A Production Framework

There are any number of ways to bring digital literacy and/or digital creativity (DL/DC) into the classroom, and there are a variety of materials out there that can help guide instructors on everything from assignment redesign to in-class instruction. But one of the more helpful things I have found for students and instructors alike is to situate the activity as part of a larger framework or orientation (i.e., provide a meta-framework). For when we bring “the digital” into a class in a piecemeal fashion–as a kind of one-off activity–the elements can feel disconnected or the process can feel novel, rather than integral to the course, its goals, and the ways in which we communicate meaning, understanding, and knowledge in a given discipline. To combat this, I encourage instructors to think about the process overall and to help students see each component, activity, exercise, or assignment as part of a unified orientation. There are, of course, a multitude of metaphors or architectures that one can leverage for this purpose, but one of my favorites (particularly if having students work with video in any capacity) is the production framework. Here, I introduce an assignment, or unit, or even the entire course as involving three stages (Pre-Production, Production, and Post-Production) and then I attempt to demonstrate the significance of each stage and its interconnectedness to the others so that students get a feel for the overall structure and flow before we begin. In this regard, I try to get students to understand that the better they control elements in the pre-production stage, the more affordances they will have in the post-production stage. I also signpost different activities, processes, practices, and considerations within the different units of this framework.

To help readers better understand this particular approach, I have unpacked these elements in a bit more detail in an Adobe Spark page., which can be found here: https://spark.adobe.com/page/3oyyiFTsnyWbT/

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