages — click here for NAMLE critical questions.

DEVELOP KEY IDEAS AND WRITE THE VOICE-OVER NARRATION. You and your partner will want to search for relevant information about your creative individual as you develop ideas and information to include in your video case study. Apply at least one relevant concept from the course textbook, Create to Learn. Keep in mind your purpose as you develop your narration. Other advice:

  • Be concise: In writing your script, make sure your word count does not exceed 750 words maximum (for a finished video length of 5 minutes).
  • A strong thesis statement will help you create a video with the maximum impact on the audience
  • As you develop your work, get feedback from people to make sure your work accomplishes its purpose.

SELECT IMAGES TO ACCOMPANY YOUR NARRATION. You will make many choices of how to use language, sound, and images for your project. Select or create images along with brief excerpts from the work of your digital author to illustrate ideas.

SELECT A DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCTION TOOL. Use whatever digital video production tool you like. You will find a short list of suggested free platforms on the Create to Learn Online Design Studio website. Choose from the genres of Vlogs and Screencasts or Video Production. Read the relevant chapters in Create to Learn to better appreciate the medium-specific dimensions of creating in these formats. Select a tool that makes it easy to share a project with a partner. You can learn more about how Adobe Creative Express and WeVideo support asynchronous collaboration.

CREATE AND PRODUCE. Put it all together. Because you will be working under deadline pressure, remember: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.

UPLOAD YOUR COMPLETED VIDEO. Use your Gmail account to access your YouTube account and upload your video there. Choose to set privacy settings to “public” or “unlisted” — this is your choice.

WRITE A REFLECTION ESSAY. This is where the real learning occurs. Consider all the various stages of the whole journey that you and your partner just experienced. Consider these questions to stimulate your writing:

  • What did you like or dislike about this project experience?
  • What did you learn about the digital author whose work you analyzed?
  • What did you learn about your partner?
  • What did you learn about yourself?
  • What new ideas emerged through the creative process?
  • What new questions emerged?

Your reflective writing is a short (500–750 word) essay that briefly describes your creative process, including the struggles and the breakthroughs you experienced. Include a Works Cited pages that documents your research process.

UPLOAD TO MEDIUM. Each partner publishes a blog post with the video and their individually-authored reflective essay. Post your screencast and essay to your Medium page. Learn how to embed your video onto your blog post. Then submit your work to the class publication, Digital Authorship. You can then follow these directions to submit your work for publication.

😎 Pro-Tip: After you complete your LEAP 2 draft and post it to your Medium page, add a feature image to increase the appeal of the page. Please and 5 tags to increase its findability.

DUE: February 28, 2022

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