Discussing chapter 5 of Halbritter (and let’s skip Ball for now)

First off, what not to talk about: let’s skip the essays by Cheryl Ball that I had originally assigned here, at least for now.  As I look back at them again (these were also assigned in 516), I am kind of realizing that they are more about multimedia as webtexts than they are about what we’re talking about. Certainly that’s an analogy and I think these are both good essays, but the connection isn’t quite there for our purposes and we have enough to read and do as it is.

Here’s where we’ll talk about chapter 5 of Halbritter’s Mics, Cameras, Symbolic Action. It’s a nice piece to read with the KDMC “Video Techniques” tutorial because Bump does the work at connecting this to writing (especially at the beginning of the chapter) and also brings it back to some of the practicalities of working with cameras. More after the break.

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Discussing Morain and Swarts, “YouTutorial: A Framework for Assessing Instructional Online Video”

Greetings from Alabama! As I mentioned last week, I’m on the road this week during our hybrid/online time, and I’m posting this now with the Gulf of Mexico just outside the window. Someone told me there was snow up north.

Anyway, this is where we’ll start talking about Morain and Swarts, YouTutorial: A Framework for Assessing Instructional Online Video.” As much as anything else, I think it’s also a framework/directive for how to create good online instructional video. Two basic observations to get folks started:

  • While I think the methodology here is thorough and useful, I personally get a little bogged down in the numbers and stuff. I might have to go back to this later and study it in a little more detail. But what I really like about this is the detailed articulation of what I would describe as both a “grammar” and a “rhetoric” of good instructional video. The detail here is very useful.
  • A lot of the criteria that Morain and Swarts are talking about circle around “production values” in different ways, a point that came up early in the term (recall our critiques of Dan Anderson’s video?) and that I think is kind of a reoccurring theme for me this term.

Oh, and it’s worth checking out the video they discuss as a “good example” in relationship to their rubric, which is linked in the article:


Discussing Rickerts and Salvo

This is where we’ll talk about Rickert and Salvo,  ”The Distributed Gesamptkunstwerk: Sound, Worlding, and New Media Culture” and the accompanying/supplementing web site piece,  “…And They Had Pro Tools.” I’m not completely sure they “fit” here or not and I realize both are kind of long, but I think the basic point here they are making does connect with the work we’re doing.  Just three quick observations to get you started:

  • This notion of “Gesamtkunstwerk,” a “world” of art or a “total” artwork, does seem to very much fit with the theories of multimedia we’ve been talking about. One of the things that new technologies allow us to do is to get out from behind the limitations of “writing” with just words. But we’ve talked about that lots already.
  • Even this this isn’t really that old (2006), it is interesting to me how some of this does feel a little dated already. Maybe it’s because of the observations they’re making about GarageBand and similar software?
  • Some of the charts– especially the one on page 311– are pretty funky.

The web site does offer some interesting support to the print essay and it also functions itself as an example of “multimedia.”  Though one of the problems with all of these kinds of things is the amount of “link rot” you have to endure: that is, a lot of the links they have just don’t exist anymore.

Discussing Selfe’s “The Movement of Air, the Breath of Meaning”

This is where we’ll talk about Cindy Selfe’s “The Movement of Air, the Breathing of Meaning: Aurality and Multimodal Composing.” Students who were in 516 last winter with me will recall we read this essay then– here’s a link to my intro and our conversation about it— and I blogged about it on my own site here when it came out in 2009. In my original blog post, I wonder some about the disciplinary/academic borders about things like teaching “writing” versus teaching “speech,” not to mention teaching visual rhetoric or computer programming or what-have-you.

So I don’t have a lot more to say that I haven’t already said. Though I will note one thing about how this essay connects specifically to what we’re doing in talking about this stuff in a professional writing class: in recounting the history of “aurality” in composition classes, Selfe points out that one of the reasons why the teaching of speech and writing became separate from each other in the 19th century (in the U.S.) was because of the importance of writing instruction with the rise of the industry, science, and international trade and the importance of preparing “professionals” to do what we mean nowadays by technical/professional writing (see page 620-21 or so about this). What’s interesting though is it seems to me that multimedia and related technologies have once again made some of these “non words in a row” literacy skills important in professional settings again.

About the KDMC advice on “standups and voice-overs”

There’s not a whole lot to really discuss with the KDMC tutorial “Standups and Voice-Overs.” But I’ll kick it off by suggesting two things:

  • “Common sense” is rarely either, and while a lot of this might just seem obvious (especially to those of you with some kind of performing experience), I think there’s some good bits of wisdom here, especially for those of us who don’t have this kind of performance experience.
  • What sorts of other advice/tips to people who have more experience with these things beyond what we’ve already read with Halbritter and here?