Development of an Informational Video to Promote Students’ Understanding of the Research Proposal Writing Process

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipient: Chantal Gibson, School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT)

Project team: Hazel Plante, SIAT Liaison Librarian, and Hana Mareck and Darren MacPhail, research assistants

Timeframe: April 2015 to February 2016

Funding: $5,000

Course addressed: IAT 309W – Writing Methods for Research

Final report: View Chantal Gibson's project final report (PDF)

Description: The focus of this project is to design a 4-5 minute informational video for SIAT students that contextualizes the Research Proposal as a core concept in academic and design practice: in particular the video will explain what a proposal is and how proposal writing supports the development of a research paper or design project.  While one short video cannot “solve” a complex learning problem, we are approaching this project as the first in a possible series of videos that illustrate and detail the components of a proposal. In the future, we are interested in exploring how a suite of videos could function as a “visual rubric” for the assignment. For this first video, we will investigate the questions below.  These questions challenge us to rethink the design of our course materials and to reconsider the ethos of the assignment (e.g., the tone, voice, attitude and perspective) with respect to the diverse needs of our audience.

Questions addressed:

  • Can an audience-centered video help novice researchers and young designers see the relevance of this core concept in design practice?
  • How can an instructional video complement revised assignment instructions and grading criteria?
  • How can this video enhance student learning? For example, will an illustrated description of the proposal better support visual learners?  Will the ability to start, stop and replay the video support second language writers and learners who need more time?

Knowledge sharing: The instructional video and the findings from this research project will be presented to the SIAT faculty.  The video will be available to the broader SFU community and other academic institutions through open access. 

Keywords: writing; video