Benefits

New media assignments may help students become better scientists

Experience in new media may help produce a better scientist and itt will almost certainly help in making scientists better communicators.
Science students may not need to be expert filmmakers or accomplished bloggers when they finish their degree but familiarity with new media will aid them in the workplace. Creating media may even be linked to more traditional forms of problem-based learning, for instance the use of new media may be good at illustrating the different roles and learning styles of students, some being better at investigation and others at explanation.

Graduate attributes are improved by using new media

By addressing key graduate attributes such as written and oral skills, teamwork, ethics, and critical thinking and by providing practice in the design, management & critique of new media such as webs & wikis, blogs, video and podcasts, student employability will be increased. Science will also be portrayed in the media in an engaging and motivating way.

Benefits of creating new media are listed below including:



Benefits Benefits of Blogging Assignments

  • Time: blogging does not take up much time, after the intial set up of the blog. This is especially true if the student are blogging as a team.
  • Builds understanding of the subject: a blogging activity asks students to find ways to explain and communicate topical and challenging ideas to their peers and invites their feedback.
  • Tailored to group work: a blogging activity can allow students to work in a group. Students can use their strengths and connections to the benefit of the group.
  • Engaging format: as all students will read blogs (if not now, then in the future), this activity helps them become familiar with this new media format. It moves students beyond the traditional ‘academic writing’ format and helps students with structuring their ideas.
  • Improves communication skills: a blogging assignment can involve students in identifying and analysing their audience, writing, editing and giving and receiving feedback, depending on how far the assignment takes these issues.



BenefitsBenefits of Podcasting Assignments

  • Simple: students only need to focus on presenting and recording an audio track, which is simpler than shooting and editing video or (generally) designing a website
  • Builds understanding of the subject: a podcasting activity asks students to find ways to explain and communicate challenging ideas to their peers — it turns them into teachers.
  • Tailored to group work: a podcasting activity can allow students in a group to take on different roles (researcher, presenter, sound checker, producer), or to share these tasks. Students can use their strengths and connections to the benefit of the group.
  • Engaging format: as all students will have listened to radio and most (all?) will have listened to a podcast, audio productions are a recognisable traditional or new media format. It moves students beyond the traditional ‘academic writing’ format, and even allows them to act, to be a media star.
  • Story-telling format: focusses students on their story’s beginning, middle and end, improves their understanding of structuring their ideas.
  • Improves communication skills: a podcasting assignment can involve students in identifying and analysing their audience, writing, editing, presenting, and giving and receiving feedback, depending on how far the assignment takes these issues.


Benefits
Benefits
Benefits of video assignments

  • Engaging format: as all students will have watched movies and television. It moves students beyond the traditional ‘academic writing’ format, and even allows them to be a media star.
  • Story-telling format: focuses students on their story’s beginning, middle and end, improves their understanding of structuring their ideas.
  • Builds understanding of the subject: a video activity asks students to find ways to explain and communicate challenging ideas to their peers — it turns them into teachers.
  • Tailored to group work: a video activity can allow students in a group to take on different roles (researcher, presenter, producer, editor), or to share these tasks. Students can use their strengths and connections to the benefit of the group.
  • Improves communication skills: a video assignment can involve students in identifying and analysing their audience, writing, editing, presenting, and giving and receiving feedback, depending on how far the assignment takes these issues.


Benefits

Benefits of Web/Wiki Assignments

  • Familiarity: students have all accessed websites before and are generally familiar with their layout, links etc
  • Builds understanding of the subject: a web activity allows student to present the maximum amount of information on a topic. It also enables students to select and edit appropriate information for their intended audience.
  • Tailored to group work: a web/wiki design activity can allow students in a group to coordinate or share tasks. Students can use their strengths and connections to the benefit of the group.
  • Enhance learning: web-based activities are a recognisable new media format. It moves students beyond the traditional ‘academic writing’ format.
  • Structured format: focusses students on structuring and presenting their ideas. May be built on by other students iin the future.
  • Improves communication skills: a web-based assignment can involve students in identifying and analysing their audience, writing, editing, giving and receiving feedback, depending on how far the assignment takes these issues.



Of course there are also challenges of new media assignments. Click here to read about these.