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UMW Spring 2013 Final Story Project Specs

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cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by greekadman

For your final project in ds106, you are asked to produce a story around a character that explores at least three of the media forms we’ve investigated this semester: visual/design, audio, video, web, remix/mashup. (Please note that for this project we’re combining visual and design as a single media form.)

Step One

Typically a story centers on the actions and internal growth of central character, be it Frodo Baggins or Cinderella. Your first step is to identify the character you wish to 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.

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

You then need to develop a narrative arc for this person; what challenge, unexpected event, unusual journey will you set them out on? What will happen to them in the story? What might be the outcome (“living happily ever after” is not an option!)

Step Two

Using the assignment repository for inspiration, come up with a plan for how to explore a narrative involving the person 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 this class..

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
  • Web: A Pinterest board created by the stepsisters planning their outfits and ensemble for the 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 explore the narrative of the story.
  • Web: A remade Amazon product page 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 business woman.

Yes, you can use 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 around your narrative, built out of the kinds of assignments you’ve been doing all semester. For your project to be substantial enough to earn you a strong grade, you should aim for the total points of your assignments to be worth 15-20 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.

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 the goal.

Step Three (Due April 19th by midnight)

Write up a blog post in which you outline your plans for your final story project. Be as detailed as possible about your character choice (and why you picked it), your ideas for the narrative, and your planned media pieces/assignments you might use. You are not restricted by your choices here, but this shows that you have done some planning ahead.

By the following Sunday (April 21), your instructor will get back to you with feedback on your plan, so that you can have some sense of being on the right track.

Step Four (Due May 3rd by noon EST; this deadline is strict! Late = no credit. Period!)

Produce your project and share it on as a 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 just a series of media. 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 examples done by students in Fall 2012– note that some of them are not complete stories and a few have mixed in their stories the details of how they made it.

The better examples include:

Be very thorough, check your links and embeds, as this is a product that should stand on its own and explain itself as a story.

The entire package you should assemble for your project includes (this will be listed in the assignment for the last week, but here it is for future reference).

  • A standalone blog post with your final story (and for *****’s sake, do not title it “Final Project” the story needs its own story title).
  • One post for each assignment you completed to create the media, including the requisite tags and description of the making of part.
  • A reflective summary post on your story, linking to the assignment posts to document the media created.
  • A final piece of media with pay it forward advice to future ds106 students.

And that is the end of this course story. May you all live happily ever after. That is definitely an option.

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by greekadman


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