What Is True/What Is Fake? Journalism Today

What Is True/What Is Fake? Journalism Today

Aaron Barlow

English/Arts & Sciences

Introduction to Journalism

Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity

Relation of a story by the professor about an encounter with an elephant (though it can be any story relevant to the instructor’s life that can be verified to some degree, at least, through research). The students are then asked to determine what truth there is in the story, if any, and to justify their conclusions. After the first class, the students are asked to search diligently across the internet for proof/dismissal of the professor’s claims. At the end of the discussion, students vote on the truth (or lack of it) of the story. If they ask the professor to tell them if the vote is correct or not, the response should be a shrug and the comment, “The question is, can you trust me?” This generally leaves the students baffled for a moment but, as the course moves on to other considerations, they generally start to understand.

Learning Goals: What do you aim to achieve with this activity?

Students are expected to come away with an understanding of the limits of classroom authority and of research itself.

Timing: At what point in the lesson or semester do you use this activity? How much classroom time do you devote to it? How much out-of-class time is expected?

This exercise is best done early in the semester. It generally takes a full class period plus a couple of homework hours and then about half an hour of the next class.

Logistics: What preparation is needed for this activity? What instructions do you give students? Is the activity low-stakes, high-stakes, or something else?

The professor needs to prepare relation of the story carefully, including within it enough clues for the students to be able to research the claims made. Students need to be taking notes while the professor talks and need to understand the use that will be made of those notes in the homework assignment. Before beginning to tell the tale, the instructor needs to carefully prepare the students.

Assessment: How do you assess this activity? What assessment measures do you use? Do you use a VALUE rubric? If not, how did you develop your rubric? Is your course part of the college-wide general education assessment initiative?

Because of the nature of this activity, which lies outside of assessment structures and can be harmed by them, this is not assessed.

Reflection: How well did this activity work in your classroom? Would you repeat it? Why or why not? What challenges did you encounter, and how did you address them? What, if anything, would you change? What did students seem to enjoy about the activity?

I have been using and developing this exercise for a decade and in a number of different classes and will continue to do so. It helps students understand the differing reactions, in terms of truth value, to different speakers in different positions. Plus, it introduces them to research tasks of a sort they generally have not encountered in other classes.

Additional Information: Please share any additional comments and further documentation of the activity – e.g. assignment instructions, rubrics, examples of student work, etc. These can be links to pages or posts on the OpenLab.

As part of a book I edited, I include the story I use for this exercise: https://www.academia.edu/888435/Elephant_Morning. When I relate it, I tell it differently, making sure to include dates, places and verifiable events as a basis for student research. The structure of the essay itself comes out, in part, from earlier uses of this exercise–but it also contains its own inaccuracies, liberties taken for the sake of the story. Every instructor has a tale or her or his own that can be used similarly.

Please share a helpful link to a pages or post on the OpenLab

Editorial Illustration Part 1 – Project Research

Editorial Illustration Part 1 – Project Research

Sara Woolley Gómez

Communication Design

Illustration 1

Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity

This activity is the introductory assignment of a scaffolded project, in which students create an Editorial Illustration for use to accompany an article in a magazine, printed or online. The project is broken into stages with peer critique and feedback given at each stage, spanning 4 weeks in total.

Part 1 Editorial Illustration Research:

1- Open with a Collaborative Learning Activity:

Rapid Fire Discussion: What do we care about?

There is a sterotype that young people are unaware or unconcerned with social issues and current events.
• Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
• Are there issues or events which you are particularly passionate about?

5 minute Brain Dump:
• In teams, grab a piece of chalk and fill the black board with a brainstorm of every issue you care about.
• If another student’s answer sparks an idea, draw a line to link the ideas.
• There are no wrong answers, but be sure to read before you write! No doubles allowed!

End with a 5 minute Reflection

2- IN-CLASS ASSIGNMENT : Editorial Illustration Research

Research: Find an article from a legitimate news source, online or printed, about a topic which you are passionate about or find particularly interesting, as source material for your editorial illustration. Carefully read and analyze those articles.

Brainstorm: Using the Word Stack method taught in an earlier assignment, students will write down all of the key words they can think of relating to the article. They then build out from those key word forming stacks, and make bridges between any concepts that they find related. For example, by theme, color, shape, etc. This part is entirely personal and represents part of their unique artistic lens.

Write: Students author a blog post on open lab in response to the article. Key stakeholders are identified. Who does this issue matter to and why? Students share the article as well as their brainstorm with their peers.

Discuss: Students prepare a brief presentation of their chosen article and brainstorm.

Presentation: Students present their findings to their peers, showing all related materials through the open lab. 3 minutes per student with an additional 2 minute Q&A.

Learning Goals: What do you aim to achieve with this activity?

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOME
Students discuss / analyze core beliefs and the origins of the core belief.
Analyze content and evaluate evidence
Apply critical thinking skills to make creative inferences
Evaluate different ethical perspectives and concepts
Respect and Use Creativity

Timing: At what point in the lesson or semester do you use this activity? How much classroom time do you devote to it? How much out-of-class time is expected?

This activity is the introductory assignment of a 4 part scaffolded project, Editorial Illustration. We begin this month long project midway through the semester. It builds upon knowledge gained from two preceding projects, such as illustration professional practices, the revision process, technical skills, and concept development techniques. It also uses a place based learning experience at the New York Society of Illustrators annual show, as a springboard for the assignment.

This activity, project research is an in class activity and purposely designed so to allow opportunity for collaborative learning. It will take the full class session (3 hours) to complete. Students are expected to continue the assignment outside of class during the next three parts of the assignment leading to the final illustration and work process presentation.

Logistics: What preparation is needed for this activity? What instructions do you give students? Is the activity low-stakes, high-stakes, or something else?

This activity does not require a great deal of preparation. As previously noted, the art form of Editorial Illustration is previously introduced through a place based learning experience at the New York Society of Illustrators. Students are not asked to come in with any concept of what they would like to work on. Instead they are to identify issues the care passionately about through collaborative learning with their peers. This also allows them to recognize and discuss multiple perspectives. Then they are to inform their opinions through thorough research. Then finally to present the issue to the class, expressing their views on it, and showing their research and an accompanying brainstorm.

This is a low stakes activity. It in an of itself is not graded, however it contributes to the process development of a high stakes project.

Students are given the following evaluation criteria:

Overall quality of your presentation to the class.
Clarity while explaining the topic you’ve chosen and it's significance.
Quality and depth of the Brainstorm created based on the topic.

• Identify the key stakeholders in the issue.
• Describe your perspective on the issue.
• Describe how different ethical perspectives might be applied.
• Explain your brainstorm, and share any creative insights or inferences it may have sparked.

Assessment: How do you assess this activity? What assessment measures do you use? Do you use a VALUE rubric? If not, how did you develop your rubric? Is your course part of the college-wide general education assessment initiative?

This activity uses a VALUE rubric to access the following learning outcomes:

Self Reflect and Identify personal values and ethics
Analyze content and evaluate evidence
Apply critical thinking skills to make creative inferences
Discern multiple perspectives

In addition I access the following outcomes using the same 4 tiered rating system:

Respect and Use of Creativity.
Overall quality and professionalism of presentation.

Reflection: How well did this activity work in your classroom? Would you repeat it? Why or why not? What challenges did you encounter, and how did you address them? What, if anything, would you change? What did students seem to enjoy about the activity?

This activity description represents a revision of a current assignment in order to improve upon it. Currently students are coming into class after having researched and chosen a topic on their own.

This new structured in class version allows students to learn collaboratively, and to discern multiple perspectives through evaluating the work of their peers.

Students in the current version of the assignment seem to greatly enjoy presenting the issue and their views on it as well as creative work to their peers.

One challenge I encountered was identifying the difference between a legitimate or false news source. At first I dealt with this on an individual basis, but once it had come up for discussion a second time I stopped the class to discuss the difference as a group, leading them to come up with a set of parameters.

In the future I'd structure in the same discussion and provide some better examples.

Additional Information: Please share any additional comments and further documentation of the activity – e.g. assignment instructions, rubrics, examples of student work, etc. These can be links to pages or posts on the OpenLab.

Assignment Instructions:

Editorial Illustration (4 part project)

Overall Project Description:

Create an Editorial Illustration for use to accompany an article in a magazine, printed or online. This project is broken into stages with peer critique and critical feedback given at each stage, spanning 4 weeks in total.

The final illustration must be created using a limited palate of black, white, and one other color and should be made using a combination of traditional drawing / inking skills and digital coloring. Final art should be made to fit the real magazine’s specs. (Approx 9” x12”)

Final work will be judged on the clarity and cleverness of the overall concept, thoughtful utilization of composition, the use of value, and of course the skillfulness of overall technique.
_______________________________________________________

Part 1 of 4

Rapid Fire Discussion: What do we care about?

There is a sterotype that young people are unaware or unconcerned with social issues and current events.
• Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
• Are there issues or events which you are particularly passionate about?

5 minute Brain Dump:
• In teams, grab a piece of chalk and fill the black board with a brainstorm of every issue you care about.
• If another student’s answer sparks an idea, draw a line to link the ideas.
• There are no wrong answers, but be sure to read before you write! No doubles allowed!

IN-CLASS ASSIGNMENT : Editorial Illustration Research

Research: Find an article from a legitimate news source, online or printed, about a topic which you are passionate about or find particularly interesting, as source material for your editorial illustration. Carefully read and analyze those articles.

Brainstorm: Using the Word Stack method we’ve used for earlier assignments, write down all of the key words you can think of related to the article. Be sure to include the actions – what is happening, not just who, what, or where.

Write: A blog post on open lab in response to the article. Identify the key stakeholders. Who does this matter to and why? Highlight particular areas of interest to you. Share the article as well as your brainstorm and any images you may consider using in the future as reference material.

Discuss: Prepare a brief presentation of your chosen article and brainstorm.

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOME
Students discuss / analyze core beliefs and the origins of the core belief.
Analyze content and evaluate evidence
Apply critical thinking skills to make creative inferences
Evaluate different ethical perspectives and concepts
Respect and Use Creativity

PURPOSE
Identify personal values and understand how passion to fuels your work.
Listen to the values and consider the perspectives of others.
Understand ethical perspectives.

EVALUATION CRITERIA
Overall quality of your presentation to the class.
Clarity while explaining the topic you’ve chosen and it's significance.
Quality and depth of the Brainstorm created based on the topic.

• Identify the key stakeholders in the issue.
• Describe your perspective on the issue.
• Describe how different ethical perspectives might be applied.
• Explain your brainstorm, and share any creative insights or inferences it may have sparked.

Please share a helpful link to a pages or post on the OpenLab

Editorial Illustration – Process Book Examples

The ethical issue of biomedical engineering

The ethical issue of biomedical engineering

Chen Xu

Computer Engineering Technology

BMET1101

Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity

In BMET1101, Introduction to Biomedical Engineering Technology, different subareas of biomedical engineering are introduced. Discuss the new development of prosthetic arm, watch the video of mind controlled robotic arm. Ask students to research about different aspects, such as biomechanics, neural engineering, and biomedical instrumentation, medical imaging. Then move to cyborg (short for "cybernetic organism") in the novel and movies, which is a being with both organic and biomechatronic body parts, such as iron man, spider man, and Darth Vader. Discuss the ethical issues, such as will the artificial devices may affect personal identity and dignity, can human still be held morally responsible for their behavior when their brain has been engineered by others to function in certain way?

Learning Goals: What do you aim to achieve with this activity?

Inspire students to explore the development of technology and critically think about the limit of technology.

Timing: At what point in the lesson or semester do you use this activity? How much classroom time do you devote to it? How much out-of-class time is expected?

At the end of semester. Maybe discuss some topics in one lecture, then let students do more research, revisit the topics again after two or three weeks.

Logistics: What preparation is needed for this activity? What instructions do you give students? Is the activity low-stakes, high-stakes, or something else?

Show some videos, and introduce the background. It’s an open-ended question, write or present as a project.

Assessment: How do you assess this activity? What assessment measures do you use? Do you use a VALUE rubric? If not, how did you develop your rubric? Is your course part of the college-wide general education assessment initiative?

Breadth of knowledge, lifelong learning, inquiry and analysis, integrate learning, ethics and value.

Reflection: How well did this activity work in your classroom? Would you repeat it? Why or why not? What challenges did you encounter, and how did you address them? What, if anything, would you change? What did students seem to enjoy about the activity?

Still in course design stage.

Additional Information: Please share any additional comments and further documentation of the activity – e.g. assignment instructions, rubrics, examples of student work, etc. These can be links to pages or posts on the OpenLab.

Please share a helpful link to a pages or post on the OpenLab

Word on the Street; Neighborhood typography

Word on the Street; Neighborhood typography

Patricia Childers

COMD

Typographic Design 3

Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity

This low-stakes activity introduces students to ethical reasoning while they investigate typographical messaging in the public arena.

Students explore typography as a narrative tool through typographic signage in their neighborhood. Deconstructing ideologies embedded in typographic representation provides information needed to discuss their beliefs about inherent messaging, and its significance to various shareholders.

Students begin the activity by posting photos of neighborhood typography with a statement about their significance on our class blog. They also comment on other postings.

This project culminates with each student presenting their findings to the class, explaining the connotations of their image, stating their position on how it functions within its context and any issues affecting them or other stakeholders. The class discusses alternative suggestions and points-of-view. Insight from this discussion helps the presenter develop a concept for a book based her viewpoint of the neighborhood.

This discussion is step one of a scaffolded process that results in each student designing a 20-page book. Through a series of typographic assignments students create material, organize, and produce a product that visually communicates their concept. Weekly critiques fine-tune material and concept assumptions.

For this activity I will address the ethical reasoning segment of the assignment, which takes place during class discussions at the beginning and end of the semester.

Learning Goals: What do you aim to achieve with this activity?

By examining the connotations of the students' examples, we can determine if their signage represent a unique vernacular specific to their neighborhood or a ubiquitous non-place specific representation. Most neighborhoods contain a combination of representation in neighborhood with loose demarcations of borders. Discussion explores the definition of neighborhood, implications of change with its benefits and challenges, students' personal experiences and beliefs on the effect of change, and the consequences to other stakeholders. Is there a right or wrong way to make change? What are the assumptions and implications of gentrification?

Terminology: denotation, connotation, vernacular, gentrification

Students experience typography as a way to confer meaning and establish context.

Students gain competency in observing and assessing the language of typography and develop the ability to present conclusions about typographic signification and its implications.

This specific activity develops
an awareness of local design traditions and enhances the appreciation of a diverse mix of influences
an awareness of the semantic representation of typographic form in the public sphere
an awareness of the effect of design decisions on multiple stakeholders
Students' awareness of the semantic representation of typographic form in the public sphere and the implications of their design decisions accentuates the need for ethical responsibilities to multiple stakeholders.
In the classroom
students respond to varied mindsets, respect conflicting points of view, empathize with the presenter and understand different cultural perspectives.

In the brainstorming process
students learn how to professionally ask probing “why” and “how” questions to drive deeper thinking to arrive at solutions.

By reflecting on content
students reinforce and internalize insights gained and the connection between their work and the ethical issues discussed.

Timing: At what point in the lesson or semester do you use this activity? How much classroom time do you devote to it? How much out-of-class time is expected?

The activity is given on the first day of the semester to prepare student for an assignment that requires design from a specific point-of-view. Students are expected to photograph during their daily activity. In class discussion is an hour followed by self-assessment using the Ethical Values Rubric
At the end of the semester students reflect on the process followed by another assessment with questions asking students to reflect upon what has changed.

Logistics: What preparation is needed for this activity? What instructions do you give students? Is the activity low-stakes, high-stakes, or something else?

Ethical design refers to work that conveys a strong, beneficial message, promotes a worthy cause and encompasses social responsibility and public interest. As there is no formal class introduction to this subject, analysis through the deconstruction of existing "public" design provides a natural introduction

In this low-stakes activity students examine connotative messaging and its implication in preparation for future assignments.

Students use a basic camera and post to the class blog. To introduce the assignment, I provide a handout, explain the assignment, answer questions, and post the assignment on the class website. A lesson plan is provided at the end of this report.
Class presentations and discussions begin with a series of prompts, a review of terminology, potential ethical issues, and opposing viewpoints of potential stakeholders. Throughout the discussion prompts and potential issues are reintroduced if needed to spur discussion.

Assessment: How do you assess this activity? What assessment measures do you use? Do you use a VALUE rubric? If not, how did you develop your rubric? Is your course part of the college-wide general education assessment initiative?

I used the Ethical Reasoning Value rubric to determine questions and establish a framework of expectations for both class discussions. Discussions take place at the beginning and end of the semester.
After each discussion students self-access using the Ethical Reasoning Value Rubric. The second assessment asks student's to reflect on their assumptions of the first class and described how they have changed.

This process provides students the opportunity to reflect upon their experiences and to see their progress. It provides me with a vehicle for assessment of the effectiveness of the assignment and insight to changes that will improve the activity in future classes.

I will assess the overall success of this activity using the Ethical Reasoning Value rubric Benchmark-Capstone evaluation.
Ethical Self-Awareness
Understanding Different Ethical Perspectives/Concepts
Ethical Issue Recognition
Application of Ethical Perspectives/Concepts
Evaluation of Different Ethical Perspectives/Concepts

Reflection: How well did this activity work in your classroom? Would you repeat it? Why or why not? What challenges did you encounter, and how did you address them? What, if anything, would you change? What did students seem to enjoy about the activity?

This assignment provided an opportunity to introduce socio-cultural implications of typography in a low-key manner. Student engagement led to one of the most thoughtful discussions of the semester.

There were several unexpected consequences.
Using the camera to document work seemed alleviate some of the usual "critique" anxiety students can experience after laboring over a project. The reflective aspect of the discussion increased student engagement—and bonding. And, possibly because the students were not presenting their own design work and were less sensitized, participation in critiques was more fluid. Students openly engaged with one another without looking to me for approval. A few students found that although they lived in the same neighborhoods their experiences differed based on the amount of time they had lived there. They drew upon their individual histories in the area to compare past and current vernacular and convey very different individual perspectives.
By the end of the discussion students had a more nuanced understanding of the power of symbolic representation and the inherent assumptions of and consequences to stakeholders. A few students freely admitted apathy to change in the larger social and cultural environment. However, within a few weeks, students developed the unique perspective and understanding of details needed to complete future assignments.

I will repeat this activity for many reasons. Describing the proliferation of cafés on two blocks of Bed Stuy or the clutter of fast food signage in Puerto Rico revealed core beliefs. Through this brief activity, students who were aware of their positions, now had the knowledge to describe, analyze, and explain their context. As social predicaments become more onerous it is vitally important to guide our future designers to continue questioning ethical implications and recognize the implications of their work.

In the future I will increase student participation on the blog by having students answer questions each week. Adding categories to the comments section will allow us to can posts by subject matter. For example, students will be asked to respond to one of the quotes below:

“All paradises, all utopias are designed by who is not there, by the people who are not allowed in.” Toni Morrison, from a conversation with Elizabeth Farnsworth, PBS News, http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/entertainment-jan-june98-morrison_3-9/

“Our small choices as creators matter in powerful but sometimes subtle ways” Diógenes Brito, designer: Slack, from an article on Medium https://medium.com/@uxdiogenes/just-a-brown-hand-313db35230c5

Additional Information: Please share any additional comments and further documentation of the activity – e.g. assignment instructions, rubrics, examples of student work, etc. These can be links to pages or posts on the OpenLab.

This project was assigned to students in the second-year of their graphic design studies. At this point, their studies incorporate more than formal aspects of design, they experience design as a decision-making discipline. A "design thinking," human-centered, approach to problem solving values empathy with users.

Our neighborhoods, our homes as a reflection our humanity, provide a natural space for empathic inquiry. Encouraging our students to begin questioning ethical implications at this primal level is one step in the process of enabling them to confidently voice their opinions and intelligently take action.

Please share a helpful link to a pages or post on the OpenLab

Assignments