ERIC Number: EJ1093678
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Using Morphological Analysis for Final Project Planning in Multimedia Journalism Courses
Medvedeva, Yulia S.
Communication Teacher, v30 n2 p67-71 2016
Journalistic skills courses often involve the production of a media project such as a multimedia website, which requires students to decide which media in their multimedia toolkit can best convey the story. To make the right match between content and form, students should understand the advantages of each of the available modes of communication. Morphological analysis is a brainstorming technique that "involves conceiving of two or more independent dimensions of a problem, coming up with a number of attributes for each dimension, and then examining all the combinations" (Shoemaker, Tankard, & Lasorsa, 2004, pp. 151-152). As an educational tool, it allows one to consider two dimensions of a multimedia project simultaneously: the content of the project and forms of the content. Zwicky (1957) developed morphological analysis as a method for finding all possible and usable solutions to a problem in scientific research. Osborn (1963) applied it to marketing, and Shoemaker et al. (2004) to the construction of social science theories. This single-class activity should enable students to understand the logic of planning a project, analyze the strengths and weaknesses of different media tools in telling a story, and practice critical thinking. It is useful for students planning their final projects. It helps them to practice visualizing and articulating the major components of a final project by utilizing a table called a morphological matrix. Students first refresh their knowledge about strengths and weaknesses of various multimedia tools in telling a story. Then they brainstorm possible reporting angles of a hypothetical project and work in groups to match a story angle with a story form for the ideal presentation. Finally, students report their ideas back to the class, which allows them to discuss the efficiency of the match of content and form for each idea.
Descriptors: Morphology (Languages), Journalism Education, Multimedia Materials, Story Telling, Brainstorming, Student Projects, Class Activities, Journalism, Teaching Methods, Electronic Publishing
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
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