Technology in Teaching Showcase

Collaborative Technology-Based Projects at Hamilton College

Aspen Magazine Project Project Overview

Description and Resources


Course Name:
1968: Pop Culture in the Age of Sex, Drugs & Rock-n-Roll

Course Description:
1968 was a year ripe with the possibility for change. What led up to this rebellious period in the United States and the world? What have been the consequences and the legacy of 1968? This course considered these and other questions by looking at the Civil Rights, anti-War, and student movements, and the sexual revolution. The students investigated primary and secondary materials from media, popular culture (TV, film and rock 'n roll), art and literature, as well as political and psychological theory.

Project Description:
The project involved the production of a collection of multimedia Objects, inspired by the short-lived Aspen “The multimedia magazine in a box” (a total of only 10 issues sporadically published between 1965 and 1971). The completed projects consist of about ten Objects (each accompanied by a rationale/explication), a Manifesto (written and audio) that explains the theme of the Container, a Table of Contents, and the Container itself (either created or acquired).

» Professor Franklin Sciacca

The students in the course used a wide range of software including PowerPoint, PhotoShop, iTunes, GarageBand, iMovie, iPhoto, and iDVD. Reference Librarian, Lynn Mayo, provided online resources, reference instruction and 1-on-1 research assistance. Instructional Technologist, Krista Siniscarco, provided several technology instruction sessions as well as design consultation. A teaching assistant who worked for instructional technology, Rachael Arnold, was enrolled in the course and assisted with the Thursday lab sessions. The students in the course also receive on-going assistance was Lab Consultants and Multimedia Interns while working in the Multimedia Presentation Center (MPC).
A complete list of the topics covered, and the objects that students were asked to create is included in the packaged resource download.

Packaged Resources:
» Download

Completed Student Projects

Andy Warhol Time Capsule - Created Spring, 2006

Close Reading - Created Spring, 2006

The Medium is the Message - Created Spring, 2006

Open Ended Project - Created Spring, 2006

Goals, Process and Outcomes

Project Goals:
Students gain a greater understanding of topics by manipulating information in various formats and mediums.

Learning Objectives:
Students will demonstrate their understanding of course information and various topics through their effective manipulation of information and production of multimedia objects. Students will also demonstrate their literacy of different mediums and how the medium can enhance or change the message that they are communicating.

Project Process:
The students attended a series of workshops/working labs, on Thursday afternoon that were built into the course meeting schedule, where students received technology instruction related to the topic and project designated for that week. The faculty member, instructional technologist and often a reference librarian were present at these sessions. For the first seven weeks, the faculty member and technologist modeled the objects that the students were assigned. The students had the opportunity to work on the remaining three Objects employing original formats and in collaboration with other students. Outside of class time the students worked in the MPC and often had 1-on-1 appointments with professional staff and interns to complete projects.

Learning Outcomes:
Each week the class explored a different topic (ie the Civil Rights movement, pop art, women's liberation, television, etc.). The students created "objects" related to the topic but also tying in to the overall theme of the larger project. Such themes included binary opposition, counter-culture, Agent Orange, women and the Civil Rights movement, and the student movements.