Media Kron Project Update

The home page for the U.S. Broadcast Journalism class.

The home page for the U.S. Broadcast Journalism class.

This fall I’ve been working with Mark Williams, Associate Professor of Film & Media Studies, to implement Media Kron (TMKP) in his course History of U.S. Broadcast & Electronic Journalism.

The learning goals for the students in the course were to:

  • Research and analyze history of broadcast journalism
  • Synthesize historical, cultural, and technological factors influential to production of broadcast news
  • Produce an original video news project based on themes, events, and figures studied in class

Preparation

Although the platform presented an array of exciting options for presenting content, one of the biggest obstacles to building the course site was to first digitize a large number of audio and video files from Mark’s personal research collection. We transferred and encoded over 30 LP records and hundreds of audio files from CDs, plus dozens of video files. Without the help of both a graduate student assistant and one of the media center staff, this task would have been impossible to complete.

Presentation

Due to time constraints and the vast amount of information that Mark had collected, publishing and organizing the content was also a challenge. While photos and text documents are natively hosted in Media Kron, video and audio files must be hosted elsewhere. We did not want to publicly publish these files, so they were uploaded to an internal media server, and then we had to create individual pointer files to each item, another time-consuming process.

All this publication prep left little time for thinking about the extra features of the Media Kron platform, such as making best use of the timeline, tagging, and map features.

Class Implementation

At the beginning of the term I gave the students an overview of Media Kron and showed them how to add and tag items in the collection. They were then asked to contribute to the class collection by locating, citing and including their own items related to the weekly topics. This was a good basis for class participation and further engagement, however it would have worked better if more specific guidelines in terms of quantity and/or frequency of contributions had been made at the outset. At the end of the class I found that only a couple of students had fully engaged with the tool and the request for participation.

Next Steps

This fall I presented our experience at the TMKP Fall Event at Boston College. During the Winter term I will work with our second pilot class, Introduction to Hispanic Studies I, taught by Professor Noelia Cirnigliaro.

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