Creating a Digital Media Assignment
1. Set Goals
Like any assignment design process, developing the goals and objectives is a solid place to start. Here are some questions to ask yourself for a digital media assignment:
- Goals/Objectives - What is the overall goal you have for the students, and what learning objectives for your course does this assignment work to meet?
- Audience - Who will be the audience for this assignment (peers, instructor, community, other)?
- Requirements - What will be my requirements and expectations of the students during the process and in the completed assignment product? How will the use of digital media enhance or alter the assignment?
- In other words, what will they learn as they complete each part of the assignment and what will they be able to do once the assignment is complete?
2. Choose a Medium
Once you have thought about what the students will learn and how this fits into your course, then you can think about how the impact of the medium of the assignment's product. Why select a video, an audio recording, a blog, or any other of the many different possibilities? Here are two key questions to ask yourself as you make this decision:
- What opportunities does this medium create?
- What challenges does this medium present?
Requirements and Expectations
Once you have selected the medium of the assignment product, you should consider what requirements and expectations this medium may add or change. What do you want the students' videos to look like? How complex do you want their infographics to be? In what ways do you want them to incorporate outside research and/or other media?
Assignment Prompt Templates
Support for you and your students
Important Note on Copyright
Copyright and licensing are vastly different for most online multimedia.
As you select the medium for the assignment, also consider what support is available from the University or from other sources. Here are several important University sources:
- The Digital Media Suite - Part of the Delphi Center with support for your assignment design and students' assignment completion
- The University Libraries - Assistance for researching and locating additional materials (images, video, audio, etc.)
- The University Writing Center - Support for students during the initial outlining and design stage of digital media assignments
- The Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning
3. Decide how to assess
A digital media assignment is often more complex and less familiar to most students (and faculty). In addition, the process for creating most digital media products is similar, but not the same, as the creative process for writing or other academic works. These differences matter in how you assess your students' work and how you facilitate the creation process.
- Use scaffold assignments - Assign due dates for not only the final product, but outlines, storyboards, and other steps in the process.
- Click here to view the creative process for a 1) video assignment, 2) an audio assignment, or 3) an infographic assigment.
- Applying Bloom's Taxonomy for scaffold assignments
- Read about scaffolding new media assignments (go to page 11) - from U of Michigan Sweetland Center for Writing
- Consider rubrics - Assess the ideas and communication primarily, but do not ignore the technology.
- Click here for examples of rubrics that assess both the student's ideas and their use of the technologies.
- Other Digital media rubrics from the University of Wisconsin-Stout
4. DIY: Do It Yourself
This may be the most important part of the planning process. By completing the assignment yourself, you will learn about new opportunities for learning, unforeseen pitfalls, and the general feeling of the creation process. For you to experience the difficulty of using a new piece of software, the time involved in creating the product, or just the emotions and thoughts involved will benefit you as you present this process to your students.
Contact for more assistance
Jason Zahrndt, Digital Media Consultant
e: email@example.com p:502.852.3787
Resources from other institutions
How to design digital media assignments - University of Notre Dame
Designing multimedia assignments - Mike Heller, Harvard University
So you want to assign a multimedia project? - Graduate Multimedia Fellows, Harvard University