• All students will vote on a medium and a name for their collaborative project.
• All students will first write journal entries as drafts.
• All students will revise and publish the journal entries in the chosen medium format.
Remember— this is a creative project! Furthermore, this project includes many decisions made by individual students each semester. Be sure to always err on the side of creativity!
Students will be assessed on the following:
1. Collaborative participation in choosing and working with in the voted upon medium.
2. Adequate progress with drafts and published submissions.
3. Content and grammar of the final submissions.
• Introduce the project.
• Have the students brainstorm different types of media using examples from the target culture.
• Collect all ideas across sections and create a ballot (either physical or digital) for the students to vote on the medium.
• Once the medium is decided, have the students brainstorm a name for the project and again vote on a name across all sections.
• Assign the first journal topic and set a due date for the draft.
• *Depending on how much input the instructor wants to have in the creative process, the journal prompts can be more or less detailed.
• Return journal drafts corrected for grammar.
• Discuss how to set up the medium.
• *Refer to the students’ expertise. Depending on what medium is chosen certain students might already know how manipulate the platform.
• Assign a due date for the final draft to be submitted via the platform.
• After the first publication, have each student write a short response to another student from a different section.
• *Have students decide how they would like to respond (i.e. within the medium itself or privately).
• Repeat weeks 2-4 for as many entries as desired/necessary.
Goals of a Collaborative Media Project
1) Collaborative Creativity
First, this creative project focuses on student-centered, collaborative learning that continually values the student’s original input in the target language—no matter how novice they are or “feel” they are. In the end, the students should see their work as contributions to the cultures of the target language.
2) Student Choice
Second, the students choose how they will collaborate creatively. Since this project is designed over the course of a semester, it is imperative for students to voice their specific ideas and to agree on a medium through a vote. Student choice allows students to have an outlet that is not as “forced” as other aspects of the course.
3) Digital Literacy
Third, by publishing /presenting finished products, students are using and bettering their digital literacy skills alongside learning the target language.
4) Connections with Peers
Fourth, making works public goes beyond the immediacy of a grade. However, the reach of the publication can be as wide or narrow as the students’ desire. While structured, established medium like youtube or tumblr might yield a wider public, an individual website could connect the students on an intimate level on a password protected website.
5) Breaking the Semester Boundary
Lastly, in the long run, the hope is to break the boundary of the semester. Ideally, the collaborative media project will encourage meaningful communication in the target language with peers so as to foster a forum for any future projects in the target language. For example, these projects could aid in creating cohort identities to encourage students to major or minor in the language. However, those who cannot continue do not have to “leave” the class entirely. If they wish, students will have the tools to continue to contribute to the forum they had a part in creating, which will hopefully increase their likelihood to do so.
In conclusion, these projects might simply become time capsules outside of any temporary, generic course or university software. Yet, the act of choosing, creating, and working collaboratively with peers should give students a lasting impression that they can engage with the target language, and more importantly, that they are already a part of the target culture.