Designing Systems of Collaborative Video Essay Composition in Classrooms
Alvey, Tara Lynn
This research examines a teacher’s design of a classroom system of multimedia composition, in the form of collaborative video essays, and students’ responses to the teacher’s design. The teacher designed a project in which students in his 11th grade AP English Language and Composition classes composed both print essays and video essays based on novels they read for the class. One teacher and 49 students from a public high school near a major metropolitan city in the Midwestern United States participated in this study between October 2010 and February 2011. Qualitative analysis of the data allowed for description of the teacher’s design of this system and students’ responses to the teacher’s design. Salient elements of the teacher’s design of the system fell into three categories: design of time, design of the composition process, and design of publication and distribution practices. Student responses to each of these areas of design varied, with students at times adhering to the teacher’s design and at other times pushing back against his design and even redesigning aspects of the system themselves. The teacher’s expectations of the system, including his goals for the assignment and the ways that he valued the video essays, impacted his design of the system. Students’ own goals, as well as their understandings of the teacher’s goals, impacted the ways that they engaged in the system and their composition processes. Implications for classroom practice and future research were identified as part of the discussion of the data.