University Libraries

Media Assignment Support

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Media Outreach & Learning Spaces Librarian
Scott Spicer: Media & Outreach Librarian Scott Spicer MLIS, M.A.
341 Walter Library
Phone: 612.626.0629
Email: spic0016@umn.edu
http://z.umn.edu/scottspicer


Library Media Services provides comprehensive course support for the integration of media assignments into teaching and on-demand support of student media projects through the SMART Learning Commons. For media assignment consultation contact Scott Spicer.

Note: This page is directed at instructors interested in developing media assignments. If you are a student doing a media project for class please visit our student support pages. There you will find information on both in person and online resources for your media projects!


Media Assignment Development Support

Though media projects generally offer rich learning experiences for students and faculty, determining how to integrate a student media assignment into your teaching requires several important considerations. Library Media Services (often in concert with campus support partners) will work with you to refine your assignment. For further guidance, the Penn State Media Commons offers an excellent guide on developing media assignment instructional strategies. We focus on:

  • articulating media assignment learning outcomes
  • guidance on assignment structure and grading rubrics
  • guidance on technical considerations for student media production and composition
  • providing an overview of and facilitating additional campus media support services
  • guidance on copyright/fair use, academic integrity in media, online publishing, and permissions
  • facilitating subject librarian support for better quality student research in media projects

Media Assignment Classroom Outreach

Depending on the context of the media project, the Media Outreach Librarian will often make a class visit to present on topics related to media production and available support resources on campus. This presentation is generally customized to specified project needs but may include topics such as effective media composition and technique, media production process, backing up project files, technical hardware/software use, using mixed media, format considerations, copyright/fair use, and citing sources in media projects.

We have found that the understanding of benefits and support needs for student media is often a long-term iterative process. In keeping with our philosophy of tailoring support to the project needs, we will sometimes also:

  • offer a custom hands-on workshop to address a weakness observed in prior projects
  • provide co-instruction with the subject librarian to improve use of research
  • design a support document to reinforce key project information

Direct Student Media Production Support

Assignment development and student production awareness is just part of the equation. Once they begin work on their projects, students often require production support assistance.

The Media Outreach Librarian also provides broad oversight of the media services offered at the SMART Learning Commons (SLC) in Walter and Wilson Libraries, and works closely with the SMART Site Manager and Media Consultant to coordinate support between the classroom and the SLC. SMART media production services includes:


Note: All services are free to students, staff, or faculty. Priority may go to students during times of heavy demand. Large media project support for faculty may be limited, see media partners such as OIT Video Solutions or college level programs (e.g., CEHD Academic Technology Services) for larger professional media project support.

Project Debrief and Assessment

While we place a premium on the value of the production process, one of the most rewarding aspects of media support is viewing the final project. Viewing the media and perhaps, discussing afterwards provides us an opportunity to consider the student experience and how well the project met stated learning objectives.

We want to know: What worked? What didn't? What subject knowledge/skill sets did the students gain from this experience? Where might future support be needed?

After the projects are complete we will often come to a public class screening (for video) or presentation (for poster/PowerPoint) and may request samples of student work to share with other educators. We might also request Media Services/SMART performance feedback from the instructor through an email survey and/or debrief meeting to discuss the project so that we can continue to refine the assignment collaboratively as well as our media support services.

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