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Advice for teachers -
Media

Developing a program

Teachers should use the Study Design and this advice to develop a teaching and learning program that includes appropriate learning activities to enable students to develop the knowledge and skills identified in the outcomes in each unit.

For Units 1 and 2, teachers can design teaching and learning activities from the list provided. Learning activities for each Area of Study should provide a variety and mix of tasks that reflect different learning styles.

Practical and theoretical activities

This study aims for students to experience both practical and theoretical aspects of media and teachers should have an appropriate balance of theoretical and practical learning activities in their program.

Much of the work in Media can be collaborative in nature, with students working in teams with specific roles and responsibilities. In Unit 1 or Unit 2 activities may be team based however in Units 3 and 4, students are assessed on their individual achievement of the key knowledge and skills for each outcome.

Selection of media products

When choosing media products for study in their teaching and learning program, teachers should take the following into consideration:

  • Media products should be of appropriate complexity to allow for the acquisition of the knowledge and skills in the outcome.
  • Media products should reflect the interests of the cohort of students and an understanding of the school community.
  • Media products chosen should reflect school policies and procedures, departmental guidelines and classification laws.

Media forms

As outlined in the cross-study specifications, the study of media includes a broad range of media forms, across a range of styles, genres, locations and contexts for different audiences.

Convergence media: is the combination and merging of media forms and/or products to produce rich media experiences using voice, video and data.

Hybridised media: is the convergence of media technologies and/or products such as the internet combined with digital photography and phones in a social media platform.

Audience

Audiences are consumers and users, players, creators, producers and distributors of media content. Audiences may also be considered as media products. The content that is created and shared by individuals interacting with the media, along with their details, is stored, aggregated and sold between media platforms and other institutions. For example, images and posts placed on Instagram or Facebook or any social networking website are often curated and onsold to other network providers.

Media narratives in study and production

Narratives are structured by media creators to engage the audience. When consuming narrative, audiences will speculate how the narrative will unfold. Media products can have an explicit narrative using conventions such as characters or story arcs. Media products can also have an implicit narrative through the structuring, framing and presentation of images. The order of pages in a magazine, a sequence of photographs or edits of shots in a sequence can have an effect on the engagement of the audience and their reading of the sequence. Similarly, a single image or shot, such as a poster, portrait photograph or advertising image can affect the engagement of the audience and their reading of the image.

Unit 1: Media forms, representations and Australian stories

The study of media representations is an important introduction to the study of media and concepts that underpin the study. This unit has been designed to introduce the cross study specifications of media codes and conventions and media language. Learning activities should encourage the analysis of media codes and conventions in a broad range of media forms. Students should be provided with opportunities to create media products for specified audiences and specific contexts, and to reflect on their personal relationship with the media.

Learning activities may include large productions that include all parts of the media production process or smaller exercises that explore parts of the process. Students can undertake activities in collaboration or individually.

Sample time allocation
Unit 1Sample time allocation
1. Media representations15 hours
2. Media forms in production20 hours
3. Australian stories15 hours

Unit 2: Narrative across media forms

In this unit, students develop an understanding of the narrative in media products and forms in different contexts. By studying a range of creators and producers, students will gain better understanding of narratives that focus on style and genre.

Students explore a range of media products in two different media forms. They can research a variety of different media creators and producers that will allow them to see the different contexts in which the media is created and produced, including an analysis into the use of codes and conventions, the influences and contexts that shape their style and their relationship with different audiences.

Media exercises need not be large in scope, but all work should refer to the language and structure of the Media production process as outlined in the Cross-study specifications. Exercises may include some or all of the media production process but the learning activities overall will incorporate all stages in the process.

Teachers should provide opportunities for students to develop their own personal style, shaped by their personal preferences and interests in the creation and production of media products.

Sample time allocation
Unit 2Sample time allocation
1. Narrative, style and genre 15 hours
2. Narratives in production20 hours
3. Media and change15 hours

Unit 3: Media narratives and pre-production

The choice of media products to study for Unit 3: Area of study 1 is a school-based decision. Media products should have strong use of the media codes and conventions that structure meaning to provide engaging analysis as well as clearly reflect ideological and institutional contexts. When choosing products teachers are advised to consider examples that explore similar ideological and institutional contexts.

At least two media products in the same media form must be studied in this Area of Study. Teachers should consider the length and quality of the productions and consider that more than two can be studied. However, teachers should consider the time restraints and individual school timetabling when deciding how to deliver this area of study.

One of the media products selected for study must have been released in the five years prior to the commencement of the year of study. This is to allow the study of contemporary ideologies. Students will compare how audiences from the period when the media product was created, and current audiences, are engaged by, consume and read narratives. The choice of media products should differ in time period to allow a depth of study. Media products can be nonfiction or documentary, with an understanding that these products are also constructed realities with an inherent point of view. Teachers must ensure that the chosen media products offer an equal complexity in their codes and conventions, ideological and institutional contexts. Examples of print productions could be magazines, newspapers, zines or graphic novels in digital or analogue formats. Photographic series chosen for study could be digital or print in nature.

Sample time allocation
Unit 3Sample time allocation
1. Narrative and ideology25 hours
2. Media production development10 hours
3. Media production design15 hours

Unit 4: Media production and issues in the media

In Unit 4 students use class time to produce and refine their media product, focusing on the production and post-production stages of the Media production process.

Area of Study 1: Media production highlights the production process as iterative, where media products undergo production and post-production and then are adjusted and refined in response to feedback.

Area of Study 2: Agency and control in and of the media explores the complex relationships between media creators, institutions and audiences. Teachers should manage the teaching and learning in Unit 4 to allow students adequate time to complete their productions and explore the ideas in Area of Study 2 in depth.

Sample time allocation
Unit 4Sample time allocation
1. Media production20 hours
2. Agency and control in and of the media 30 hours