Instructional Resources for Faculty – Intro and Composition Exercise

Yesterday I was at the gym, and I was noticing what awful shape the gym’s locker room was in (seriously 24 Hour Fitness in Kirkland, you are the worst), and for some reason this reflection on the awful state of the gym decor made me reflect on how I was doing professionally.  I am now finishing the 4th year of my time at LWIT and for the most part it has been a really good experience.  My major concern however, has been getting better instructional resources in the classroom.

I have spent these past 4 years really trying to shape my curriculum into something that is both engaging to students and at the same time reflective of the type of projects that are being done in the real-world environment.  However, I’m feeling at this point that it all seems a little bit stale.  I want my students to do more work, and I want them to do work that is more important to them.  I’ve felt that textbooks are falling behind in terms of providing current, engaging and relevant information, so for the most part I have shied away from them.  I’ve looked for open educational resources (OERs), but those are non-existent for a field as small of video production.  So I thought to myself in that dingy 24 Hour Fitness locker-room (Really, so so sick), why don’t I start sharing my own materials right here and now.  Then hopefully other instructors will have a desire to share them with me and we can get something started.  So here we go, post #1 in what I hope to be one of many — sharing the resources that I am using in my classroom.

Now while I’m sure that a blog is probably not the best place to put these materials.  My coding skills aren’t up to par of making something more and this seems a little more personal anyway. However, if anyone has ideas a better place to host and organize this stuff, I am all ears.

So let’s start with one of the classes that I am currently teaching, Video Production.

We spend the first few weeks of Video Production talking about composition.  While I don’t think composition is necessarily the most important thing in terms of storytelling, it is important in terms of creating images that are really powerful.   I think the bad composition can be really distracting to an audience, therefore, I want to make sure that students have a good idea of what makes composition good.

Here is the lecture that I give as part of the composition.  I like to show a lot of videos as part of my lecture – trying to draw from as many resources that I can that are current and relevant to the type of work that the student is doing:

Video Production: Composition Lecture

View more presentations from Rob Nyland.

Here is the associated in-class exercise with this unit:

Week 2 Exercise Composition

The in-class exercise is usually good.  It is an opportunity for students to get out and shoot as well as have an opportunity to think about creating shots that would go along a particular theme.  For this project, I allow students to be silly (something that I don’t always do) and I have gotten some pretty funny results.  This quarter I had students shoot some b-roll for a documentary on depression.  Priceless stuff.

Well there it goes.  Hopefully I will keep these coming as I have a lot of resources to share.  Feel free to let me know if you have any resources of your own that think would go well with this assignment.