Taking on controversial or taboo topics isn’t new to me. During my time here at OSU, I have designed a critical thinking class focused on propaganda, media effects and manufacturing consent. This class, NMC 419 Reefer Madness in the Media, provides an opportunity for students to examine these media studies theories through the case study of marijuana prohibition in the US. It’s proven to be a very successful class and one I’ve enjoyed being apart of. When my colleague Jeff Hale retired a few years ago, I wanted to continue his critical thinking contribution in new media and offer his course 427 Digital Pornography. My dissertation was on digital gender in 3D immersive environments and I felt like this was in my wheelhouse to pick it up.
NMC 427 Digital Pornography is part of the Science, Technology and Society Bacc Core and the main objective here is to address the immense impact that science and technology have had on all facets of modern civilization. Through the case of digital pornography, students examine the relationship between pornography and new media and the revolutionary force it had in the creation of digital media. The challenge here is finding the perfect blend of in-class with online while being sensitive and mindful of the type of content we are dealing with. There are some challenges, as with all course development, but I see a wonderful opportunity to redesign this class as a hybrid option especially given its content.
I’ve been working with tools to help in the creative process as I redesign this class. Every week will be a blend of course materials accessed via the Canvas site followed by one weekly meeting where we will do screenings, lectures, presentations and discussions of the material we are covering. A tools sharing exercise in the hybrid workshop inspired one such example of the integration between in-class and online activity. Using the infogram tool, combined with Google Trends, students engage with data visualization by researching trending topics being searched and report back the data via the Infographic. We will then present these infograms during our in-class meeting and prompt discussion of these findings. I’m including an example below. There is still much to redesign but I can see it taking shape at this stage. Slow and steady with this process but worth the effort!