Cinema and Communication: WID Project Progress Report W2018

Our project, Critical Thinking and Writing in New and Interactive Media, proposed the creation of an on-line ‘tool-box’ of pedagogical resources for teachers and students involved in new and interactive media production.  After a very productive and stimulating term, we’re very close to realizing our goal.

What exactly are new / interactive / immersive media forms?  Many will be familiar with the projections of Jenny Holzer, or have experienced the multifaceted MAC exhibition on the life and work of Leonard Cohen.  These are excellent illustrations of new and interactive media at work.

The Cin-Com WID project began by carving out the media terrain we would survey, establishing research questions to guide the development of learning activities, and sketching the outlines for a glossary of concepts and terms useful for visitors to the site. We decided to focus on interactive and installation/immersive modes of documentary production, with the orienting questions aimed at understanding the differences between new versus traditional media and the particularities of interactive and immersive media experiences.

At the next stage, we set up a blog as an intermediate platform and began to gather our resources. Over the course of the term we collected, reviewed and annotated relevant teaching, journalistic and theoretical materials, and also built an on-line archive of links to documentation of several, recent new media projects (in installation, interactive, immersive modes) to be used as case studies. At the same time we drew designs for the architecture of the toolbox, using Wix, a free, on-line website builder.

As the term draws to a close, we are completing two scaffolded assignments for courses focused on interactive storytelling and installation/immersive forms of documentary production, along with an additional, stand-alone assignment aimed at critically evaluating new media works. We are also putting the finishing touches on the site we’ve designed.

The next stages will involve completing the glossary and resource annotation, polishing the assignments, editing content and publishing the site. Keep an eye out for our new/immersive media storytelling site in the fall..

Myriam Rafla and Cheryl Simon