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Students Produce Critical Media Analysis 
as Synchronized Narration
Using Jing in Introductory Undergraduate Courses

Purpose and Context
Help faculty to enable each undergraduate student in an introductory media/communications course to:
Develop skills in using a structured approach for critical analysis of media.  
Improve skills for producing recordings of high-quality narrated media, especially for synchronizing narration with an  already available media excerpt. 

Students arrive in the course with quite varied familiarity and competence for planning, producing narrated media and for using relevant online tools.

Advice (Briefest Summary)  
Assign students to make structured critical analyses of brief media excerpts;  and then to use Jing (simple, free, online tool) to produce "screencasts" that synchronize their critical comments with the media excerpt.   Require each student to record his/her narration while delivering it orally to the full class.  Both the instructor and the classmates provide immediate constructive feedback.  This live recording session helps many students to produce higher quality narration - more vibrant tones, simpler and clearer language.

In what other kinds of courses could this strategy and advice be useful?  What other kinds of assignments?

Strategy and Recommended Steps

[Based on the work of <OPTIONAL:  citation, thanks, links>]

Each student is required to produce a "screencast" in which the student presents  observations, analysis, and conclusions about a brief media excerpt.  The student records his/her comments as audio narration synchronized with the selected media excerpt.  The screencast permits the instructor and others to hear the student's analysis while watching/listening to the relevant parts of the media excerpt (with the usual options for pausing, "rewinding," etc.).

Recommended Steps
  • Introduce concepts and resources (readings, guidelines, templates, examples, etc.) for structured critical analysis of media
  • Provide guidelines (requirements?) for planning and preparation of narration scripts and for providing constructive criticism to classmates' work of this kind.  
  • Introduce students to Jing (free, simple online tool for "screen capture" and recording voice-over narration) in computer lab environment.  Give a preparatory or practice assignment to pairs or small groups of students:  pair individual students who are less familiar with tools and planning processes with students who are already more comfortable and competent.   
  • Schedule live-audience recording sessions in which each student "performs" his/her narration in front of the full class while making the audio recording.  Classmates provide immediate feedback about the narration which the student is then able to use to improve the final recorded narration.   Instructor also provides feedback and ensures that peer feedback is constructive.   This live recording session helps many students to produce higher quality narration - more vibrant tones, simpler and clearer language.
NOTE:   Better to concentrate the process in one class meeting?  Or... Could the live-audience recording sessions be scheduled in subgroups if the enrollment is too large?  Spread over several class meetings? 

Sample Screencast - Produced by Temple University student about excerpt from WordGirl


Additional Help
with First Steps

Contact Person
Founder, Media Education Lab
Temple University, School of Communications and Theater
Philadelphia PA 
OPTIONAL:  Other contact info for 1 or 2 colleagues who might be helpful and willing and/or link to organization e.g., Teaching/Learning Center, IT Dept, etc.  

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For faculty and other academic professionals:  Link to Bookmark (PDF):

OPTIONAL:  Version of paper bookmark intended for direct distribution to students in a college or university course:  Link to bookmark (PDF):  <>

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Small Group Options
Guidelines & suggested small group activities

More Recommendations, Resources

More Recommendations, Resources

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