This course is designed to facilitate an integration of the print, film and digital materials under consideration with experiences and ideas that come out of students’ most immediate personal and professional contexts. While I (Prof. Hess) will provide substantive class presentations that direct our explorations and structure our collaboration, it is up to each student to prepare appropriately for our work together, and to engage in respectful and constructive dialogue. Towards that end, class participation is vital, and requires not only physical presence, but diligent and thoughtful preparation. If you have any learning challenges that require accommodation or intervention, I invite you to sit down with me early in the term so that we can take appropriate steps to support your learning.

The following assignments are required for successful completion of the course. If any of these assignments pose insurmountable challenges, please contact me as soon as you discern the problem so that we can arrange for appropriate alternatives.

1. Create a Facebook page and participate in Facebook

Each student will create a Facebook page (or continue to explore the one they already have). If you’d like to do so, you may create a page or group for an organization or church, rather than work on your own personal page. You should learn how to write status updates, figure out what it means to “like” something, and establish your own privacy settings. A minimum requirement is to publish one status update a week, and upload at least one photo other than your profile picture. If you can figure out how to get your blog entries to post automatically to facebook, they will count as your status updates.

2. Write a blog and read other blogs

Each student will keep a weblog for the duration of the course, and read every other student’s blog from the course (preferably using an RSS reader of some sort). There are two primary goals for this blog. First, to keep a running record of your engagement with the readings and other content of the course; and second, to keep your eyes and ears open for “glimpses of grace” in the wider world. For the first element, you should write at least one entry a week that comments on the readings. In weeks when there is no required reading, then you should be commenting on the presentations made in class. For the second element, you can blog about whatever you’d like that evokes “glimpses of grace,” but you will be evaluated based on whether any (or how many) of your posts attract comments. While your colleagues from the class are of course free to comment on your posts, you should consider that they have their own posts to write, and try to write in a way or on topics that invite comments from other people. At a minimum you should write two posts a week that contain at least one hyperlink each.

3. Create a storyboard still image presentation

This is an assignment that will be used to build toward the final assignment. Most people will use a program like Keynote or PowerPoint to do this, but you’re welcome to use whatever software you prefer. The goal is to practice telling a story about or for the MN Without Poverty project using images and narrative/text by creating a storyboard for your final video. These presentations should be between 3 and 7 minutes long. Part of the learning goal is to experiment with combining images and narration/text, and to learn what impact such juxtaposition has on telling a story. This piece will be due in class on April 7th.

4. Create one short multi-media piece

This piece may be done in a variety of ways, but its final form must be submitted in video format (.mov files are preferred, but .mp4 is also acceptable). More details will be forthcoming in class, but this video will tell a story about or for the Minnesota Without Poverty project, and be due in class on May 5th.