Random Thoughts on Instructional Design
Peter Decherney, Assistant Professor, English and Cinema Studies, University of Pennsylvania; Renee Hobbs, Founder, Media Education Lab, Temple University; Susan Simon, Senior Learning Technologist, Dartmouth College; Anu Vedantham, Director, Weigle Information Commons, University of Pennsylvania
A mashup is a web application that combines data from more than one source into a single integrated tool. Content used in mashups is typically obtained from a third party source via a public interface or API (web services). Other methods of obtaining content for mashups include Web feeds (e.g. RSS or Atom), videos, audio files, and screen scraping. (Wikipedia)
Mash-up videos are being used in education to comment on popular culture, products, and current events. Mash-up video mixes original images or sounds with music, quick-witted narrations or creative transitions. The result is a video dialog of sorts that makes a statement that addresses the central question presented in an assignment.
Fueled by digital cameras and recorders, and easy to use film and image editing software, it is easy for students to create what are in effect multimedia compositions. The idea that mashups are dialogs with source materials or events suggests to me a kind of active reading. In reading a print text, a book say, we encourage students to respond, and we teach them to underline, take margin notes, draw connections to other things they’ve read. Mashups require the same kind of engagement we try to get in reading print in our classrooms — making connections, interjecting ideas. However, they process of shifting from a private dialogue to a publicly shared one via a mash-up causes some key shifts. First, the reading is a performance. Second, the technology makes it possible to engage write/edit images, words, sound and video directly into the primary text, pulling it apart and mixing it up in ways that just don’t correspond at all to writing notes in a book’s margin. The following links will take you to sample mashup assignments, assessment strategies, student products, and copyright discussions.