I-Docs in University Teaching – Considerations and Perspectives

Veronika Pöhnl, Louise Haitz

I-Docs in University Teaching – Considerations and Perspectives

In Germany, i-Docs have found their way into the media studies university classroom as a new transmedia documentary format and are discussed in contexts of transmedia storytelling, media coverage under new media conditions and strategies of directing attention. Practically, i-Docs have been applied primarily by film and media design students, exploring the possibilities of this format in a way that emphasizes predominantly aesthetic and stylistic features.

The suggested workshop, however, wants to stimulate considerations about applications of i-Docs in blended learning environments in media cultural studies at university level. On the one hand, i-Docs are to be tested in their capacities to provide a knowledge platform for teaching content – e.g. as a structured glossary with picture, sound and film clip examples, for live annotation of film clips, animation aided picture analysis, or live online content and interactive formats linked effectively with summaries and further readings and examples.

On the other hand, i-Docs are to be explored as a learning tool – how can students be enabled and guided to produce transmedia presentations to stimulate a multidimensional approach to their topics and learning content? Ideally, these approaches might be transferred into a cycle that produces well edited learning content for topic introductions and works of reference for future students. Moreover, topics of civic importance – e.g. ethics of media representation, like phenomena of “Othering” in media or media literacy in general – might be composed by students for a broader public and published in MOO environments, promoting vocational experience in public communication. Yet, these considerations also have to take into account similarities and differences with former formats of media use in university teaching – primarily hypertext – and the challenges posed by technical and legal obstacles and the questions of assessment.

Together with Louise Haitz, who has acquired substantial skills with the i-Doc platform “Klynt” during a project for an interactive presentation of the bachelor degree course “Literature, Art and Media Studies” at the University of Konstanz, we would like to give a brief overview of promises and challenges in the history of multi-, inter(active)-, hyper-, and transmedia approaches in university teaching and present possible applications of i-Docs as effective tools in teaching within media and art theory.