VCE Media is an incredible course of study that covers some really fascinating and interesting topics that are relevant to everyone who consumes and enjoyes any type of media; basically all of us.
The units of study designed on this website, is an exploration of the topics to be covered in unit 3 and 4 of VCE Media, where the deliverables in the form of assignments are described with the final piece of assessment an Exam. This website could be used in conjunction with face to face delivery and support students through lockdowns for Covid, with lessons built in the Learning Management System in this site. This would enable them to study during regular periods, and get a handle on what is coming up so they feel well prepared.
At VCE level, there is an expected degree of independence with regards to their own learning, however the teacher should be demonstrating the technical aspects in classroom activities and provide preworked examples.
This includes demonstrating things like how to work the software, and operate differen’t equipment, such as digital video and still cameras. Teachers need that technical and practical process and theory insight into media as well as the language used to describe things to help students develop that skill throughout the unit in preparation for the exam. In class debates and refective writing are used to support this development to practice giving an opinion verbally and to make clear cohesive statements in written form.
The field of study of Media is very broad, which you can see from the study design available here. Media, like all of the arts, is analytical, academic and practical. It is a practice of process that is repeated, much like design, and consequently studio based learning is a major theme of the delivery of the teaching in this unit. There is also tutorial type sessions where the teacher will lead students through complex workflows, as well as a more typical classroom based scenarios where content is delivered almost like a lecture and activities are completed afterwards. There is weekly homework that is intended to trigger deeper thinking. SAC tasks are intended to provide a collegial and reflective experiences and encourage more and diverse insights into topics. Students are asked to reflect on content engaged with in class weekly and this provides the basis for their SAT work, and exam preparation.
Link to the weekly schedule: Unit 3 & 4 Planner VCE Media
Link to resources planned for the unit: Links to resources to support the implementation of the planner
Narrative and Ideaology
For this design, students explore the relationships between narratives and audiences, and how these are framed broadly and with reference to specific texts. For this unit we will explore the narrative and observe the steps characters move through with reference to the 7 step outline of Robert McGee.
This unit covers areas in media of ‘explain, analyse, discuss’ (“VCAA Media Study Design” n.d.).
The first movie we will look at is ‘Get Out’:
A young African-American visits his white girlfriend’s parents for the weekend, where his simmering uneasiness about their reception of him eventually reaches a boiling point. (Peele 2017)
After exploring this film, we will then review and contrast elements of it with ‘Back to the Future’ , a well known film.
For a refresher:
Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the eccentric scientist Doc Brown. (Zemeckis & Gale 1985)
These two films are great to compare and contrast for both narrative style, ideaology, and the consumption and reception of narratives and ideaologies in society. The diversity of these two films demonstrate elements of social and cultural contexts and with both films there is an interesting connection to the passing of time and recognition of place and belonging. These films connect to the key knowledge areas of:
Key knowledge areas Narrative and Ideology
“• the characteristics and construction of media narratives in selected media forms
• how audiences from different periods of time engage with, consume and read media narratives
• the relationship between and the function of media codes and conventions to convey meaning in selected media forms
• the relationship between media narratives and the ideological and institutional contexts in which they are produced, distributed, consumed and read
• the way ideologies shape media narratives
• the relationship between media narratives and audiences
• appropriate media language.” (VCAA Media Study Design n.d.)
Formative assessments will take place during this unit to ensure that students are on track to completion of assignments. Regular reflective questions will be given to students to respond to each week and sometimes this will include further readings or engagement with content. These can be assessed as part of a SAC, and are intended to build up knowledge and confidence in preparation for the SAT. The SAT will be a written or oral report.
Media Production Development
Moving into media production development, students will research and investigate forms of media and different technologies. This section will refer to practical, hands on demonstrations of key software, including Premier Pro, After Effects, Animate, Audition and if students are interested, could also include and explore games. It wil involve understanding the media codes and conventions and the work of auteurs. It’s also important to have confidence using the equipment and these will also be made available for students with instruction to scaffold their learning. This section develops skills and knowledge that really feeds forward for future assignments. These classes will be interspersed with the narrative and ideology classes.
This sections intention for students is to “Explore, analyse, record, document, develop skills, evaluate” (VCAA Media Study Design n.d.)
The key knowledge for this area is:
Key knowledge areas Media Production Development
“• media codes and conventions, narrative, genres and styles appropriate to the selected media form
• structural and aesthetic qualities of media products that engage with and are read by audiences
• research that informs the exploration and development of ideas and skills in a selected media form
• methods for recording, documenting and evaluating research
• media equipment, technologies and processes appropriate to a selected media form and proposed product• media language.” ” (VCAA Media Study Design n.d.)
Students will be provided with a digital production portfolio they will add research into each week and document their experimentation and production tasks we will explore throughout the unit. Key times will be indicated to check in on their progress.
Media Production Design
The third area of study for unit 3 is media production design, where students develop the written and visual representation of the documents that lead to the next unit where we will produce the proposed product. It’s vitally important to understand the audience for media production and how this can be identified and students must outline this in detail as part of their production design. The earlier work of understanding the narrative and codes and conventions is combined, and following on from the media production outcome, here the whole production is designed for one of the following media forms:
“• A video or film production of 3–10 minutes in length, including title and credit sequences.
• An animated production of no more than 10 minutes in length, including title and credit sequences.
• A radio or an audio production of a minimum of 8 minutes in length, including title and credit sequences.
• A digital or an analogue photographic presentation, sequence or series of a minimum of 10 original sourced images shot, processed and edited by the student.
• A digital or traditional print production of a minimum of 8 pages produced and edited by the student.
• A digital and/or an online production that demonstrates comparable complexity consistent with the other media forms.
• A convergent or hybridised media production that incorporates aspects of a range of media forms and is consistent with product durations and the descriptors listed.” (VCAA Media Study Design n.d.)
Key knowledge areas Media Production Design
“• methods for documenting the specified audiences, narrative and intention of the proposed production
• media codes and conventions, technologies and processes relevant to the selected media form, proposed audience, narrative and production
• methods for creating written and visual representations of a proposed production
• methods for documenting details of production and post-production roles, tasks and timelines
• media language relevant to the design and production of a media product in a selected media form.” ” (VCAA Media Study Design n.d.)
In the digital production portfolio students are provided for the media production development unit, they will also include a comprehesive production plan based on a selected media form identified in unit 3, outcome 2 for the medium they choose to use.
The first area of study for Unit 4 is media production, this is where students will develop and produce their projects they have been working on during unit 3. The focus words for this unit are “methods, realise, apply, reflect, document” (VCAA Media Study Design n.d.).
This is an individual creative process and students will be supported indiviually with production meetings throughout this process where they are expected to be the lead auteur, where they are working as part of a team. This area covers both the stages of production and also post production. This unit brings together important elements from the earlier sections of study into the development of this project.
Key knowledge areas Media Production
“• production and post-production processes used to realise a media production design
• the operation of equipment, materials and technologies used in the creation of media products
• media codes and conventions relevant to the selected form, product and audience
• reflection and feedback processes to refine and resolve media products
• methods for documenting development, refinement and realisation of media products
• media language appropriate to the construction and evaluation of media representations.” (VCAA Media Study Design n.d.)
This assessment is on the media product that students have developed througout the media production process.
Agency and control in and of the media
The last area for study is Agency and Control, and this is where we are understanding media in the complex digital world. It explores the changing conversation between media and its audiences and the use of media globally and also connects with local experiences in Australia. The ethical and legal issues and different roles of media organisations is also an important aspect of this unit, with key terms “discuss, analyse, evaluate” (VCAA Media Study Design n.d.).
Key knowledge areas Agency and control in and of the media
“• the dynamic and changing relationship between the media and its audience
• the influence of both the media and audience
• the way media is used by globalised media institutions, governments and the individual
• the rationale for regulating the relationships between the media and its audience in Australia
• the issues and challenges relating to regulation and control of the media
• ethical and legal issues in the production, distribution, consumption and reception of media products
• media language.” (VCAA Media Study Design n.d.)
This assessment builds on the unit 3 reflective practice developed for unit 3 outcome 1, and extends it further and asks students to participate in mini debates during class time on predetermined topics to further explore agency and control issues. From this work, they will expand out to develop an annotated visual report on agency and control in the media and of the media.
Peele, J 2017, “Get Out,” IMDb, retrieved from <https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5052448/>.
“The Great Hack (2019) – IMDb” www.imdb.com, retrieved August 26, 2021, from <https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4736550/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1>.
“VCAA Media Study Design” www.vcaa.vic.edu.au, retrieved August 24, 2021, from <https://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/curriculum/vce/vce-study-designs/Media/Pages/Index.aspx>.
Zemeckis, R & Gale, B 1985, “Back to the Future,” IMDb, retrieved from <https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088763/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1>.