Standing Peachtree and Indigenous New Media

Common First Week Video

Assignment Summary

In this assignment, you will create a 60-90 second video to introduce yourself, identify the course you are taking, and articulate a challenge you anticipate facing in the coming semester of ENGL 1101/1102.

IMPORTANT: If you completed a similar video in a previous class (ENGL 1101), you should create a new video that speaks to the class you are now in and the specific challenges you see in this course. Why? Because this is a different class, with different expectations and different projects; plus, you’ve grown as a writer and communicator since completing that previous video—what you know about the modes, what you see as challenges, and how you might overcome those challenges have changed.

Further, submitting assignments that have been submitted to another class constitutes a special form of plagiarism called self-plagiarism—and so constitutes a violation of Georgia Tech’s Honor Code. Videos that appear to have been submitted in a previous course may receive a zero for this assignment and/or may be referred to the Office of Student Integrity.

Content of the Common First Week Video


Review the syllabus for the class. Read “Critical Concept Three: Communication Is Multimodal” in WOVENText.


Create a video (60-90 seconds).

Begin by introducing yourself (name, major, hometown) and identifying your course (teacher, theme) in 10-15 seconds.

Your video should articulate a challenge relating to one of the modes—written, oral, visual, electronic, or nonverbal communication—that you’ll be engaging with in class projects this semester. What challenges do you expect to face in relation to this particular mode (use specific examples from your past experience)? How might you overcome these challenges (again using examples from your past experience)? You might also use this assignment as an opportunity to set goals for yourself in terms of a specific mode of communication or in terms of development of a specific skill.


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.


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:

  1. 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):
  2. The Library’s gadget-lending service, which allows you to check out a range of equipment, including laptops, tablets, and cameras:

Rhetorical Situation for the Common First Week Video


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.


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 one-half to three-fourths of a double-spaced page long.


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.

Submission of the Common First Week Video


Upload it to Canvas or, if the video is too large, upload it to YouTube or Vimeo (as indicated by your instructor) and submit the link to Canvas.


During the class period after you submit your assignment, your instructor will ask you 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 for the Common First Week Assignment

This diagnostic assignment is worth X% (between 1% and 5% of the total grade, as determined by the instructor) and will be assessed using the Writing and Communication Program’s programmatic rubric.