Analyzing Student-Made Films: Interplay

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Analyzing Student-Made Films: Interplay

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Analyzing Student-Made Films: Interplay
Schneider, Jenifer Jasinksi ( Author )
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University of South Florida
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1 online resource (5 pages)


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Education -- Research ( lcsh )
Teachers -- Training of ( lcsh )


Analyzing student-made films is a layered and complex interpretive process. Researchers and scholars may choose to analyze the final product or they may want to contextualize the film with an analysis of the instructional context in which the students composed the film. In this collection, Jenifer Jasinski Schneider shares her methods for examining the process of composing films and her methods for analyzing and interpreting the final product.

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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I17-00043 ( USFLDC DOI )
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! Schneider, J.J. (2016). Analyzing Student Made Films: Shots, Sequences, and Scenes (pp. 1 5 ). Retrieved from Multimodal Data Analysis: A Curated, Open Access Collection of Methodologies USF Libraries Digital Collections Analyzing Student Made Film s : Multimodal Interplay Jenifer Jasinski Schneider, Ph.D. University of South Florida 2016 Introduction To illustrate the methodological process of film analysis, I selected a film created by a group of 5th grade students and t wo teacher candidates The students' process in composing the film is important and their decisions serve as the context for the final film product. F urther details about the students' and teachers' collaboration are presented in other parts of this collec tion. Analyzing the Modes: A Recap I n this document, I focus on the students' final film as a text that captures the modal tools a nd techniques through which the students created meaning. My process of film analysis (Figure 1) begins with my identificati on of camera shots and angles to determine the structural and visual components of the sequence of scenes within the film. Once I isolate the scenes, I determine which ones are the major scenes that advance the plot or contribute to the rhetorical purpose. Students create films in a range of genres; therefore, the plot and/or the purpose are important aspects of determining meaning. To me, the shots and plots/purposes are the foundational elements of the text structure. In other words, where are the student s going with their message? What is the point and purpose of watching this film? What goals can I infer? Documenting the shots and plots allows me to create a visual and rhetorical outline of the film. Figure 1. Process of film analysis.


! Schneider, J.J. (2016). Analyzing Student Made Films: Shots, Sequences, and Scenes (pp. 1 5 ). Retrieved from Multimodal Data Analysis: A Curated, Open Access Collection of Methodologies USF Libraries Digital Collections # Next, I ex amine how the students created meaning through semiotic sources. Personally, I am interested in their sele ction and execution of modes as indicators of their intent to mean. Modes are an organized grouping and cultural shaping of semiotic resources (Figure 2) The modes are the vehicles through which students make meaning in film. In order to analyze the semiotic resources in a student made film, I specifically examine five modes: linguistic, visual, spatial, gestural, and aural. Figure 2. M ultiple m odes in student made films. To analyze the modes used within a student made film, I engage in a process of isolating and sorting the modes, tallying the number of instances, and using statistical and interpretive methods to determine patterns. The Interplay : Creating Sets of Data Points Once the modes are coded, counted, and sorted, I return to the film scenes as a structure for continued analysis. At this point, the mode/scene ratio or relationship may not seem to be an important way to parse the data. However, I find that the scenes often serve as a useful marker to identify shifts or changes in the students' modal approaches to film composition and construction This is where the students' filmmaking process comes into play. It is important to note, the students and teachers may film the scenes out of order of the plot structure In other words, to save time, I tell the students to film all the scenes in a certain location before moving to the next location. Or, if certain characters have ela borate costumes, I remind the group to film all of the scenes with those characters before moving on to other scenes with different characters. The final edited film is an amalgamated text, fused together by choices, decisions, and performances resulting in intended and unintended consequences. Given the students' and teachers' shifts in time and attention, their expertise in using aural, gestural, spatial, linguistic, and visual communication modes changes in relation to their growing experience as filmm akers (Schneider King, Kozdras, & Minick, 2011 ) In other words, the more they use the camera, stage a scene, rehearse their lines, and create meaning through different modes, the better they get. The filmmaking process is also impacted by stamina and int erest I have observed groups who rehearsed to the point of diminishing returns as well (Sc hneider, Allen, Blankenship & Margarella, 2010 ) The refore, the scenes serve as a marker of a unit of time but not necessarily chronological time


! Schneider, J.J. (2016). Analyzing Student Made Films: Shots, Sequences, and Scenes (pp. 1 5 ). Retrieved from Multimodal Data Analysis: A Curated, Open Access Collection of Methodologies USF Libraries Digital Collections $ My purpose for discussing the order of filming scenes is one consideration in the analysis of the interplay among modes. I cannot makes claims about mode density or effectiveness in relation to the film sequence based on the confounding factors discussed above. However, all is not lost. This is where corroborated evidence from observations of the process can come into play. I could re order the data segments so that each scene is placed in the order in which it was filmed. Of course, I would have to reorder the film to i nterpret any aspect of the plot/purpose because the film was placed in a certain sequence to achieve a particular effect. In other words, at this point, I can create data sets and manipulate the arrangement of the data to answer specific research questions Due to the fact that I have segmented data based on camera shot, scene, mode, codes, and patterns, I can pursue multiple pathways. Figure 3 Data sets, inter modal links, and possible research questions Confirm and Re view the Film Throughout the process of analysis, it is important to view the film in its entirety and situate interpretations within the larger text the students created. It is possible that an overly myopic examination of a simple gesture or an uni ntentional camera shot may occur. I try to remember that these methods provide a way of seeing the structure and examining the tools and techniques students use to create films. Their final products serve as a catchment of their decisions and I am interesting in studying the film products f or the ways in which the students structured their film and executed multiple modes to share content. By


! Schneider, J.J. (2016). Analyzing Student Made Films: Shots, Sequences, and Scenes (pp. 1 5 ). Retrieved from Multimodal Data Analysis: A Curated, Open Access Collection of Methodologies USF Libraries Digital Collections % layering the data and including analysis of their process, I can also study who made the decisions and why they made the choices leading to the final f ilm. In 2005, I made the deliberate choice to teach literacy methods courses differently. I opted to create a field experience component in my course, to build a better model of literacy teacher education. I wanted the candidates to apprentice into teachi ng under my mentorship and to learn in contexts that were optimal for candidate and K 6 student success. It is important to recognize the impact of these educational experiments on the hosting contexts. Children experienced immediate benefits by improving the quality of their written and digital products. Parents and families were able to view products and increase involvement in their child's education. The classroom teachers continued to modify their instruction and incorporate digital literacies as part of their curriculum. Over the years, almost 2000 students and teacher candidates presented information on a range of disciplinary topics by creating films They also made use of different tools and shifting technology, demonstrating composing skills and digital literacy competencies. This collection highlights my methods of analysis, providing a systematic approach to analyzing the process and/or the product, revealing deeper understanding of how students use multiple modes to mean


! Schneider, J.J. (2016). Analyzing Student Made Films: Shots, Sequences, and Scenes (pp. 1 5 ). Retrieved from Multimodal Data Analysis: A Curated, Open Access Collection of Methodologies USF Libraries Digital Collections & References Kozdras, D., King, J.R., Schneider, J.J. (2013). Learning the disciplinary language and literacies of multimodal composition. In R.E. Ferdig & K.E. Pytash (Eds.) Exploring multimodal composition and digital writing (pp. 350 363 ). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. Schneider, J.J., Allen, D., Blankenship, M., Margarella, E. (December, 2010). SnowWoww and the Climatation: From Fist Pumps to Fluency. In D. Dennis, C. Scheckelhoff, S. Constable, J.J. Schneider (Chairs), Film school: Technol ogy as provocation for oral reading fluency. Symposium conducted at the meeting of the Literacy Research Association, Fort Worth, TX. Schneider, J.J., King, J.R., Kozdras, D., Minick, V. (2011). Accelerating reflexivity? An ethno theater interpretation of a pre service teacher literacy methods field experience. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 25(8), 1037 1066. DOI 10.1080/09518398.2011.595740. Sample Analyses Using This Process and Featuring The Focus Film Frier, A.D., Sch neider, J.J., & Smith, P. (2013, December). Pre serv ice teachers' approximations of literacy instruction during a multilingual, multimodal field experience Paper presented at the meeting of the Literacy Research Association. Dallas, TX. Smith, P., Frier A.D., & Schneider, J.J. (2014). Negotiating American history: Bilingual learners collaboratively compose information texts. In J.J. Schneider (Ed.) Casework in K 6 writing instruction: Connecting composing strategies, digita l literacies, and disciplinary content to the Common Core (pp. 193 203). New York, NY: Peter Lang. Smith, P., Schneider, J.J., & Frier, A.D. (2013, April/May). Leveraging lingu istic "privation" into semiotic sufficiency: Examining multilingual learners' process of collaborative media composition. Paper presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA.


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