Introduction to Multimedia Scholarship: Student Handbook

The University of Southern California has available online “Introduction to Multimedia Scholarship”. It is

the Companion Handbook for MDA 140, offered in conjunction with the Multimedia in the Core and Multimedia Across the College Programs

The handbook explains the rational behind the course

The Multimedia in the Core program was formally established in April 2006 after a mandate from the University’s Provost Max Nikias in which he announced his desire to offer every student at USC the opportunity to gain skills in multimedia production. The reason behind this mandate is the idea that to be literate in the 21st century requires not only effective skills in reading and writing, but also the ability to use and interpret media effectively. The Multimedia Across the College program expands the opportunities for USC students to gain exposure to multimedia, offering labs in conjunction of a full array of College courses.

It includes five foundational literacies

  1. Digital literacy refers to the ability to understand the basic aspects of multimedia tools and software, and covers everything from the protocols for compression, back-up and file naming to definitions of terms (frame rate, dpi, etc.) and basic equipment usage.
  2. Network literacy refers to the ability to use networked software for intelligent participation in online communities.
  3. Design literacy refers to the ability to use appropriate design principles for multimedia authoring in a specific context, and the ability to control the relationship between form and content.
  4. Argumentation focuses on the ability to develop, express and defend a persuasive thesis using media, as well as the ability to use evidence and complex thinking in constructing an argument.
  5. Research literacy refers to the ability to perform effective, critical online research; knowledge of academically appropriate protocols for selection, citation and attribution of source materials; and knowledge of fair use and copyright issues.

and ten supplemental literacies

  1. Presentation: The ability to understand and articulate basic strategies for effective presentation using multimedia, as well as how to disseminate these materials to a wide audience.
  2. Visual literacy: The abilities to convey information visually and to understand and control systems of visual signification.
  3. Sonic literacy: The ability to communicate effectively with sound.
  4. Interpretation: The ability to use multimedia to enhance a critical interpretation, and the ability to identify and articulate the cultural, historical and ideological contexts of a media object.
  5. Annotation: Understanding strategies for critical annotation of text, images and media.
  6. Collaboration: The ability to work effectively in a group authoring environment, as well as the ability to lead a team project.
  7. Narrative literacy: Knowledge of basic components and genres of narrative, and the ability to deploy elements of narrative in a critical context.
  8. Pedagogical literacy: Understanding strategies for creating an effective tool for teaching.
  9. Interactivity: The ability to communicate effectively in a non-linear, interactive context, and the ability to design an effective interface or navigational structure.
  10. Code literacy: The ability to understand the basics of how code operates, and the ability to write or use basic code.

2 Responses to “Introduction to Multimedia Scholarship: Student Handbook”

  1. Five foundational literacies | Faculty Technology Fellows Says:

    [...] The University of Southern California created an Introduction to Multimedia Scholarship. It identifies five foundational literacies: [...]

  2. Tweets that mention Introduction to Multimedia Scholarship: Student Handbook « Libraries and Transliteracy -- Topsy.com Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bobbi Newman, Fabrizio Tinti. Fabrizio Tinti said: [Infolit] Support de cours présentant 5 littératies: numérique, en réseau, de conception, d'argumentation, de recherche http://bit.ly/apanYu [...]


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