This assignment is one of the deliverable options required of students enrolled in the Senior Seminar II capstone course. It is designed to assess student mastery of content in the communication major associated with mass communication, message construction, audience awareness, and production skills and abilities. It also seeks to assess students’ critical thinking skills as they evolve from other courses in the major associated with mass media and communication research.
Background and Context
As outlined in the DQP Specialized Knowledge proficiency, students construct a “summative project, paper, performance or application that draws on current research, scholarship and techniques in the field of study.” Senior Seminar II meets this proficiency by requiring students to conduct research resulting in a scholarly paper about a communication phenomenon or research question of interest to them and related to the student’s communication concentration(s) and department’s core curriculum. In addition to the scholarly paper, students apply the newly gained information to a communication project of interest. In this instance the information must be translated from the research conducted to the making of an audio or video documentary.
As noted in the Communication Fluency section of the DQP, students must construct, “sustained, coherent arguments, narratives or explications of issues, problems or technical issues and processes, in writing and at least one other medium, to general and specific audiences.” The audio/video production assignment meets this proficiency via the development of the former 20-page scholarly paper on a selected topic in Senior Seminar I: Communication Research translated into a production planning template followed by the creation of an audio or video documentary on the topic selected in Senior Seminar II.
The DQP Applied and Collaborative Learning section requires students to “prepare and present a project, paper, exhibit, performance or other appropriate demonstration” that integrates knowledge. The senior project assignment requires communication majors to deliver a formal presentation of their senior project to the department and broader university community in a public setting. This portion of the project requires a 20-minute formal presentation coupled with a 10-minute question and answer session where the student fields inquiries from the faculty and audience members.
Senior Seminar II: Communication Research Applications is the second semester course in a two-semester capstone experience required of all communication majors. Students conduct extensive research on their topic during the first semester of the course (Senior Seminar I: Communication Research) and create an extensive scholarly paper that involves a literature review of the communication phenomenon selected and research on the conventions of the deliverable the student plans to develop the following semester. Senior Seminar II learning outcomes expect students to transfer the knowledge and skills obtained through research and research design in Senior Seminar I into a project that applies what was learned to a real world and/or discipline specific deliverable in the second semester. Consequently the project requires students to apply course concepts, knowledge, practices, and skills developed throughout the communication major to the project and topic of their choice.
Upon completion, the project is submitted to the department for review and formally presented to the communication faculty (for evaluation leading to acceptance, revision, or rejection) and various audience members prior to graduation. Although there are a variety of different projects that students can pursue (e.g., create, conduct, or facilitate a(n) advertising/public relations campaign, audio or video documentary, digital magazine, event, original research paper, training and development workshop on a communication topic, or website, among a number of other possible options), the assignment sample included here involves one of the project types most often selected by students: the audio or video documentary.
Regarding assignment challenges experienced by students, often learners wrestle with how to manage time and projects effectively. Additionally, because the capstone course is a two semester learning experience, it’s frequently difficult for students to see how the first semester of research, using academic sources, is related to the second semester coursework where they will create a living and tangible artifact related to that research. Furthermore students may struggle with various creative components of their audio or video productions ranging from editing challenges to telling the story of the topic investigated in an engaging fashion.
**See attached assignment guidelines, rubric, and syllabus excerpt. Please note that this information relates to audio and video production pieces only. There are different instructions and guidelines for each kind of senior project option (e.g., advertising campaigns, original research papers, or website creations).
Please select an option
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