Working with an instructional designer, Jazz Faculty Nasar Abadey revised the course assessments to both demonstrate knowledge of course content and develop career skills appropriate for jazz majors. Digital communication and self-promotion are important skills for jazz artists, and the new assignments feature a variety of multimodal options designed to scaffold skills for creating blogs, podcasts, and social media posts. Students demonstrate knowledge of current topics through a variety of web-based content creation options throughout the semester.
Every assignment begins with an explicit statement to provide context about the purpose and student outcomes to increase relevancy and provide direction. Students then self-select content creation options to teach others about course topics that they find most compelling.
Students choose comparable text-based, video, audio, or visual organizers to present content between 250–300 words. For instance, text-based options might include a single blog post, a series of three related 75–word posts, two unrelated 125–word posts, or a collection of shorter posts. Alternately, students prepare a 2- to 3-minute audio podcast or multimedia video. Infographics and other digital options are encouraged.
Students compile top ten lists, playlist recommendations, and even curate additional resources on course-specific topics. Though students have full agency to select format, they are required to use at least two formats throughout the semester. Students include a title, cite all image and video sources, and all posts must be ready for public posting, although students are not required to do so.