Tell Me a Smart Story: On Podcasts, Videos, and Websites as Writing Assignments

It does take longer to evaluate student multimedia projects. I can understand the motive behind letting students do a shorter video or a longer audio project, but I’d rather let the students choose to go for depth or technical expertise, rather than automatically treating 10-15 minutes of video as if it’s the same as 45 minutes of audio. I’m actually in the middle of evaluating student media projects now, and welcome the break.

When it came to designing assignments that would show how well they understood such varied concepts, I decided to go out on a pedagogical limb.

If they preferred, students could write a traditional research paper for their final project. Or they could “write” about their topic in a different way — via a 45-minute podcast, a 10-to-15-minute video, a website, or an interactive, digital essay (on a blog or a Word document) that used embedded videos, photos, and audio to help the reader understand their topics.

To say I was nervous about trying out innovative ways of getting them to write is an understatement. Theresa MacPhail, Chronicle of Higher Education