Project 2

VIDEO ESSAY | How Do You Know? Consuming and Creating Information in the 21st Century


It is commonly acknowledged that critical engagement in 21st century learning, career, and life contexts requires individuals to be digitally literate. The American Library Association’s Digital Literacy Task Force defines digital literacy as “the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, understand, evaluate, create, and communicate digital information, an ability that requires both cognitive and technical skills.” The introductory descriptions to the Common Core English Language Arts Standards recognize that students who are college and career ready “employ technology thoughtfully to enhance their reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language use. They tailor their searches online to acquire useful information efficiently, and they integrate what they learn using technology with what they learn offline. They are familiar with the strengths and limitations of various technological tools and mediums and can select and use those best suited to their communication goals.” Similarly, the white paper Digital and Media Literacy: A Plan of Action explains: “For all aspects of daily life, people today need a constellation of well-developed communication and problem-solving skills” that include five digital and media literacy competencies: accessing, analyzing & evaluating, creating, reflecting, and acting. The white paper notes that these competencies work together in a spiral of empowerment, supporting people’s active participation in lifelong learning through the processes of both consuming and creating messages.”

This project asks you to develop your digital literacy skills by deconstructing the process by which you come to know something, and to learn how to communicate new knowledge digitally. Although much of the conversation surrounding information in the digital age concerns what you know, this project asks you to better understand how you know.

Working in collaborations of three, you will select one “go-to” open information source (e.g., Wikipedia, Google, a news aggregator, Facebook, Twitter) as your object of study. You will formulate research questions, curate a line of inquiry, and produce a short video essay about the source.

  • Explain how sources of information are organized and produced
  • Evaluate the credibility and usefulness of sources of information
  • Develop and curate a research line of inquiry
  • Describe and demonstrate the theory and praxis of deep collaboration and reflective self-evaluation
  • Analyze core elements of rhetorical context
  • Critique works in progress and integrate feedback into subsequent revisions
  • Produce a video essay using iMovie
  • Due dates: please see our working calendar of assignments for project due dates
  • Length: 4-6 minutes
  • Medium: video (iMovie uploaded to YouTube)
  • Attribution: at the end of your video essay, provide
    • Sources Cited: a slide containing a list in MLA format of the information sources you used
    • Images: a slide containing a list that conforms to Creative Commons’ Best Practices for Attribution; recall that any image you use must be licensed for reuse or be in the public domain
  • Evaluation guidelines: I will offer you feedback about your project based on our Project 2 crowdsourced evaluation guidelines and your Project 2 self-evaluation reflection
  • Grading weight: 30% of your course grade

Research across media questions: Please answer the questions as they pertain to each one of the following three categories: a) Wikipedia; b) Social Media (such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or name another); c) YouTube/Video Sharing.

  • Do you ever use this category of site to find information
  • Why do you go to this particular source?
  • What, if any, cues do you look for to evaluate the quality of the information you find in this source?
  • What value might the source have for academic research?

Research brainstorm map : Click HERE to download a blank copy.

Zotero annotated research notes: Building upon the research notes you complete in class, please complete five more research notes in which you reflect upon the following questions about each source:

  • What is the source’s main argument?
  • Is the source a primary or secondary source?
  • Who is the author of the source, and what is his/her authority on the topic?
  • Who is the intended audience of the source?
  • Why is this source relevant to your research?

Crowdsourced evaluation guidelines: [will be designed in class and posted]

Pre-workshop critique: [will be designed and posted after we create our crowdsourced evaluation guidelines]

Self evaluation reflection: Using the Project 2 crowdsourced evaluation guidelines, please reflect upon how successful you were at meeting the criteria set forth in the guidelines. Thoroughly explain how you did or did not meet the criteria so that I may, in turn, respond to your reflection by offering my own feedback of your work. I will assign you a letter grade that  corresponds to both of our assessments of your work. The length should be 300-500 words. Please email me your reflection as a Word document saved as your last name. Your reflection will be kept confidential and will not be shared with your collaboration members.