I’m teaching a graduate course in Developmental Psychopathology and this year I thought I’d do something different. Instead of the usual 10-min powerpoint presentations that all students end up doing ad nausea in their grad career, I gave a group video assignment. Five groups of 5 students each have to come up with a video that tackles one or a select few issues in a topic we cover in class including addiction, autism, depression, aggression, psychosis, and so on.
There are three main objectives of this assignment: (1) to learn how to communicate complex theoretical and sensitive material to a naive, intelligent audience, (2) to deepen students’ knowledge about the development of a particular aspect of child psychopathology through the exploration of contemporary, but scientifically unconventional, media and (3) to learn to work effectively in groups. Ideally (but not necessarily), we will post these videos to YouTube so that their efforts and knowledge can be shared outside the walls of our own classroom and will have an impact that extends past the presentation time in class.
I have been THRILLED by the results so far. I had no idea if they would rise to the challenge and, if so, what the final products would look like. I also didn’t know how the students would experience the assignment. So far, so good. The students seem to really like this new format of knowledge creation and transfer and we all seem to be enjoying the outcomes more than the more conventional presentation styles. See what you think… Here’s the first one (I’ll upload all of them over time).