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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: February ::
Re: Multimedia Project
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0086. Wednesday, 8 February 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Leslie Harris <
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        Date:   Tuesday, Feb 7 11:30:42 EST 1995
        Subj:   Shakespeare Multimedia Project
 
(2)     From:   Edward Gero <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 7 Feb 1995 11:55:14 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0079 Re: Multimedia Project
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Leslie Harris <
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Date:           Tuesday, Feb 7 11:30:42 EST 1995
Subject:        Shakespeare Multimedia Project
 
I thought I'd send this response to the list rather than to Bob Gingher
himself, since his question asked for some clarification.
 
My class was actually a traditional Shakespeare class, at least in terms of its
setting.  I met with a group of about 24 students, synchronously present, in a
classroom (with occasional meetings in a computer lab).  These are traditional
students, coming to college out of high school, most of whom come from rural or
suburban areas with small populations.  The project took up the last two weeks
of the class (during which we met MWF in the computer lab), plus some time
during finals week.
 
When I made a distinction between "independent learners" and "hand-holders," I
was thinking of those who enjoy the kind of project assigned the way I did, in
which I became the "guide on the side."  I gave them the assignment, provided
incremental deadlines (chosen passage due this date, bibliography due this
date, overview due this date, complete "draft" of the hypertext document due
this date, final project due this date), and gave them help sheets (telling
them how to use the hypertext software).  I didn't specify what they needed to
annotate or how deeply to annotate.  I just told them: annotate this passage
the way an editor would (or a future editor would), giving as much detail as
you think is necessary to explicate its significance fully.  They got to choose
what contextual and background information to explore (and to include), based
on their own interests.
 
I've done projects like this before, but in a MOO environment, rather than true
hypertext.  With the Shakespeare Multimedia project and my MOO projects, I
always get students who complain that I didn't give them enough "guidance,"
despite my very clear help sheets (and my continual presence in the lab,
answering their questions).  For those students, giving reference sheets isn't
enough.  They want to be taken through the process step-by-step, and they don't
want to experience the frustration of learning something new.  They want it to
be painless, without set-backs, and they don't like the challenge of learning
things on their own.  Those students don't get the same sense of exhiliration
that independent learners do--of successfully meeting a true challenge.  To me,
the independent learners are those who like the freedom that such an assignment
gives them, want some help from me, but basically want to do the project
themselves.  They tend to have fun with such projects, they explore the
software beyond the information I give them, and do things that are new and
unexpected.
 
As for video clips (your other query), that involved a "video capture" process,
in which you attach a VCR to a properly equipped computer (needing a special
board, I've been told), use video capturing software (I think we used
"Splice"), and create a file with a .avi extension.  You can't capture more
than a few lines of action, though, because such files get *huge* very quickly.
Multimedia ToolBook allows you to play such videos within your hypertext
document (after you learn the write scripting commands).
 
As to your final question (sorry for ending with a personal note), I doubt I'm
the Leslie Harris you went to grad school with.  I received my Ph.D. from U.C.
Berkeley in 1993, and your name doesn't ring a bell with me.  Is my memory
faulty, or is there another Leslie Harris out there also with a Ph.D. in
English, but from a different grad school?
 
Hope this response helped.
 
Leslie Harris
Department of English
Susquehanna University

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(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edward Gero <
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Date:           Tuesday, 7 Feb 1995 11:55:14 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 6.0079 Re: Multimedia Project
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0079 Re: Multimedia Project
 
In response to Dean Boni's post:
 
I, too, have set up a mailing list for my advanced undergraduate Acting
students. In fact, we are the first course in the Division of Dance and Theatre
to require students to have e-mail accounts.  I think it works wonderfully.
The students discuss work from the previous class and share their experiences
as they prepare the next assignments.  I also have them send me their journals
electronically so I can interact with them in a more immediate way with their
artistic and educational process.
 
I have required one on-line chat with me at the midterm break to discuss their
progress in class.  [As many of my students commute or work their way through
college, this is a particularly helpful net to catch those students who would
otherwise be unavailable to meet.  As I balance my schedule between
performances and the classroom, it supports me as well.]
 
Nothing can replace the classroom contact when it comes to this particular
content area, but the augmented discussions, announcements and queries
absolutely enhance classroom participation.  Most of the students have little
or no contact with the technology.  It is a joy to shephard them into the 20th
Century in time for the 21st.
 
Electronically yours,
Edward Gero
Actor, Shakespeare Theatre
Assistant Professor, George Mason University
 

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