Monday, April 29, 2013

Showing Off: Portfolios and Rationales

Students will compile complete their work for Intro to Digital Literacies I by compiling their work in a "digital portfolio," complete with "rationales" for their projects.

Photo from


The Portfolio will include examples of:
  1. Rhetorical Analysis of a Digital Media artifact
  2. Design Analysis of a Digital or Print artifact
  3. Original Digital Photography composition
  4. Digital Print Design project
  5. Digital Presentation slide design
  6. Blog Design (visual and interactive elements)


Each example will be accompanied by a written explanation of the sample, a description of the production process, and a discussion of all considerations that went into the design. The rationale is the opportunity for the student to explain their learning to thei blog audience, which may include faculty, family, colleagues and potential employers.


The Portfolio will be delivered via the student's blog - either as blog entries OR as a separate page on the blog. Entries may be labeled Portfolio Entry #1, Portfolio Entry #2, etc. and will include images, links, screen caps, video, etc. needed for the examples, with the written rationale accompanying the examples.

The portfolio will be shared with colleagues during the final exam period, and will be available to the student for research, reference, and other use after the class ends.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Fair Use and Copyrighted Materials

Students will explore the issues of copyright and legal use of copyrighted materials in connection with Section 107 of the  U.S. Copyright Code, which reads, in part:

Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair.
  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work
 While students will use, for the majority of their work, images that are in the public domain, or that are licensed under a Creative Commons license, they may, from time to time, find it is necessary to use a copyrighted image in their educational multimodal compositions. In these instances, students are expected to write and attach an explanation in keeping with the "Fair Use" section of the copyright law.

They can find more info at Wikipedia, or at the US Copyright site.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

More PowerPoint Design Tips

If you haven't visited Garth Reynolds' Presentation Zen blog, then it is time for you to do so.

Reynolds' blog offers a plethora of insightful advice to help you make your presentations more engaging, effective, and awesomer. For example, look at how he encourages a fresh look at a tired  slide in this entry:

Visit his website for more tutorials here:
You can (and should) download a .pdf of his handout for "How to Design & Deliver Presentations Like a Pro."  ALSO - note that we have copies of reynolds' books in our library at Limestone - check them out! (Literally, check them out.)

It was through a Presentation Zen blog entry that I first ran across this great video on "The Art of Storyboarding," which illustrates the power of planning your presentation, whether it be a movie, slide show, or event.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Fixing the "PowerPoint Problem" - Part II: The Slide Design

Let's start re-imagining how to do slides - without the influence of templates and common practices.

Assertion-Evidence Slide Design:

SlideShare for ideas:

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Fixing the "PowerPoint Problem" - Part 1: Presentation

PowerPoint can be dreadful. In the hands of the wrong person (which is most of the people who use PowerPoint) it can drive audience members to a point near screaming at the top of their lungs while trashing the meeting room. But the problem is not in the program. The problem is in the designers and users.

Students will address the "PowerPoint" problem in a two-pronged attack: 1) Thinking creatively about presentation design, and 2) Doing better slide design. In the first session, students will explore an innovative approach to presentation called Pecha Kucha. They will review articles and examples in the sites below - and will work toward story-boarding a creative presentation using this genre.

  1. Get to the PowerPoint (Wired magazine)
  2. Pecha Kucha and the Art of Liberating Constraints (Presentation Zen)
  3. All Talk (Time Magazine)
  4. A Primer on Pecha Kucha (The Bamboo Project) 

Students will explore these resources and write a brief reflection on each, discussing the origins of Pecha Kucha, its uses in various settings, its advantages, tips, etc. They will then look at examples of Pecha Kucha in action around the world: - and close-by: