Faculty-led Inquiry into Reflective and Scholarly Teaching (FIRST)


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Course portfolio developed as part of the UNL Peer Review of Teaching Project (peerreview.unl.edu)

Copyright (c) 2014 Annie Specht


My goal is to disseminate this portfolio as a guide for other instructors who are interested in using media literacy as a guiding pedagogical principle for new courses as well as those who wish to incorporate popular media in existing curricula. My objectives for this Peer Review of Teaching benchmark portfolio are:

  1. To produce a detailed overview of ALEC 397-001: Media Literacy and Popular Portrayals of Agriculture with extensive attention paid to text selection (identifying and choosing the proper materials to best enhance student learning outcomes).
  2. To assist future instructors interested in media literacy with designing and implementing assessments. Assignment sheets, sample quizzes, and examples of student work across a range of ability levels will provide assessment guidelines for instructors developing new courses and a baseline for measuring student learning in upcoming semesters.
  3. To incorporate visuals (e.g., screen captures from selected texts, photographs from class) as a means of recording class activities and assignments.

Agriculture has been a vital part of American culture since its inception, and the production of food and fiber is still a hot-button issue for many Americans, despite their increasing displacement from the farming community. The growing divide between those involved in agriculture and their consumer stakeholders has led to a culture war of sorts, a perceptual battle among competing factions both within and without the industry. Agriculturalists cite advertising campaigns, documentaries, and television shows as critical of modern production practices and advanced agricultural technology, while media actors contend that artistic license and public integrity drive their narratives, visual elements, and overarching themes. With this is mind, ALEC 397-001 was designed to help agriculture students “unpack” those media texts and better understand how they may influence public perceptions of food and fiber production.