Week 16: Finals Week

Almost there.... (Photo by Dru Bloomfield via Flickr)
Almost there…. (Photo by Dru Bloomfield via Flickr)

Well, this is it — the very last week of the semester, and the conclusion of COM210. I hope you’ve learned skills and principles that you’ll be able to use in the future, and gained insight about the design process behind the different forms of media you encounter every day.

This week’s focus is all about finishing up the class by submitting any remaining assignments and getting in touch with us about any questions. All assignments must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, December 15th for any credit (there will be no exceptions beyond this point).

Week 16 Checklist

❑ Write and submit your Wrap-Up Blog Post by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday
❑ Complete your course evaluation by Friday
❑ Earn 5 points of extra credit by doing the COM210 Feedback Survey (the link was sent out in your weekly email)

Week 15: Video Story Wrap-up!

We’re almost done with the semester, and this week we wrap up Unit 4 with peer feedback and the final version of your Video Story. There is no final exam for this course, so after this week there is just one last blogging assignment to reflect on the semester as a whole.

As you revise your Video Story, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Who do you imagine watching your video? What is its purpose?
  • What makes your video unique and interesting to watch?
  • Does your project make use of the video medium well by using both audio and visual elements?
  • Have you made use of different techniques from the tutorials (or beyond) to show your editing skills?
  • Are any materials that you didn’t create yourself clearly cited with permission?

Week 15 To-do List

❑ Complete the Video Story Feedback assignment by Tuesday
❑ Complete the Final Video Story assignment by Friday
❑ Earn your Unit 4 Participation credit by Friday

Week 14: Starting the Video Story

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving Break! We’re now in the final weeks of the semester with only one project left to go. This week you’ll be developing your Draft Video Story, with quite a bit of freedom to choose a format and style that fits your course topic well.

You’ll also be reading about web accessibility and user experience, which is a good time to revisit the design of your WordPress blog and make adjustments. Your blog should showcase your projects effectively, and now you’ve had time to explore your blog and make thoughtful design choices.

As you work on your story, a few recommendations to keep in mind about strong video stories:

  • Make use of both audio and visuals. This is a unique strength of the video medium, and the most compelling videos effectively use both to heighten the experience.
  • Edit with a purpose. Remember the design principles from way back at the beginning of the semester? Make design choices deliberately with your communication goals in mind. For example, don’t just throw in a random sampling of Premiere transitions; think about how those transitions affect the way viewers perceive your story.
  • Respect your viewer. Watching a full video is asking a lot from your audience. Guide your viewer through the story, but don’t make things longer than necessary. Think critically about what your viewer wants to see or know next. Remember that many TV ads tell a complete story in just 30 seconds!

Week 14 To-do List

❑ Go through the Week 14 reading
❑ Complete the Raw Footage & Storyboard assignment by Tuesday
❑ Complete the Draft Video Story by Friday
❑ Take the Unit 4 Quiz by Friday

Week 13: Diving into Premiere

After our short break from assignments last week, it’s now time to start Adobe Premiere Pro, the fourth and final software program we’ll be using for COM210. For this week’s tutorials, you’ll be shooting some video footage and editing it together in Premiere, then exploring some more advanced techniques and transitions with provided materials. Note that you’ll need to shoot some video footage for the first tutorial, so don’t wait for the last minute!

A while ago, a clip about snakes and one baby iguana from the show “Planet Earth II” went viral on social media — it’s well worth the 2 minutes if you haven’t seen it, and also consider how the variety of shots, the sequences, the music and other editing decisions make this into such a dramatic little story.

There is also a behind-the-scenes 360 video showing how the team filmed this scene, too.

Week 13 To-Do List

❑ Go through the Week 13 readings listed on the Course Schedule
❑ Complete the Premiere Tutorials by Friday at 11:59 p.m.

Week 12: The Final Unit!

Your assignment this week: Watch that documentary you’ve been meaning to see. Check out the viral videos you’ve been resisting. Binge on that TV show your friend recommended.

This week we begin Unit 4: Adobe Premiere and Video Storytelling with a brief break from COM210 assignments. There are readings to do, but no deadlines this week.

However, get a head start by paying close attention to the video content you encounter. What is the format? How does it catch your attention? What type of shots are used? And does it make use of both audio and visuals to present the story? Thinking critically about how videos are constructed will help as you begin your own video projects this unit.

Week 12 Checklist

❑ Go through the readings for Week 12
❑ Look into the extra credit opportunities if you haven’t already
❑ Check your grades in Blackboard and speak with your TA about any questions or concerns

That’s it!