In our previous unit, students discovered how ideologies and practices shift over time. In this final unit for the first semester, students explore what happens when thorny issues emerge and endure; when ideologies, values, and rights sometimes come–and stay–in contest. Using multi-media technology, students tell the story of a controversy for this assignment, explaining how it came about, how it has endured, what’s at stake, and what questions it continues to ask of our civic life.
History of a Public Controversy Video Project
Working in small groups, students create a 10-minute video that depicts and examines the history of a controversy. Students are asked to integrate the rhetorical skills they have been developing up to this point in the course, especially with regard to the variety of rhetorical modes available in a digital context. They also practice working in teams researching, designing, and presenting an informative text to the class. The main goal of the project is to enrich the viewers’ understanding of a controversy in an well-organized, engaging way by asking and addressing compelling “framing questions” that give this issue enduring heft and dimension.