As part of the syllabus activities tested within our project, we have made the participants work on some types of digital texts on which the partners’ personal research has concentrated in the past years: Blogs, webpages, fanvids, mash up videos, promotional and corporate videos, video calls, video interviews and resume.
These were the tasks and contents of the workshops:
- How to write an effective “about us” webpage
- How to you appeal to an online community
- How to avoid cultural misunderstanding in video calls
- What kind of meanings does a font , a colour or a layout convey?
- How does video editing work in sound and frames for specific audiences?
We primarily use the method of blended learning: on one side face-to-face (lectures, workshops, and interactional class activities), on the other side through EU-MADE4LL e-platform (surveys, evaluations, assignment submission and peer assessment).
In the assignment we put together production and reflection. We didn’t want our students to comment on ready-made texts or, conversely, to make a blog or a fanvid without showing us the process of learning. We combined both in our assignment.
Students had to design and create one digital text and then analyse it.
After submission, we all had to mark our students’ productions, and students were paired to do the same on a common set of criteria.
Here, more specifically, the contents of the workshops:
The workshop was held by prof. Elisabetta Adami and was dedicated to weblogs, that are a chronologically ordered and progressively updated web page. The workshop was focused on the technological aspects in the creation of weblogs, the main multimodal resources involved, the interactive resources and genre and audience specific aspects.
- Adami, E. (2015) Aesthetics and identity in digital texts beyond writing: A social semiotic multimodal framework. In A. Archer and E. Breuer (eds.) Multimodality in Writing. The state of the art in theory, methodology and pedagogy. Leiden: Brill, pp. 43-62
- Adami, E. (2015) What’s in a click: A social semiotic multimodal framework for the analysis of website interactivity. Visual Communication 14/2, pp. 133-153.
Corporate Promotional Videos
The workshop was held by prof. Carmen Daniela Maier and was dedicated to promotional videos, that are a promotional video contents created for and commissioned by a business, company, corporation, or organization. The workshop was focused on multimodal corporate communication, discourse analysis, intertextuality and interdiscursivity.
- Maier, C.D. (2012). Closer to nature: A case study of the multifunctional selection of moving images in an environmental corporate video. In Multimodal Communication, vol. 1, no. 3.
- Iedema, R. (2001). Analyzing film and television: A social semiotic account. In Van Leeuwen, T. and Jewitt, C. (eds.). Handbook of visual analysis. London: Sage, pp.183-207.
The workshop was held by prof. Ilaria Moschini and was dedicated to fan music videos (or fanvids), that are video essays made by the fans of media products where footages from one or many visual sources are set to music to explore the original text in different ways adopting literary hermeneutic practices. The workshop was focused on fannish discursive practices, multimodal analysis, socio-cultural components, technology and design.
- Moschini, I. (2011). Music and series: the verbalizing role of soundtrack lyrics from contemporary TV series to user-generated narrations. Visual Communication, 10(2), pp. 193-208.
- Moschini, I. (2014). “You should’ve seen Luke!” or the multimodal encoding/decoding of the language of postmodern ‘webridized’ TV series. Text & Talk, Special issue: Multimodality, Meaning Making and the Issue of “Text”, 34 (3), pp. 283-305
About Us Pages
The workshop was held by prof. Sandra Petroni and was dedicated to “about us” pages, the web page dedicated to present the subject to which the site is dedicated, in its organization, in its personality, its values, its history and its prospects. The seminar focused on usability and information overload, multimodal web communication, writing for the web and the self-branding process.
- Petroni, S. (2011). Entropy in web communication, in S. Petroni, Language in the Multimodal Web Domain, Aracne-Legas, Rome-Toronto, pp. 57-72.
- Djonov E., Knox J.S.( 2014). How to analyze web pages. In S. Norris, C. D. Maier (eds) Interactions,Images and Texts: A Reader in Multimodality, Boston, Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter, 2014, pp 174-193
Video Chat Interactions
The seminar was held by prof. Maria Grazia Sindoni and was dedicated to video mediated interactions, that are interactions between people via the Internet, mediated by apps and software such as Skype, Hangouts or Facetime. The seminar focused on concepts like mode-switching, gesture and gaze, proxemic and kinetic actions, framing and setting stage.
- Sindoni, M. G. (2012). Mode-switching. How oral and written modes alternate in videochats. In M. Cambria, C. Arizzi, F. Coccetta (eds.), Web Genres and Web Tools. With Contribution from the Living Knowledge Project, Como – Pavia: Ibis, pp. 141-158.
- Sindoni, M. G. (2014). Through the looking glass. A socio-semiotic and linguistic perspective on the study of videochat. In E. Adami, R. Facchinetti and G. Kress (eds), Text & Talk, Special issue: Multimodality, Meaning Making and the Issue of “Text”, 34(3), pp. 325-347.