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Assigning Multimedia-enhanced Presentations

By Dr. Matthew Cook, assistant professor of postcolonial and south Asian studies, History
Courses: Junior-Senior Seminar and South Asia Under British Imperial Rule

Brief explanation of the project

This project integrates in-class PowerPoint presentations with critical written reviews of the courses’ texts to create enhanced presentations. It aims to build on existing course assignments to create multimedia projects. These projects combine audio and visual techniques with critical thinking to identify and explain the cultural and material factors that inform South Asian history, society and culture.

Goal: What did you want to accomplish?

I wanted my students to create an enhanced presentation that demonstrates critical thinking and content knowledge about South Asian history, society and culture.

Outcomes: Were your goals met?

Yes, the goal was met. But as with many first-time assignments, the projects’ quality varied. Some students enjoyed learning new software and allowed adequate time to produce a good project. Others did not, and this showed in the quality of their final projects.

Advice for faculty

Students must turn in multiple drafts of their projects. Requiring multiple drafts provides more opportunities for feedback and leads to higher quality projects. It also provides an opportunity for students to correct technical difficulties, both with assistance from CUTL and the professor.

What tools did you use?

  • Microsoft Photo Story — a free program that animates still images with narration, music, transitions and effects.
  • Microsoft PowerPoint

How did the Center help?

  • Initial consultation on objectives and what technology to use to achieve them
  • In-class training on Microsoft Photo Story
  • Arranged PowerPoint training with ITS
  • Use of the Centers training classroom
  • Ongoing technical support on Photo Story and PowerPoint

Additional information