Sunday, July 5, 2009

And the Classroom Flickrs

For this activity, I finally cracked open the text I’ll be using for one of my new classes this fall, JRM 131 Media and Society (a critical thinking course). Lucky for me, I chose a really cool text: Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture (by Marita Sturkin and Lisa Cartwright, Oxford University Press, 2009), and this class is inspiring me to (potentially!) incorporate a plethora of web 2.0 activities in my assessments 

To elaborate, in the introduction to the text, the authors note that the meanings that we associate with particular visual images depend largely on our previous experiences and associations (very Psy 101). As they note, “Our visual experiences do not take place in isolation; they are enriched by memories and images from many different aspects of our lives.”

So one thought for an assignment after our first Meet the Class activity is to select one photo for the class to ponder (say, a roller coaster, like this
) and ask them to tell us a one-paragraph “story” about their associations with roller coasters, to post on our class Wiki (or will it be a Ning site, Todd? Lol). In psychology, this type of assignment is known as a “projection test,” which is highly subjective in its interpretation, but the basic idea is that you’ll have insight into a person’s personality (“core conflicts?”) by the stories they tell in relation to ambiguous source material.

Another assignment might be asking them to provide a Flickr photo that sums up their current state of mind about… could be anything, returning to school? Being stressed? About learning new technology as part of their assignment?


  1. I love this assignment. It's the same when students make their free-associative videos, so much comes out.

  2. Have you tried embedding flickr images or slides in your blog?