Zeinabu Irene Davis, professor in the Department of Communication, teaches a wide array of courses to undergraduate and graduate students on subjects including film history and theory. An accomplished filmmaker, Professor Davis offers media production courses where students create their own video productions. Collaborating with the ACMS Media Teaching Lab enriches her students’ educational experience.
“I could not teach my courses without the Media Teaching Lab,” Professor Davis said, “Adriene [Hughes], Lev [Kalman], and Mitchell [Wright] are basically the other parts of my hand in terms of teaching here at UC San Diego.”
The Media Teaching Lab’s mission is to collaborate with all faculty in their courses. “In production it’s all about teamwork, and everyone plays a very important role in making a film happen,” Adriene Hughes, manager of the Media Teaching Lab, said. “Teaching is the same [kind of] effort.”
Professor Davis’s students take advantage of the numerous workshops offered by the Media Teaching Lab each quarter. With only three hours in class per week, Professor Davis does not have enough time to cover all of the aspects of video production that her students need. The Media Teaching Lab bridges that gap. “They are my teaching partners, that’s what I like to think of them as,” Professor Davis said, “because they will get the students through editing situations or they’ll get them through learning how to use the camera, the microphones, the lighting equipment, all those sorts of things.”
Some of Professor Davis’s students have a critical need for the Media Teaching Lab’s services. “Even though I’m in the Department of Communication, all of my students do not necessarily come from the department. Some of our courses service students outside of the major,” Professor Davis said. Winter Quarter 2014 saw graduate students from the Departments Ethnic Studies, Literature, and Sociology, as well as the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, enroll in her courses. Media Teaching Lab workshops gave the students without a media production background the skills they needed to succeed in courses like those offered by Professor Davis. In fact, the Media Teaching Lab can support any UC San Diego course that has a need for video production resources, not just those from the Departments of Communications or Visual Arts.
In addition to training, the Media Teaching Lab provides students enrolled in media production courses with access to the Equipment Checkout Facility. Students can check out cameras, microphones, lights, and other equipment needed to create videos for their classes. They can also reserve time in one of the Lab’s editing suites to do post-production work on their projects.
Professor Davis could not overemphasize how much the Media Teaching Lab enhances her courses. “It’s really, really important to me that the Media Teaching Lab exists,” she said.
To find out more about how the Media Teaching Lab can support students enrolled in media production courses or graduate students who use media in their research, visit the Media Teaching Lab website or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Faculty Feature is a series of articles highlighting faculty and their creative use of technology in the classroom. Check back regularly to find out how UC San Diego faculty are moving the future of education forward!