Week 5

Everything for the final week is due at midnight FRIDAY July 22

The University of Mary Washington’s Digital Knowledge Center provides peer tutoring to all University students on digital projects and assignments. Students can schedule 50 minutes, one-on-one tutorials with a trained peer tutor on any DS106 related projects.  Click Here to set up an appointment.

As a final project for this course, you are asked to produce a story around a character that explores all media forms we’ve investigated this semester: visual, design, audio and video, you are combining all techniques to create one blog post that uses all media.  That may mean it is one piece of media that you create out of all forms of media we talked about or you weave the story with four distinct media pieces that culminate to one grand story. The idea is that you need to create a narrative arc for a character that is played out in the products of all the assignments you have done and woven together with context and writing as a standalone blog post.

Step One: The Character

Typically a story centers on the actions and internal growth of central character. Your first step is to identify the character you wish to focus your project on. You could pick a character from a movie/movie/play, a historical person, an imaginary person, a modern-day figure. Your options are limitless. But start with the character.

And you are open to play with the idea of a character. Can it be an object? How can you make an object have a story?

This is a chance to fabricate a story about the character you choose. This is not a factual report or biography; instead, you’ll be creating a fictional narrative around the subject you choose. You have a license to bend and distort reality.

You then need to develop a narrative arc for this person; what challenge, unexpected event, the unusual journey will you set them out on? Can you put them in an unusual situation or context? What will happen to them in the story? What might be the outcome (“living happily ever after” is not an option!). Reflect back on the ideas you worked on about the shape of a story.

Step Two: Using Assignments to Generate Media

Using the ds106 assignment bank for inspiration, come up with a plan for how to develop a narrative involving the character you chose in Step One. Your plan should include creating at least four media pieces that use at least three forms of the media assignments you worked on in ds106…

For example: 
If you chose Cinderella as your topic in step one, you might decide to produce the following set of media pieces:

  • Visual/Design: A set of posters for the upcoming royal ball
  • Audio: A sound effect story of the sisters getting ready for the ball
  • Visual: A playlist poem of the songs played at the ball that also explores the narrative of the story.
  • Video: A video for golden slippers or Consumer Reports report on the features of Pumpkin Carriages, how they are unreliable and left Cinderella on her own, where she got the idea for a better form of transport turning her into a mega-successful businesswoman.

But look, these are all media true to the story, how can we make a different narrative for Cinderella than the one we all know? That is the story challenge, to go beyond the literal.

Yes, you can use the assignments you have done before. But no, you cannot use media you have done for those assignments; you must create new stuff for this story.

You are creating a media landscape to support your narrative (but not be the narrative alone) built out of the kinds of assignments you’ve been doing all semester. For your project to be substantial, you should aim for the total points of your assignments to be worth 20 – 30 stars. However, we do NOT want to limit you to ONLY those assignments that already exist in the repository. They can serve as inspiration, and you can come up with your pieces, even if they are not explicit, existing assignments.

And hey, if you see a need, it is allowable to create a new assignment for media you might need.

Creating the media pieces is part of the project, how you weave them together and present them in your web site as a complete story is a goal. But all media should serve the arc of the story.

Step Three: Weaving the Story

Produce your project and publish it on as a single post on your blog. It should be a completely self-contained story, with all the media embedded, and sufficient written narrative in the post to connect the pieces. This should not be just a list of links to media, nor a series of media alone. It has to be a story that stands by itself. It should not contain references to the assignments or how it was made (that comes separately).

You might want to review the following example:

Be very thorough, check your links and embeds.

Final Weekly Summary

  1. You are to create tutorials for all media created on a separate page.
  2. Your summary page should be a link to your tutorials and to your final story and reflections on everything you learned this semester.
  3. The final story must be a weave of written storytelling and media storytelling
  4. What you learned, what you would do differently if you had to take the class over, and what was the most exciting project.