Welcome to MDIA3002: Multiplatform Journalism

Introduction

MDIA3002 focuses on the future skills that journalism graduates need to be industry-ready. This means mastering skills in and developing a critical approach to audio, visual and verbal forms of journalistic production. By experimenting with visual and audio storytelling, the specific aim of this course is to produce material ready for radio- and television-style news items. Special attention is given to new forms and styles of journalism emerging on the internet, where audio, visual, verbal and interactive elements combine in innovative ways to tell newsworthy multi-semiotic stories. As journalist, photo/videographer, sound engineer, producer and editor, future journalists need to display greater flexibility and a degree of experimentation in their news-gathering practices. This course provides students with the opportunity to develop these skills, and to add value to the information they gather, both in terms of producing compelling stories and in experimenting with multiplatform newsgathering and dissemination practices.

We will be using the wiki in the following ways: as a collaborative space for all students to develop their ideas on the core concepts under discussion in this course, and as a platform for assessable online activities. We will also be using the wiki as an individual space for students to showcase the work that they produce during the semester. More information on how we will develop the mdia3002 wiki will be given in lectures and tutorials on a weekly basis. Training on how to get the most out of your contributions to the wiki will be given during the first tutorial. For now it is important that students realize that some of the assessment tasks in this course will be measured through the contributions students make to the wiki, so you must become practiced in using a wiki, if you are not already familiar with such software.
For students who are unfamiliar with wikis, there are tutorial videos, technical support and a sandbox all available through the links under the 'Help' navigation bar below where you can watch, read, and practice before you attempt to work on your own page. Also a fictitious student, Adrianna Aardvarkus, has been created for students to be able to see how they should be approaching the tasks on the wiki.
We will be keeping the wiki private. This means that only members (students in MDIA3002 and their tutors) can view and edit the content in this wiki. Only this 'Home' page is publicly visible.

New Students in 2012

Students who are currently enrolling in MDIA3002 will be sent an email invitation to join this wiki during Week ONE of the semester. Instructions on how to set up your username and account details etc will be provided in the first lecture/tutorial and through announcements on our UNSW Blackboard site. Once you have joined the wiki, we suggest you explore the site and practise making a contribution in the Sandbox. Students who did ARTS1091 in 2010 will already be members of Wikispaces and will receive an invitation to add MDIA3002 to your wiki account. If you have forgotten your password, click HERE to recover your password and account details.

About Wikis

According to the Australian Flexible Learning Framework (2010), "a wiki is a collaborative online space where people can gather to build content together and is intended for general public consumption. Wikis encourage participation and a strong sense of common purpose thereby developing valuable communication and teamwork skills. Using wikis supports asynchronous communication allowing learners to contribute at a time, and from a place that suits them."
What this means then is that members can contribute to any document within the wiki at any time. They are also transparent and have a history. This means that any edit can be traced to a particular contributor and can therefore be attributed to that person. Further, previous edits can be recovered and reinstated should there be disagreement on the ways in which particular content is progressing. So, it is vitally important that you develop a presence in the wiki and demonstrate your ability to work with others and to respect the work of others. There is more information on the notions of wiki spirit and wiki etiquette below.

Wikis and Group Learning

Wikis are also a useful tool for facilitating online learning groups. They can be used to support the dissemination of information, to enable the exchange of ideas, and to facilitate group interaction. Further, wikis can be used to create a set of documents that reflect the shared knowledge of the learning group. Course wikis may include text, pictures, links to other resources and multimedia. With wikis, the dimensions of the training room can expand to give learners access to a global web of information and a worldwide audience.
In this course, we will be using the wiki both as a space for group discussion (of the major assignment and of key concepts in this course) and as an individual space for students to collect and display the work that they have done throughout the semester in MDIA3002.

Wiki Spirit

The following information has been taken (with permission) from Ben Miller's hums3001 wikispace.
This course is designed for students to learn about and demonstrate generous, scholarly collaborative critical practices. Some people think of effective collaborative wiki-building as requiring wiki spirit.

The most famous wiki in the world is wikipedia- the wiki-built encyclopaedia. An excellent guide to becoming a wikipedian is Phoebe Ayers, Charles Matthews and Ben Yates' How Wikipedia Works. The authors state that there are policies and there is a wiki spirit. This is similar to how you should think about this course. There are policies (the same that govern your everyday study - plagiarism, respect for others, etc) and there is a wikispirit. Some features of wiki spirit include:
  • Wikis are strengthened through diversity: the strength of a wiki is its ability to present many great ideas and points of views in one document. The diverse opinions and interpretations of a wiki's many contributors improve the content of a page.
  • Wiki boldness: 'Be bold and edit' is the basic thing to keep in mind here. If you can change a page for the better then do so. There are policies that govern a wikispace, but not rules as such. You can change what you want how you want so long as you feel it is making a page better by contributing to the building of a broad body of ideas, interpretations, investigations, information (the four i's in knowledge)
  • Wikis have a NPoV: Ayers, Matthews and Yates state that wikipedia has a "neutral point of view". This means that pages should reflect all sides of an argument (even if you are contributing just one side). If you think you are right (as most of us often do) it does not display wikispirit to erase and replace the content of a wiki. Instead, find a way to incorporate your ideas into an existing debate. Try inserting 'Some have argued that...', or 'It has been suggested that...', followed by 'On the other hand, it can also be suggested that...', or 'An article by X suggests the contrary, that...'. This displays respect for the ideas and work of others and helps build a wonderful, diverse and informative page.
  • Wiki spirit requires faith: It is often difficult not to take offence when someone edits your work. Good faith means that you look for the best in how others respond to and treat your work. If someone has edited your words and changed their meanings you should 'assume good faith' (AGF). This means that you make the decision to view someone's changes as their attempt to make the page better or the idea clearer. You can, of course, take note of the change and work to reincorporate your original idea if you feel you were originally misunderstood (thus building even more diversity).

Another important element in contributing to a wiki is wiki etiquette. The principles of wiki etiquette are stated in full at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki_etiquette We ask that you take a few minutes to read and understand them. We also have a short video of an interview with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales on our 'Wiki Protocol' page for students who would like to learn more about the ways in which collaborations may work and may be encouraged in a group assessment environment.


What do I do if I need help?

For those of you who are still learning about wikis and their potential in enhancing your learning experience, there are a few very important links that have been established in this wiki that you should explore.Under 'Help' in the left Navigation Bar you will see the following:
MDIA3002 Tech Support - which is where our tech-expert, Mike Bogle, has provided us with instructions, tutorials, video clips and advice for student in this course. He offers clear and specific advice about how to format and submit the Major Assignment through the wiki.
Guide to using wikispaces - this site provides detailed instructions on pretty much everything else, from the basics like 'Creating a Page' to embedding videos/images/sound files and formatting pages.
We ask that you consult these pages in the first instance if you are having difficulties working with the wiki.


Wiki logo

Wiki logo at top left is entitled 'The Forest Spiral of Darmstadt, 1998-2000', and is presented here courtesy of Peter Mosdzen and Friedensreich Hundertwasser: http://www.hundertwasser.de/showpic.php