The Archaeology of Death and Burial-TV (ADB-TV) project seeks to up-skill staff with digital media design and production skills in order to dramatically transform learning activities and assessment methods around video production.

The project team is led by Dr Ronika Power (Department of Ancient History) and is part of Prof Garry Falloon’s Professional Digital Competencies project.

In partnership with Adobe Education Australia, the ADB-TV project team recently completed our first training workshop, and created some amazing short videos with free Adobe apps:

But why video? Why now?

Here are three of our arguments:

#1 Participatory Society

Post-truth refers to times where research-based information holds an inferior position in public debate to appeal to emotions (Harris, 2016).

This is often defined as agnotology, the study of ignorance – what we don’t know and why we are not supposed to know it, in opposition to epistemology, the study of knowledge – what we know and how we know it (Tesich, 1992; Keyes, 2004; Harris, 2016; Walters & Watters, 2016; Rose & Barros, 2017).

Recently, the weaknesses of traditional authorities have been linked to the Internet and social media which permit everyone and anyone to act as an expert in a public space – creating and disseminating factual or counter-factual information (Mielly, 2016; Walters & Watters, 2016; Meier, Kraus & Michaeler, 2017; Rose & Barros, 2017).

It can be argued that fostering students as prosumers – a combination of consumer and producer (Reyna et al., 2018) – promotes reflective use of digital media and thus critical interrogation of digital media.

Through deconstructing digital media principles, finding creative ways to communicate rigorous research using multimodal formats, and contributing to the conversation through creation, students build their media literacy.

We need only look to a recent creation by students from the Macquarie Law School:

Governance & Corruption – Public Service Announcement from M.A.G.I.C. Incorporating M.U.S.I.C. from M.A.G.I.C. Inc. M.U.S.I.C. on Vimeo.

#2 Digital Humanities

The ADB-TV Project proposes to revolutionise learning and teaching in the Department of Ancient History by embracing the novel approaches that digital media offer to every aspect of research and inquiry in the humanities (Hayles, 2012):

humanities scholars are confronting the differences that digital media make in every aspect of humanistic inquiry… … Graphics, animation, design, video, and sound acquire argumentative force and become part of the research’s quest for meaning.
Hayles (2012)

The process behind digital storytelling allows students to develop their personal epistemology (Baxter Magolda, 2004), engage in their own meaning-making, and reflect on their conceptions of self as researcher, creator and prosumer.

And this is clearly evident in MQ Alum Clare Rowan‘s Communicating the Classics via Digital Storytelling  project at the University of Warwick.

Side note:
Dr Rowan applies this to her research!

Additionally, this unit-level curriculum transformation in Ancient History will enable a cohort of students not previously exposed to digital video production to eventually produce works of publishable standard that can be shared with their peers – both here at MQ and in the boundless global classroom of the internet.

#3 Multiple Literacies

Following Wall (2013) and Kalantzi & Cope (2012), we are committed to extensions of the ADB-TV project to further develop the professional digital competencies of our team – and through us, our students – towards experimentation and increased fluency in the multimodal, intermedia, hypermedia and metamedia qualities of video that can potentially transcend the boundaries and linear confines of traditional scholarly discourse:

Today’s communications environments, particularly since the rise of the new, digital media, are increasingly multimodal. Written meanings are closely connected with visual, spatial, tactile, gestural, audio and oral modes of meaning. It is hard – in fact, it is a mistake – to try to separate reading from writing from these other modes for the practical reason that they are so closely related to today’s media.
– Kalantzi & Cope (2012) 

Want to up-skill?

If you’re interested in up-skilling your teaching team and/or using the Adobe Creative Suite in your units or program, contact your faculty Learning Designers or the Learning Innovation Hub team. The Learning Innovation Hub will soon be hosting a similar session with Adobe in July, so watch out on the Events page and the newsletter to register your participation.

Macquarie & Adobe from CreateEDU TV on Vimeo.

Further reading:

Meier, K., Kraus, D., Michaeler, E. (2017). Audience Engagement in a Post-Truth Age. What it means and how to learn the activities connected with it. Veranstaltung: The Future of Journalism. Journalism in a Post-Truth Age?, 14-15 September 2017, Cardiff University.

Posted by Beverley Miles

Beverley is a Senior Learning Designer in the Academy of Continuing Professional Development in Education, Faculty of Arts. She is the founder of the Macquarie Undergraduate Research Internship (MURI), co-director of the Telemachus Ancient History Mentor Program (Tele's Angels), and member of the Archaeology of Death and Burial TV team led by A/Prof Ronika Power – bringing digital multimodal text types to assessment with Adobe Education.

One Comment

  1. Love your work. Video is a major 21st century literacy and a great way to learn from the past.


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