A case study in the use of audio-visual essays for university screen and media assessment

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    This article critically reflects on the use of audio-visual essays for assessment in undergraduate Screen and Media courses at Flinders University. Since 2018, audio-visual essays have been set as an optional assessment task in first-year and upper level units. In 2019, an audio-visual essay was set as a compulsory assessment item in the first-year course SCME1000 Film Form and Analysis. This was supported with a student-run audio-visual essay lab, in which upper-level Screen and Media students and recent graduates instructed first-year students in basic editing techniques for the audio-visual essay. These labs provided an opportunity for skilled upper-level students and recent graduates to engage with the first-year cohort, impart their skills, model good practice, and generated possibilities for future mentoring and collaboration. Students and demonstrators were subsequently surveyed and interviewed to reflect on the value of their experience working with audio-visual essays. Drawing on this data set, the assessment of the students’ audio-visual essays is charted against the unit of study’s stated educational aims and expected learning outcomes. In the process, this article considers the value of using audio-visual essays when designing assessment for a large, mixed cohort of students with diverse learning styles, skillsets, and professional ambitions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)38-48
    Number of pages11
    JournalMedia Practice and Education
    Issue number1
    Early online date23 Oct 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


    • Audio-visual essay
    • video editing
    • university film studies
    • pedagogy


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