Undergraduate Intro level

Undergraduate – Intro level courses/modules

Gender in Magazines Analysis a worksheet for identifying gender representations in lifestyle magazines

decon recon ad assignment an assignment that asks students to deconstruct and reconstruct a print ad based on research into the company or product advertised (similar to ‘culture jamming’ or ‘subvertising’).

facebook autoethnography What happens if we pause and take a step back to think about the significance of how we use this communication platform? What can we learn from and about our own media experiences and behaviours? 

a day in my communication life Designed for an intro level communications course, this worksheet asks student to tally how much time they spend engaging in different kinds of communication activities to teach basic concepts of ‘interpersonal communication’, ‘mediated communication’, ‘mass media’, etc. Works well early in the term to create an atmosphere of sharing and reflection in the class.

Critical Media Profile a major assignment that asks students to construct a critical report analysing a media organisation.

Media through the ages this simple activity has students imagine how messages would have been communicated in different time periods. I use this as an ice breaker for an introduction to media and communications class.

Guess the Dates! History of Newspapers timeline Asking students to memorise dates and time lines only to have them forget moments later doesn’t seem like a good way to teach media history. Rather than meant as a factual quiz, this ‘guess the dates game’ is aimed to get students thinking about the assumptions we make about technological innovation and how distorted our understanding of historical time around communication and media has become. 

TV History_major forces & Television timeline_master Another timeline activity that asks students to select what they think are the most important developments in the history of the television. The aim is to provoke a discussion around how government, corporate, technological and social factors shape the emergence and development of mass media. 

Motion Pictures Timeline Game pieces My favourite timeline game is ‘the human timeline’. For this activity timeline game pieces are handed out to students who stand in a line at the front of the room, holding the pieces toward the rest of the class. Then selected student contestants must rearrange the order of their classmates to try and get the timeline in the correct order. This one is always a crowd pleaser and opens a discussion about how technological developments build on each other, as well as how sometimes technological innovations take a long time to have a social impact. 

Five_Aspects_of_Stereotypes_worksheet This worksheet uses Stuart Hall’s five aspects of stereotypes. I usually pair it with excerpts from Spike Lee films.

Challenging stereotypes worksheet I pair this worksheet with a short popular television program that uses humour to reflect on race, class, gender and ethnic stereotypes. I usually use the Canadian programme Little Mosque on the Prairie. It would also pair well with shows like Modern Family, Ugly Betty or Shameless.   

Discourse worksheet A worksheet to help students understand the basic components of ‘discourse analysis’. I have paired this with print and video materials. 

Ideologies worksheet Similar to the discourse worksheet, this activity is designed to be paired with audio or visual materials to guide students in exploring how ideologies are produced and represented in media texts. 

Narrative worksheet I use this worksheet with a feature length film to help students identify key elements in the narrative structure of film. I pair it with a film that has multiple characters and an interweaving set of plot lines as this makes the significance of understanding how to locate narrative elements sink in more. I have used the films Love Actually and Magnolia.   

Consuming Kids worksheet Companion worksheet for the media education foundation documentary Consuming Kids

Pump Up the Volume worksheet Companion worksheet for the feature film Pump Up the Volume. I use this to teach on talk radio, pirate radio, the FCC and media regulation. Really engages students even though it’s over 20 years old!

Goodnight and Goodluck worksheet Companion worksheet for the feature film Goodnight and Goodluck. I use this to teach about media ownership, media and politics, and media ethics. 

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