This sounds like a fabulous class! Not only are students learning about writing, researching and creating a text – but they are actually putting together a piece that has some relevance outside of the typical classroom. It really seems like a great way to make students actively participate and, may I even suggest, enjoy what they are working on in class. It is something that they can upload to YouTube, show their friends and families or even have used by the university, like Erin’s No Child Left Behind video.
Since it really is an interdisciplinary class, students campus-wide can take it – from the art, communications, film studies, etc. I think that that is one of the problems here at Illinois State. It is impossible to be able to take some classes in other departments, even when it is relevant to your area of study. For example, there is no photography class that English students can take, even if they are interested in working with magazines or journals after graduation. But with something like Writing with Video, all different kinds of students can take it and bring their ideas together, helping everyone to learn not only from their teachers, but also from the classmates. And speaking of the teachers, the fact that they themselves come from different departments and train grad students to teach as well just goes to increase everyone’s knowledge of the technologies being used.
I understand that there are a lot of issues to be faced with a project like this, such as funding for technology and teacher training, but I feel that this would be an excellent addition to any university and a boon to students to better enable them to communicate in a very current multimodal way.