URL for Final Webtext



Portfolio Reflection


I knew that this class was going to be a challenge for me; however, its real challenge struck me on the first day of class. I knew that I wasn’t too savvy with new digital media, but my classmates made me feel as though I should have never stepped foot in the classroom. Blogs…I had never blogged in my life or heard of any of the sites that everyone was discussing. For one of the first times in my life I felt completely speechless, like I had nothing intelligent to contribute to the conversation. But, I wasn’t about to back down from this challenge. I had goals that I planned to achieve in this multimodal course before it was over–not only for my Publishing major but also for my own personal skills with new technologies. Unfortunately, I don’t think I got as much out of this class as I could have to my health issues throughout the semester. This greatly affected my contribution toward the final project. I felt slightly left out and not very useful throughout the process of creating this project due to my long absence. This was upsetting to me because I really needed the experience to better accomplish my goals. I did learn some things through group mates and other classmates, however. As a publishing major, it is extremely important to be familiar with several different types of media in order to be more successful, which is one of the reasons why I signed up for this course. I new that my knowledge of new technologies was not up-to-par, so I hoped that by taking this class I would be able to better work with different medias, such as creating websites, creating video and audio clips, giving more interesting presentations of material, and, finally, how to edit all of these materials to make them the most effective for the viewing audience. Although I’m no expert now, I have worked with so many new and different programs that I feel so much more experienced and knowledgeable involving these new media technologies. One reason that I really enjoyed this class is because it was very similar to another class that I greatly enjoyed–visible rhetoric. I really liked seeing the rhetorical effects of multimodal pieces, which are extremely effective since they hit almost all of your senses at once. This importance of rhetoric later showed in our final project when we analyzed the Levi’s commercial for its effect on consumers. I thought that this course fit well with the mass communications classes that I’m taking in that I feel as though this rhetoric uses the art of persuasion, like advertisements and commercials. With an upcoming internship for Country Financial in public affairs, this art of persuasion will be important to attract consumers in commercial scripts, on the web page, in press releases, and any other marketing devices. The best thing that I thought we did throughout this class was observing several different kinds of multimodal pieces. I appreciated this, first of all, because I didn’t really know what a multimodal composition was, and second of all, because it showed how using multiple forms of media can be effective for certain purposes. This has become even more apparent to me ever since we began our pitches for the final project. Hearing everyone’s ideas and how they wanted to execute their purpose was completely intriguing and really opened my eyes to creativity. I feel that this class has affected my creativity. I used to be creative in writing–making up stories and characters–but now I have a more practical and useful creativity using new technology to reach a mass audience. As much as I hate to admit it…writing fiction is not as appreciated these days…most people hardly touch a book nowadays. So, I’m glad that I have learned new ways to present my creativity in a fashion that will be of interest to this generation. I’m also happy that I have learned to use new technologies–things that I have never heard of before, such as prezi and Google docs. Even though I am not a master of these programs, the fact that I know that they exist and how to at least get started with them only aids my creativity for any further projects that I pursue in my life. And, finally, I’m impressed with how I am trying to portray this reflection. I wanted to just write an essay style piece and leave it at that, but I knew that that would not be the most interesting thing. However, I didn’t want to reach too far beyond my limits, so I picked a program, such as this, that interested me and learned the basics and decided to use it in order to present this portfolio reflection. I’m very impressed with my progress in this class, yet I wish that my illness did not take away from so much time that I could have been in the class and working with my group. I found it very difficult to fit in with my group members and really contribute because I had been gone so long and there was a lack of communication and information to me while I was away from campus. If I had any regrets from this class it would have been when I missed because missing so much time from the final project really took away some great learning experiences as well as leadership and group work opportunities. All in all, I thought it was an interesting class that really kept me on my toes and kept my critical and creative thinking skills in full force.

My great suggestion for the revision of our project would be to display text images on the screen for a longer amount of time in order to let the audience read the material and also have time to grasp the information being given to them. Since the text and audio are not identical, there is a lot going on, so giving extra time to help the audience grasp our concept is extremely helpful. We also need to make sure that our dialogue is simple and concise since we are giving visuals that are not idential to the aural. We don’t want to lose our viewers and need to aid them in watching this, not confuse and frustrate them.

I feel that our argument was a little misunderstood as well. Our project truly is a countermeme rather than an analysis of the actual video itself. Somehow, we need to make this better known to our audience.

We also need better clarification of when we are narrating versus when the audio is the actual narration of the commercial, since the voices are very similar and difficult to differentiate.

Revision Response

I thought that this reading was most helpful for the fact that reading this makes you realize that you need to really step back and look at your argument and figure out what media devices to use and how to use them to best represent your argument. I think that this will be most helpful to look at after Wednesday when we have our first draft in front of us and also receive feedback from our peers. After this, we can see what areas are successful and what parts still need work or don’t best represent our argument/idea. I think the ideas we have now are really great, but we are the creators–I am looking forward to hearing from our peers whether the idea is successful from the point of a viewer/user. I think this feedback is almost as important/more important than the feedback that an editor may give, because they represent the “common” person that we are trying to reach with our final project.

It was really difficult being away from campus for 4 weeks during this project, especially right at the beginning when we were still putting our ideas together to even begin the project. I wasn’t able to do much while I was in the hospital/recovering except for give feedback on what my group members were sending me. However, now that I am back and actually have a much better idea of the project, I’m very excited to contribute more. For the time, being I am putting together usability testing questions/worksheets for our first draft of the project for our classmates to fill out and geive us feedback. I have also continued to give feedback, such as adding edits to the script we plan to use. Diamond and I will also be working together to find out where text and dialogue should be placed throughout our project. Shayla is doing most of the editing work on her own computer and Jeremy wrote up the script and found a lot of the quotes we are using because he has the book that we are using for our main source. So knowing this, I am trying to act as a user/editor for the work that they come up with and tell them how I think that we can best piece everything together. I am sure I will be receiving further tasks as well once we understand what changes we want to make to our draft of the project. But, I think the project is great so far and that my groupmates did a great job of coming up with the idea!

So far this semester, I learned that a technology that I’m interested in yet not comfortable with or very knowledgeable about is film. I really realized this when we did our choose three media assignment. So I wanted to make the final project something with film–but with this class I realized that one of the most interesting things is the psychological effects these technologies and new media can have on us. Thinking of things that I learned in my visible rhetoric class, I looked at the mirror phase and it’s relation to the cinema experience. This reminded me, at first, of how I relate myself to a book I’m reading and then how it is extremely similar with movies. So, I got excited because I was thinking about books–older technology–and then film–newer technology. Comparisons can be made between them and their affect on us as users/viewers, which I think is the point of what we’re learning in this class, right?–the effects technologies and medias have on us, not just what they are. So not only am I trying to delve into different technologies and their effects, but I’m also trying to “fix” a weakness that I feel to have by working with video and film, which I think that a huge reason I took this class was to overcome some technological fears that I have and strengthen my creative and critical thinking abilities.

I also really appreciated knowing about the JUMP journal while coming up with my pitch idea–there were some really interesting projects that I looked through that shaped how I envision my project idea. I also like the idea of the “mediating bodies” section that they are taking submissions for. You could do so much within the section to define what a body “means.” I find it fascinating to think about and I think my idea would fit greatly into the section!

Submissions Response

JUMP was obviously the least informative submissions page of the three. It gave no criteria for creators to follow in order to know what they are expecting out of a piece of work. For someone like me, who likes guidelines and organized goals, I would turn away from this site feeling as though they acccept pieces that may not be up to par in quality. It’s too broad and generalized.

I liked C&C’s submissions page in some ways. It was simplistic, yet gave more requirements than JUMP’s. However, I still found the information to be vague, although they did attempt to categorize different submissions that could be made. It was a very simplistic version of what Kairos offers. I didn’t focus on the C&C page long though because I actually really hated the font color, and it turned me away from really looking at the information harder. So, a problem for me was definitely readability.

Kairos’s submissions page was my favorite because it seemed the most legit. I really enjoyed that it included a section about what they’re looking for and NOT looking for. It’s better to address both sides rather than to assume that by saying what someone wants that the person understands what not to include. It was nice that they were so thorough. I really liked the almost unneccessary instructions because it leaves no room for error. It makes picking pieces a lot easier to go through and reminds me of sending in manuscripts. If the form is not done correctly, they won’t even look into your piece. It’s like a “make a good first impression” sort of deal. I also liked that at the top of the page you could select the different sections. Keeping the information in sections makes it easier to read and also easier for me to remember. I can keep the requirements and suggestions separate. I just really enjoyed all of the detail. It suited my own personality and how I, myself, would set up a page similar to that. If I were to submit, it would be to Kairos, because I would feel more pride being published with them than the other two.