Common First Week Video

Create a video (60-90 seconds) that answers the question: “What media am I a ‘fan’ of and why am I a ‘fan’ of it?” In answering this question, you will offer a description of the show, video game, music, sport, team, subject area, book, etc. in which you are interested. Make this description engaging and understandable to a general audience with no knowledge of your subject matter. Then, think about and comment on the communicative modes (Written, Oral, Visual, Electronic, and Nonverbal) that stand out in the way you have interacted with your chosen interest. As you look toward the future assignments in this course, conclude your video by anticipating a challenge of convergence culture and fandom using one of the WOVEN modes. What challenges do you expect to face in relation to this particular mode (be specific)? How might you overcome these challenges?

Before class on Thursday (Aug. 23), review this course website thoroughly, particularly the assignments and daily course schedule. In class on Thursday, we’ll discuss “Critical Concept Three: Communication Is Multimodal” in WOVENText Chapter 2 (pp. 37-42). Understanding both of these texts is key to successfully completing this first diagnostic assignment. To create your video, you will use all (or almost all) of the WOVEN modes:

  • Written: You will need to draft a script for your video.
  • Oral: Your video will feature voiceover narration (either on or off screen)
  • Visual.
  • Electronic: Your video will be submitted electronically.
  • Nonverbal: If you appear on screen, you’ll be engaging nonverbal rhetorical strategies (pace, gesture, etc).

Technology: To record your video, use an easily accessible technology: your (or your friend’s or classmate’s) smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer with webcam and mic. You can also use resources available to you on campus:

  • The Presentation Rehearsal Studios in the Clough Undergraduate Learning Center (CULC), in which you can work with a presentation coach and also record yourself and then send a link to the video to yourself (or anybody else). Get to know these studios and use them for this and other projects! They are great spaces to book to watch films with classmates.
  • The Library’s gadget-lending service, which allows you to check out a range of equipment, including laptops, tablets, and cameras

Audience: Imagine your audience to be other first-year students at Georgia Tech and other faculty members. They’re interested in your supported opinions, not your ability to summarize materials with which they are familiar.

Planning: In planning this video, you need to create a script (or at least elaborated talking points). Consider that for most people speaking at a normal conversational rate, a half-page paragraph (in 12-point Times New Roman, double-spaced, with 1” margins) is equivalent to about one-minute of talk, so your 60-90 second video will have a script that’s three-quarters of a page to one double-spaced page long.

Design: An important aspect of any video is its design. Think about how you will not only deliver your argument to your audience but also present it in an engaging manner that uses the affordances of the video genre. If you speak directly to the camera, consider the angle and placement of the visuals, the setting in which you’re speaking, your appearance, your body language, and your eye contact. Or, consider if a slideshow, stop-motion, time-lapse, or other kind of creative style might be better suited to representing your argument. For any video, ensure that your voice is clearly audible and easy to follow. [Avoid vertical filming.]

Rehearsal: Do NOT just wing it. Do not have the first recording be the final take. Rehearse. A LOT. Maybe five or six or even ten times. In your video, you want to appear and sound relaxed, poised, and confident. If you feel you are more likely to achieve this without appearing onscreen, that’s fine; your spoken words do need to a central, audible part of the video, however. It’s worth the time it takes to rehearse.

Submission: Videos are due by 11:50pm EST on Thursday, August 30. Submit your video by uploading it to Canvas or, if the video is too large to upload, by uploading it to a service such as YouTube  (as indicated by your instructor) and submitting the link to Canvas.

Reflection: During the class period after you submit your assignment, you will be asked to reflect on the project. “Reflecting” in this case means that you’ll respond in writing to a set of prompts or questions that ask you to consider how and why you made the choices you made in completing the diagnostic assignment. You’ll then save that reflection and return to it later in the semester as you prepare your final portfolio.
Why is reflection important? Because when you take a step back to critically review the ways you approached a problem and implemented a solution, you learn how to generalize that process—that is, you learn how to apply those critical thinking, communication, and project management skills to other subjects and areas of your life.

Grading: This diagnostic assignment is worth 5% of your total grade and will be assessed using the Writing and Communication Program’s programmatic rubric.

A gif of Draco Malfoy from "Harry Potter The Musical" singing "totally awesome."