When Dr. Melissa Rorie, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at UNLV, was looking for a creative way to engage students in a class project that went beyond a traditional research paper, she reached out to the Knowledge Production department in the University Libraries for help.
Through a recommendation from Urban Studies Librarian Susie Skarl, Rorie was able to connect with the University Libraries’ Design Lab Specialist Leah Howd to discuss ways she could integrate video into a class assignment.
“Many students already have basic video editing skills, but with the support we offer through the Libraries, they can better tap into their creativity and excel in these types of assignments,” said Howd. “My role on campus is to provide that technical support to students and faculty, whether it's answering a quick technical question or encouraging them to fully explore their creativity.”
Through their initial partnership, Rorie’s students were able to create a number of videos that highlighted their research and understanding of white collar crimes.
“In essence, the use of videos as class assignments has made my students' experience much more experiential and engaging,” said Rorie. “My students have been much better able to demonstrate what they learned throughout the semester using video than through a written research paper.”
Howd can work with instructors like Rorie to develop video project concepts tailored to their specific course goals. These services include providing potential milestone assignments, sample grading rubrics, and any other assistance necessary to ensure that the project meets the instructor’s learning goals.
“Working as a group helped the students overcome the writing anxieties that can overwhelm efforts to demonstrate knowledge, allowing them to learn from others in their group by sharing different perspectives and experiences on the topic, and making the learning process feel much less like school and more like a fun activity,” said Rorie. “By watching their peers’ videos during class presentations, the students were able to learn more about our topic and enjoy seeing what their classmates did well.”
In addition to working with Rorie, Howd also worked with several other instructors to develop video projects related to research methods, Spanish conversation, a first-year Liberal Arts seminar, and business writing.
Howd is available to work with faculty to help design video projects for course. For more information about the process, or to schedule a consultation appointment, contact Howd at email@example.com or 702-895-2217.