Friday, December 18, 2015

Essay 2 - instructions

Back when the course started, in the beginning of September, we wrote:

"You have to write an individual essay twice during the course; once in the beginning and once more when the course ends. Writing these essays are compulsory."

The time to write the second, concluding essay has now come. This essay replaces other forms of course evaluations. Do note that it is compulsory to write this essay and you will not get your course credits registered unless you have written both essays (for those who for some reasons did not write the first essay, see further instructions below).

/Daniel & Malin


Please download and use the template that is available in Bilda ("Documents/FoM essay 2") when you write your text. Do note that English or Swedish is ok. Use your family name when you name your file ("Pargman essay 2") and upload it to the "drop box" that has been created exclusively for this purpose in Bilda ("Contents/Essay 2"). Do note that you can only upload the file formats .doc, .docx (MS Word) or .pdf to the drop box.

The deadline for handing in the essay is Friday January 8 (15.00), i.e. three weeks after the final presentation, but, the suggestion is that you write the essay immediately when your memories of the course are fresh - as well as in order to be done with it! The task below is neither very comprehensive nor time-consuming, but please do set some time off to sit down and reflect upon the course when you write the essay.

The essay consists of three parts:

1A. "Instead of a course evaluation".
- What were in your opinion the two (or three) best things about the course?
- What were in your opinion the two (or three) worst things about the course?
- What are your (perhaps two or three) suggestions for how to change/improve the course?
- What is the most important advice you can give to the students who will take the course next year?

You are of course allowed to posit more than three suggestions (etc.), but plese don't answer each question with just a few words or a single sentence. State your opinions and then exemplify, explain and back them up. We will not specify a set length, but do not just enumerate stuff without also including at least a brief explanation of each.

1B. "The project"
Taking into account that this is a project course, we are interested in creating structures for the project phase (Oct-Dec) that help project groups work with limited resources (primarily time) and still deliver high-quality results. Here are some questions to help you think about these issues (use the list below for inspiration, not as a checklist):
- How would you evaluate your project group's work effort? Are you happy with it?
- Was the work effort in the group more or less well distributed among group members or did some group members work a lot more or a lot less than others?
- Did you reach the quality you aimed/wished for in the allotted time and with the resources available? Why/why not?
- Did group members have similar priorities, or did you have different opinions about some (important) things? How did you resolve them?
- How much (or little) have you enjoyed working with your project group?
- Knowing what you know now, what could/should you or the teachers have done differently during the project phase of the course?

NOTE: we ask this question because 1) we only have limited insights into the work processes of individual project groups during the last few months and 2) we want to learn more so as to be able to improve instructions and advice for project groups next year. Your comments might thus refer to "mistakes" or unfortunate decisions you made in your group as well as aspects of the course that could be improved in order to clarify and support the work of the project groups better.

1C. "Closing the circle"
Go back and re-read the essay you handed in at the beginning of the term (if you absolutely can't locate it, send a mail to Daniel Pargman who will find it and return it to you).

In that first essay (the instructions are here) you wrote about A) your "expectations and apprehensions" regarding the course and B) about your "relationship to the theme of this year's course" (storytelling). What has changed and what hasn't since you wrote that first essay? Did the course live up to your expectations or did you apprehensions come true? Has your relationship to the storytelling changed since then or are they still the same?

Please write no less than 400 words (1 page) and no more than 1000 words (2.5 pages) on topic 1B and 1C together.

For those (few) who did not hand in essay 1 or for some other reason have to do an extra assignment:
I will anonymize and distribute eight different essays to you (making sure that none of them comes from any members of your own project group). Instead/on top of 1C above, you will summarize these essays and furthermore see if you can find patterns that several students agree upon (or important stuff people instead disagree on). I will send further instructions together with the essays. You will not be able to complete this task before Jan 8 since your classmates have to submit their second essay before you can be given this extra assignment.

Monday, December 7, 2015

The jury on December 17

This year, the jury at the final presentations consists of three persons. Here is a short presentation of each of them:

Robb  Montgomery,
journalist, filmmaker and teacher. He is the founder of the Smart Film School, and the author of "A Field Guide for Mobile Journalism." He is a world authority on video filmmaking for reporters carrying mobile phones.
Anna Careborg, head of premium content and digital storytelling at the Swedish daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

Björn Thuresson, teacher and manager of the Visualisation studio VIC at KTH. The studio is a resource for teaching, research and business liaisons in advanced graphics, interaction and visualization. He has a background in cinema studies, journalism and communication studies and professional experience in the production of film.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Future of storytelling trends

The following text about trends is taken from the introductory chapter of our book Future of storytelling:
Below are eight trends that we have identified in the course and that we believe are of importance for the Future of Storytelling and Storytelling of the Future. Each trend is important for at least a few groups, and sometimes for many project groups.

In the future, stories will be told in a way that involves the audience to a higher degree. This can be done by using technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality and 360o video storytelling and these technologies will be simple to use and easily accessible. Utilizing these technologies to tell stories, the audience will to higher extend than today “experience” content such as sports events, concerts or in-depth news reporting.

Very large amounts of collected data (“big data”) will aid storytelling in the future. The amount of data that is collected about virtually everything in society is growing exponentially each year. The challenge is to present stories based on this information in new and compelling ways or to develop and explore “big data storytelling” – a genre that hardly exist today.

An increasing part of storytelling in the future will be told via mobile devices, and preferably by using video and audio. This move towards increased mobile, video and audio contents means that the proportion of text-based, written information is expected to decrease in the future compared to audio and video.

Storytelling in the future will preferably be done by using interactive tools. This means that the consumer prefers to interact with the story or the storyteller in various ways, for example through computer games or by exploring and interacting with different kinds of interactive stories. It might also be the case that the loop between the storyteller (journalist) and the reader (viewer, listener, gamer, consumer etc.) will become tighter.

Stories will more easily be spread “laterally” among readers, users or consumers in the future and social media will play an important role in this process. With the proliferation of smartphones (cameras), users will also become more involved in the co-creation of content and eye-witness reporting is one example of this trend.

People will to a higher degree consume media content that is adapted and filtered to fit their particular interests. Finding stories that to a higher extent corresponds to my particular interests and points of view as well as a community of others who share my opinions can be perceived as both empowering and liberating. The downside is that being enclosed in such “filter bubbles” and “echo chambers” will make it more difficult to understand others’ sometimes slightly and at other times radically different perspectives. It might also mean that we will miss out on broader perspectives of certain issues, on topics that that we don’t know we are interested in and in topics that we should be interested in, for example “boring”, uncomfortable or difficult issues that are of societal importance.

The human senses will be used in the future to a higher degree when it comes to conveying stories and media content. New technologies will be presented that enhance our human senses in different ways.

Peoples’ attention span has decreased and will continue to get even shorter in the future. Most viewers, listeners and readers will have little patience for long news stories and media content that demands a heavy up-front investment in terms of time and attention. This will have serious implications for storytelling in terms of what kinds of stories can and will be told in the future and will spur the development of new genres of simplifying and telling stories succinctly. It might also mean that it will be hard to tell stories that are inherently complex (for example the background to a conflict) unless you “lure” or entice people to engage in long, time-consuming stories