All in a frenzy

We have some great times at MELSIG events, but we don’t have to wait until the next one to see how fun CPD can be when it involves making media for learning.

Media Frenzy

The idea of Media Frenzy, an approach I have used for several years at Sheffield Hallam, is to create an immersive space full of challenges. I have run these with staff, with students, and with staff and students!

One of the great things about learning how to incorporate digital and social media into practice is that it usually involves quite a bit of fun and a huge amount of creativity. Because of all the apps we have access to now on our smart devices, it is quite straightforward to set up a range of challenges involving individuals or small teams making digital media artefacts using a range of media for a range of purposes.

A Media Frenzy is a rare occasion when a bit of competition can heighten engagement in a classroom. You can assign points to the challenge activities you devise based on the time it is expected to take, the complexity of the activity, and the experience of the participants. You can even use a handicapping system to even out the challenge event by using self-declared ratings if you really want to run it as a competition.

The way I have run Media Frenzies is to:

  • Devise a range of challenge activities.
  • Create cards that describe each challenge and the points each completed challenge will accrue a team.
  • Have one challenge card on offer for high scoring challenges. Have several challenge cards available for lower scoring, low skills, low effort, short duration activities.
  • Laminate your challenge cards and stick all of them up on a wall using Blutack.
  • Form teams from all of the participants. They should be of an equal size. Teams of three or four work well.
  • Let the teams scrutinise the challenges and the points available for each challenge so that they can agree an ideal strategy for selecting and undertaking challenges for the duration of the Media Frenzy workshop.
  • Now invite the team members, in turn, to take one challenge card each from the wall.
  • Repeat this until all the challenge cards have been shared out.
  • Now instruct the teams to complete as many of their challenge cards as they can manage.
  • At the end of the competition, calculate how many challenges have been completed and add up the scores for each team as noted on the challenge cards.

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