Module 1 Overview
Visual media plays an important role in conversations today. As David McCandless claims in his TED Talk, “We’re all visualizers now; we’re all demanding a visual aspect to our information.” Much of our world is digitally and visually based, so many voices and perspectives in a conversation will also be visual.
In this discussion you will curate a small collection of visual resources on your topic and discuss the relevance and credibility of these resources.
You should spend approximately 2 hours on this assignment.
1. Research the same topic you began researching in Discussions 1 and 2. Access the Online Library Databases and search for visual sources on your topic. Consider using photographs, charts and graphs, political cartoons, infographics, etc. (Hint: When you search Academic Search Complete, the results page will have a “Related Images” link on the right side of the page.) You may also search Google Images.
2. Search for at least three visuals that communicate a clear perspective on your topic.
3. Think: Consider the resources about visual rhetoric on the Exploration page. How do these images convey their purpose and perspective on the topic? Are they credible voices? Can you find the creator/author of the images? What is the value of each image to your research?
4. Write: In your post, share the links to the images you found with the class (be sure to create a Works Cited entry to give credit to the image’s creator). Write a paragraph for each image summarizing the message you believe the image is communicating and evaluating the credibility of the image as a resource. Finally, discuss how you would (or would not) use these images in your research.
Module 2 Overview
We live in a visually dominated world. So much of the information you gain each day comes to you in a visual format. Some of it is reliable and compelling, and some of it definitely is not! You must learn to analyze visual rhetoric, and also learn to use it wisely, if you want to be able to create effective communication in today’s culture.
In this discussion you will outline the main issues in your topic in a format that balances your text with visual elements. You will create a PowerPoint presentation to share with your peers.
You should spend approximately 3 hours on this assignment.
1. Research: Begin with the research and visuals you compiled in Module 2. Note where you need more information to understand the major issues within this topic, and find, evaluate, and annotate credible resources that help you thoroughly understand the topic. Access the Online Library Databases to find academic sources.
2. Think: What are the main issues within your topic? What are the problems that need solving? What are the issues that people most tend to debate? How can you use or create visual data or visual rhetoric to help your readers understand these issues?
3. Write: Create a PowerPoint presentation of the main issues or ideas of your topic. Create an introductory slide, 5-6 slides to develop your discussion of the main issues, and a Works Cited slide. Each slide should incorporate visual elements (e.g., pictures, graphs, charts, infographics, formatting, etc.) and should balance those visuals with enough text to make meaning. Be sure your visual elements help convey something important about the issues within your topic. Your presentation should give a clear, complete picture of the topic. Need help? Check out this Microsoft resource on basic tasks for creating a PowerPoint presentation.
o Your presentation should not take a side on the issue, but present the topic objectively. You should attempt to stay neutral and fairly represent all sides of the issue.
o You should use MLA citations within the slide to cite sources you use. You may quote or paraphrase as necessary, but be sure to cite your sources. Be sure to cite your visuals just as you would cite any other source.
o Organize your information and slides logically so your reader can follow your presentation.
Module 3 Overview
One of the best ways to gain valuable research is to interview an expert on a given topic. Interviews are excellent resources because you can ask the specific questions you want answers to, and you can follow up and get more information on the answers you find most interesting or confusing. You can’t do that with a printed text!
Who is an expert? An expert is not your friend or relative who has experienced your topic. An expert is someone who works in the field you are researching or who studies and analyzes the topic you are researching. An expert might be a teacher or instructor, a business owner, a doctor/nurse/counselor, a police officer, a lawyer or paralegal, or a published researcher. Asking clear, specific questions of an expert will help you gain valuable perspective on your topic.
You should spend approximately 2 hours on this assignment.
1. Research: Conduct a brief interview with an expert on your topic. Use the resources in your Exploration page to help you prepare your interview. This interview can be in person or via telephone or email. An in-person interview is always most valuable, but is not always feasible. Be sure to contact your expert right away to get your interview time scheduled! Prepare your questions before the interview, but also be ready to go in a different direction if your interview takes an interesting turn. Be sure to take careful notes as you interview. You might want to record it (be sure to get permission first, though).
2. Think: What did you learn from your interview? What interesting perspective did this expert offer that you hadn’t gained from a printed source?
3. Write: In your discussion post, include the name, title, and organization of your expert. Interpret the interview results and write a summary paragraph of the most important aspects. In a second paragraph, evaluate the information you gained from the interview. How has it changed or added to your understanding of the topic?