I'm always thinking about critical making as framework for discovery, presentation, and learning. The "making" part is hard and the "critical" part is hard. The approach has benefits and drawbacks. Students remember what they do. No question on that point. I've conducted a survey with our teaching and learning center and it is clear the process create greater engagement. It also creates greater frustration. So, the benefits of the process, many of which are realized years after the process, must be weighed against the course review that will take place that semester. The problem there is real. Still, that is a "big picture" problem.
A "little" big problem is skills! I'm work in an interdisciplinary space with a heavy emphasis on "public" objects. My own process reflect skill building and tool use designed to allow me to have strong comfort with the process I'm asking students to undertake. Audio podcasts are one space that has gotten a lot of attention. The broader explosion of podcasts in the wider media highlight the ability of almost anyone to create content. The best content must accomplish the same goal we aim for in a written paper. Having done podcasts as final projects instead of written paper, I know the benefit of that approach. Of course, the historical documentary is powerful genre most students has some exposure to prior to entering class. Now, the question becomes what can they achieve in the confine of a semester long course? I've started to work on my own short video narratives to explore these issues. My Cuba Dispatch series offered a chance to explore my recent trip to Cuba as a member of the Rollins Internationalization Program faculty trip. Yes, those video were about more than tourism. By this time, I would hope you know that I'm up to something o_0'
Wheels within Wheels