Wrap up Blog for COM 210 Fall ’15

When I started this class at the beginning of the semester, I had an idea that this course schedule for COM 210 would require artistic and creative thinking. However, I did not know exactly what to expect. I was a bit concerned because I knew that it would involve a lot of Adobe program knowledge and I do not consider myself a tech-savvy artist. I am used to drawing and doodling, but not anything computer related. At beginning of the course, I wrestled a lot with the tedious Adobe tutorials. As I began to catch on to some of the basics of Adobe, the rest of the programs became easier to me.

Throughout the course, began to enjoy many of the assignments. My personal favorite assignments were the collage and audio assignment. I enjoyed these assignments in particular because they were very different, yet, they were the same in terms of a vehicle for telling a story. The collage was pretty much an empty digital canvas, left for me to be as creative as I desired while the audio assignment was limited to two minutes. But what I learn that more isn’t always better. This translate well because many times you only a small window to capture someone’s attention and to keep it.

I learned a lot about media content: creating a blog site, providing relative content, filming video, recording audio and editing, but most importantly I learned how to tell a story. The lesson did not come without many frustrations and long sleepless nights due to technical difficulties. Especially with Adobe Premiere Pro, which kept crashing or not responding or file being corrupted. Having to go back and check each file one at a time to find out which one was corrupt was like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Many of the solutions to the issues that I had, I was able to find on YouTube or Google. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the assignments and the challenges that they bring.

I could see myself using the Adobe skills from this course in many professions that involve creative media content. Just about every field of work nowadays involve creative media content in one way or another. The ability to tell a story in different mediums can be used in many ways and for many purposes. You can use media content to tell a story using a video collage for a party or to create a social media campaign for cause. I believe the skills that we acquire from COM 210 are invaluable.

Originally, I preferred to have taken this course in person rather than online. However, the fact that my teacher’s aide (TA) Jared Brickman was readily available to assist me when I needed was a tremendous help. Whether it was a simple question or a complex one, I could expect my emailed question to be answered almost immediately by Jared. Thank you Jared.

Last but not least, I really enjoy the peer review groups. I cannot stress enough how difference of a game changer this is. To be able to have different sets of eyes and ears review my work and I review theirs was the best part of this class for me. Not only does peer review group allow for suggestions for improvements, it also provides me a new perspective when reviewing other student’s creative work. I’ve always been an advocate of teamwork, and think this worked well in this online classroom scenario.

The only thing that I would suggest for this course is to allow for a broader range of defining artistic values. I understand that in class, boundaries and rubrics have to be set in order for students to be graded. However, I would argue that art, creative thinking and critical thinking cannot always defined by a rubric. If our instructors, and the academy, are looking for students that can follow instructions within a rubric then, by all means, don’t change anything. On the other hand, if they want to create more successful individuals who can think critically and creatively, then some changes may want to be reconsidered. Nonetheless, I enjoyed COM 210 very much. Thank you to my peer review groups, TA Jared Brickman, Professor Lisa Waananen Jones and Professor Chris Cooney.

Happy Holidays and best wishes for the New Year!

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