Infusing Media Networks, part II

Online Class Presentations

There are essentially two approaches to online course presentations. On the one hand one might record presentations given live during class meetings and distribute them. Not only would this provide access for others who could not attend the presentation, but it also offers an opportunity for students to reflect on the presentations and contribute more thoughtful commentary. For example, SUNY Cortland holds an annual undergraduate conference for its students called Scholars' Day. This year, we initiated a pilot project in which presentations were recorded and will be made available to the public through iTunes U. This project extends upon the primary message of Scholars' Day, which is to recognize and celebrate undergraduate research. While the Scholars' Day recordings will not be available until the Summer of 2007, below I have some examples of other presentations that fall into the second approach for class presentations.

This second approach is produced specifically for distribution online as opposed to being recordings of presentations given to live audiences. Unlike individual or group podcasts, these presentations are not part of a series of conversations. Instead they are intended to stand alone. Below I present brief scenes from a few presentations stitched together into a single video. The first part is from a presentation on online dating. The next two pieces are part of a presentation on podcasting.

In examining these pieces, it should be noted that these are not compositions from a video production course but rather modest forays for these students into this medium (though, as one of the students mentioned, some of the students in the course major in New Communication Media). Instead, these samples follow the presentation genre fairly closely and demonstrate a different aesthetic from that which you might find in compositions that look to capitalize more extensively on the technical capacity of video. Obviously, a large reason for this is the students' general inexperience with the technology, but another important reason to consider is the rhetorical context for the project. Our interest, through the course, has been on the "quick and dirty" side of media networks. That is, we have explored what is possible with a limited amount of experience, time, and material resources.