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2016

Media examples are crucial when teaching a mass communication course. Luckily, LaunchPad for Media Essentials has a wealth of samples available for your students to view so that you can practice convergence in addition to teaching it!

 

LaunchPad for Media Essentials has over 50 video clips with accompanying short answer questions to help students think critically about the topics discussed. We have several clips per chapter, organized by chapter, so it’s easy to assign based on what you’re teaching in class that week.

 

Our videos range from interviews with the chairman of the FCC to learn more about Media and Democracy and Net Neutrality, to clips from Pop Culture including Saturday Night Live, Transformers, or the music video for Uptown Funk. These videos give a behind the scenes look at media and issues that will help students understand how the media works.

 

In addition to our video library, you can also upload any video or audio clip saved on your Computer or embed a video from YouTube using our video assignment tool, which allows for time based commenting.

Additional suggested videos are available in the Instructor Resources Manual, which can be found under the resource button in LP.

 

LaunchPad for Media Essentials also includes our game-like quizzing tool LearningCurve to motivate students and adapt to their needs based on their performance. LearningCurve includes reporting tools and metrics help teachers get a handle on what their class knows and doesn’t know. There are also two pre-made traditional quizzes for each chapter, which can be used in conjunction with LearningCurve.

 

If you’re interested in seeing LaunchPad in action, please view the brief screencast below, and be sure to schedule a demonstration with Learning Solutions Specialist Heather Halter http://www.meetme.so/HeatherKimball.

 

 

You can access LaunchPad for Media Essentials here: http://www.macmillanhighered.com/launchpad/mediaessentials3e/ To get access, enter your email address in the box that says “Request Instructor Access.”

 

Just because A Pocket Guide to Public Speaking is a bargain priced book, it doesn’t mean that we cheap out on the resources! Our LaunchPad contains priceless tools to help your students become better public speakers.

As a former public speaking instructor myself, I found that videos are a great way to connect students with the presentation process. LaunchPad contains over 200 videos, many of which also have multiple choice questions associated with them to create a well-rounded Activity.

 

Our videos feature real students, presenting real speeches, which are shot professionally. Simply type a term in the search box on the LaunchPad homepage to find one that will be perfect for your students. Great examples of full length speeches include topics on Preventing Cyberbullying and Becoming a Socially Conscious Consumer.

 

Not only do we have full length sample student speeches, we also take those videos and cut them down into smaller segments, so that you can focus specifically on a particular part of a speech. Talking about instructions? Use our clips on Attention Getters, Thesis Statements, and Previews. Lecturing on delivery? Assign students our Speech Clips on Effective Eye Contact and Effective Gestures.

 

We take our videos one step further through our “Needs Improvement” clips, which demonstration what NOT to do during a speech. For example, see speeches with Logical Fallacies, or a student using too many Vocal Fillers and Not Enough Eye Contact. While showing great sample speeches is certainly helpful, I found that students internalize these clips more; they don’t want to make these mistakes in front of their peers or when a grade is on the line!

 

All video clips can also be incorporated into a Video Assignment, which allows for time based commenting and rubric grading functionality. Click here for more information on how to build these activities: https://community.macmillan.com/videos/1383

 

In addition to our large video library, LaunchPad for A Pocket Guide to Public Speaking also contains an interactive version of James McCroskey’s PRCA and PRPSA to assess Communication Apprehension, A Relaxation Audio Download to help those apprehensive students, plus Speech Outlining guides and  templates, and tutorials on Presentation Software and Avoiding Plagiarism. Of course, LaunchPad also contains our ever popular LearningCurve adaptive quizzing.

 

If you’re interested in seeing LaunchPad in action, please view the brief screencast below, and be sure to schedule a demonstration with Learning Solutions Specialist Heather Halter http://www.meetme.so/HeatherKimball.

 

Bettina Fabos, an award-winning video maker and former print reporter, is an associate professor of visual communication and interactive media studies at the University of Northern Iowa. She is the author of Media & Culture: Mass Communication in a Digital Age, 2016 Update, and Media Essentials: A Brief Introduction, 3/e. 

 

Q: What courses are you teaching this semester?

BF: Digital Culture and Communication (http://uni.edu/fabos/dcc/dcc.html) is a class about the major issues facing us today with regards to the Internet. Interactive Digital Communication is a foundation interactive digital studies class that combines web development with design and some digital citizenship.  

 

Q: What has been your favorite course to teach and why?

BF: I loved to teach Mass Communication and Society, especially assigning students our oral history project towards the beginning of the semester, where they interview a person in their 70s or older about the way they grew up with media, so we can integrate their histories in class throughout the course of the semester. I don’t have a chance to teach it right now because I am very active in our Interactive Digital Studies (IDS) program, and my favorite course there is probably Digital Culture, which has some connections with Mass Comm and Society. I also like to teach Interactive Digital Visualization, and I love to teach the foundation IDC class, too. This is when I see students discover they are really good at code or design, and that’s pretty thrilling.

 

Q: What advice do you have for other instructors who teach this course?

BF: I would say help students make connections with their own personal and family histories as much as possible; I would say show a LOT of videos and play a lot music; bring in current events with each class; try to make the radio chapter—which can be tough (why should students care about radio networks?) but so important—interesting by helping them visualize what it was like to live in the 20s, 30s and 40s, and make comparisons between radio and the Internet, since there are so many comparisons.

 

Q: What are some of your research interests?

BF: I study digital archiving, interactive timelines, public memory, critical literacy and I pull all this together through creative digital projects, like the Hungary timeline I’m working on right now. It tells the story, over 16 online chapters (filled with photos and animation) of how my Hungarian family emerged from serfs to become successful farmers, and how they survived the calamitous 20th century.

 

Q: What do you think is one of the biggest challenges students face now when they enter college?

BF: I think one big challenge is getting to know the students in their own classes, because students come today with their phones, and are immersed in their little personal bubble before class, and don’t reach out to each other, so I have to work extra hard to build community in my classrooms.

 

I think another big challenge is that Universities are underfunded. Students often have to work longer hours to pay for college, and are strapped financially. Universities are also putting too many students in classes, and hire so many adjuncts who are underpaid and don’t have time to schedule office hours. Ultimately this kind of “that’s the way it is” and “we all have to tighten our belts” environment affects learning and students. I don’t believe this has to be the future. Our society needs to invest in education.

 

Q: What motivates you to continue teaching?

BF: My students are so amazing. I love being the first one outside their family to tell them that – just a simple comment like that can ripple through them their entire lifetime, and I’m completely aware of the impact I have on my students.   I’m taking my four student collaborators to Hungary next June to present our Hungary project to the U.S. Embassy, the Fulbright Commission, and the Central European University, and two of them have never been to Europe before. So this is incredible, being able to introduce them to things they would have never done before.

 

On a personal note...

Q: How do you spend your time when you're not teaching?

BF: I love reading just about anything well written. I like to cook and have dinner parties. I play the violin and I have lots of musician friends and we play chamber music together. I LOVE to hike in Switzerland (I have Swiss citizenship), and getting inspiration from traveling. I grow lots of flowers, and I make cakes for friends. I do yoga but I’m sadly inflexible: I still haven’t even perfected “Downward Facing Dog”!

 

Q: If you hadn't pursued a career in higher education, what career path do you think you would have chosen?

BF: I could have made documentaries (that was my path before I met my husband Chris – my goal at one point was to travel around the world making interesting travel documentaries); written children’s books or teen novels; owned a café…I could have fixed up houses and flipped them. Sometimes I worry that I spend way too much time in front of a computer screen!

 

What’s your favorite TV show or movie of the year so far?

BF: I like Swedish police dramas like The Bridge. I’m into Stranger Things. This year I have not had time to see one movie—I go for TV series over movies these days! I have watched Spotlight three times though!  

 

Q: What was the last book you read?

BF: In the Darkroom by Susan Faludi.

 

Q: What book has influenced you most?

BF: I would say a series of interviews by Bill Moyers called A World of Ideas. I was a failed journalist, living in Switzerland, working as a secretary for a nonprofit foundation, and I picked this book up (it was a fortune in Geneva’s one English bookstore), and it changed my life.

 

Q: Where is one place you want to travel to, but have never been?

BF: I would love to go to Buenos Aires.

 

Q: When you sit down to listen to music, which artists or genres do you go to most?

BF: Indie music like Kishi Bashi; early, early baroque like Monteverdi; anything my daughter Olivia tells me to listen to…she is such good influence on me!

 

Q: What is something you want to learn in the next year (Communication-related or otherwise)?

BF: I’d like to learn more JavaScript, and become a better gardener. We live on a prominent corner in Cedar Falls so the pressure is on.

 

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you (i.e. What's your "fun fact"?)?

BF: I’m pretty shy, and I don’t like to speak in public!  Teaching, actually, is difficult for me for that reason. I don’t like to be considered “an expert” like some people, because I always consider myself a work in progress. My husband, Chris, is such an amazing public speaker and gives radio and TV interviews all the time. I am much better as a behind-the-scenes person.

With the 4th edition of Reflect and Relate comes the first time we’ve had a full media package to accompany the text. That means that you now have access to LaunchPad for your Interpersonal Communication course, which contains carefully selected and custom curated content for each chapter of the book.

 

The resources available in LaunchPad truly do live up to the title of the book. Students work through reflection activities such as journal entries and self quizzes, and then relate to the material with our flagship offering – Making Relationship Choices case studies, featuring “The Other Side.”

 

Making Relationship Choices activities immerse students into a situation they’re likely to experience in real life – Choosing Between Friends, Struggling with Family Transitions, and Dealing with Mixed Messages. Students are provided with a communication concept for background, then are presented with the “Case Study,” which lays out the scenario. Then, they are taken to “Your Turn” – 5 short answer questions that require reflection on the situation. Next, we see “The Other Side,” a video in which the other person involvedtells his or her side of the case study story. As in many real-life situations, this video shows information which wasn’t available when crafting a response to the Case Study. The video reminds students that even when we do our best to offer competent responses, there always is another side to the story that we need to consider. Lastly the student is asked to take an interpersonal competence self-assessment to evaluate their previously submitted responses and is given a chance to think about what he or she might have done differently.

 

Other resources available in this LaunchPad include Journal entries for topics such as Ineffective Listening Behavior and Self-Assessment Quizzes that look at skills such as Evaluating Empathy. Our video library contains over 75 clips that show communication concepts in action, such as “I” Language and Power Distance. Of course, we also have afull test bank, pre-made multiple choice and true/false quizzes, and our popular LearningCurve adaptive quizzing is available with this book for the first time.

 

If you’re interested in seeing LaunchPad in action, please view the brief screencast below, and be sure to schedule a demonstration with Learning Solutions Specialist Heather Halter http://www.meetme.so/HeatherKimball