In 2007, Hamilton College, Colgate University, Juniata College1 and St. Lawrence University received an Instructional Innovation Fund grant from NITLE to explore the potential of moving images to form interdisciplinary connections on liberal arts campuses. This report contains a summary of grant-related activities, case studies of a variety of multimodal assignments, reflections and recommendations from faculty, and a wealth of online resources developed to support media scholarship across the liberal arts curriculum. The collective experiences of faculty, students, instructional technologists, and librarians are synthesized to develop a framework used to analyze critically the value of media-intensive assignments to pedagogy. We explored the impacts on faculty time, student engagement, and institutional resources (personnel and equipment). The relevance of these issues to our peers at other liberal arts colleges, and across higher education in general, is discussed.

Project Goals 

  • The goals of our project as stated in the grant proposal were to:
  • Explore methods of connecting disciplines through pedagogical approaches that enhance or sustain instruction through multimodal assignments.
  • Research and share current expertise in teaching and learning with multimodal assignments
  • Develop models that connect critical and creative learning through interdisciplinary multimodal assignments
  • Develop methods to evaluate a variety of multimodal assignments with standards similar to those for written and oral communication
  • Identify resources to sustain diversity of multimodal assignment models on liberal arts campuses. Based on the needs identified from interactions during this collaborative project, this may take the form of digital asset management strategies for assignment files; a feasibility study for (not actual development of) a consortially shared film clip database, programming database, or student project showcase

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