Appreciating Our Diversity: Using Digital Media Creation and Consumption to Develop and Evaluate Critical Thinking and Analytical Skills for Students in the Digital Culture
Critical Digital-Media Literacy
AdvisorBetts, J. David
Combs, Mary Carol
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractMeaning-making in today's digital culture, using digital media, raises the need for enhanced critical thinking and analytical skills. To be literate in digital media, one must know how to use digital tools, but one is also required to develop intellectual, social, and cultural competencies to be able to interpret messages in multimodal texts, which include written text, sound, and images. This research explored the experiences of two foreign students in higher education who participated in a six-week online workshop called "improving your digital-media skills." In the online workshop, the students completed a project-based activity in which each week they worked on one step toward finishing their projects. The weekly curriculum aimed to develop particular skill of digital-media literacy to access, analyze, evaluate, and create digital media materials. Throughout this study, the data was gathered and analyzed to answer two general questions: 1) How does a project-based activity of digital media creation and consumption impact students' critical thinking and analytical skills in the digital culture? 2) How does students' awareness of cultural diversity influence the choices they make in digital media production? Seeking answers to these two questions, the study employed qualitative case study methods including participant-observation, field notes, questionnaires, interviews, and digital media products analysis. The analysis revealed that the workshop had a great impact on the students' critical analysis and evaluation skills than on critical thinking skills. There was also a noticeable increase in the students' critical thinking skills when using digital media out of the academic settings. Both participants were affected by their experience of living abroad, and this factor influenced their thinking and teaching methods. Cultural identities appeared in their thinking and choices in some parts of the workshop. This study was an initial inquiry into the importance of acquiring cultural competencies along with critical digital-media literacy in order to accept the diversity in education and appreciate our differences.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading & Culture