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Title: Breaking it down, building it up: A research exercise for first-year media studies students
Contributor(s): Potter, Susan  (author); Griggs, Yvonne  (author); Williamson, Dugald G  (author)
Publication Date: 2014
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Abstract: How can we introduce first-year students to the skills, procedures, complexities, and pleasures of research in a relatively new interdisciplinary field like media studies? We faced this question-condensed in this dossier's main title 'Beyond Google'-in developing the introductory media studies course that provides the example for this essay. On its own, the phrase 'research skills' has the potential to be interpreted narrowly and reductively. We approached teaching research skills in our introductory media studies course in an enlarged humanistic sense, thinking of 'humanistic' as a placeholder for a bundle of thinking processes and skills, and related techniques of analysis, argument, interpretation, and inquiry. Across the course, learning activities and assessments were designed according to three main ideas or principles. First, as already indicated, research skills comprise interrelated cognitive thinking and research-related capacities, including the ability to read, analyze, describe, and articulate concepts through writing. As we'll explain shortly, this idea led us to teach research skills by disaggregating them initially, in order to help students explore the role each plays, in its own right, and in turn how they work together. Second, what are often referred to as generic research procedures need to be integrated with disciplinary learning. In this regard, strategies for searching, documenting, and organizing sources support interpretation and analysis of what constitutes scholarly writing or argument, and show the value of these procedures for studying substantive topics in media studies. Third, developing opportunities for students to reflect and build on their existing media experience and know-how, while negotiating new concepts and approaches, provides a bridge into disciplinary ways of thinking and working.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Cinema Journal Teaching Dossier, 2(3), p. 1-3
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 1527-2087
Field of Research (FOR): 130201 Creative Arts, Media and Communication Curriculum and Pedagogy
200104 Media Studies
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 930201 Pedagogy
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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