I’ve been blessed by having some really great classes over the course of my teaching career. My Multimedia Production class this past semester will be an extremely tough act to follow on many levels.
On an academic level, they were exceptional. In fact, I gave a 100% on one of the final video projects for the first time ever! I flat-out could not find anything to deduct points for. In addition, I was able to use three projects to put up on the course website to serve as an example of past student work. Attendance and quizzes were nearly perfect, and not one student missed a deadline for any assignment.
On a personal level, they were just a great group. Very enthusiastic, very respectful and no drama. I can honestly say there was not one person I would not give a letter of recommendation for.
The students write a weekly blog for this class, in which they are urged to share their successes and failures during the course of the semester. For their last posting, I asked them to write a retrospective about the class, now that it was complete. In addition, any constructive suggestions were welcomed. What I read truly filled my heart with joy, as apparently the students enjoyed having me as an instructor as much as I enjoyed having them as students. More importantly, they were able to learn in a friendly environment, which is why I teach in the first place. I’ve posted below a couple of blogs from my students, which naturally reinforced my teaching methods and interpersonal skills.
“Today is the last day of class and it is definitely a bittersweet feeling that I’m getting as I walk away from Multimedia Production. Bitter because although a lot of the work throughout the class was very grueling in the sense that it was something I wasn’t used to, and there was a lot of time and effort that had to be devoted to each project, I wholeheartedly enjoyed each assignment. However, it is sweet because I’m excited to simply have a little more free time (to sleep mostly). Ultimately, this class will be one that I will remember for the rest of my life and will definitely help me with my future career and upcoming endeavors. Looking back I can definitely say that I’ve come a long way from when I published that very first WordPress blog post. At the time, looking upon all the assignments that lay ahead seemed extremely overwhelming. I had no idea how to do 99.8% of the techniques that were required of us to complete the aforementioned projects. However, there was one reason why I was able to successfully create work that I was entirely proud of, and that is because of my amazing beyond amazing professor, Jay Sandhouse. Sandhouse will definitely be a professor who made a lasting impact on me here at FIU, and that is definitely a major task to accomplish when it comes to me personally. While I tend to be a quick learner and like to explore new options and techniques on my own, Jay devoted an unorthodox amount of time towards helping his students, myself included, succeed. Not only was he available during class, but he was here for us before and after as well. The sense of community within the class was outstanding, as we were all just as lost as one another. Jay was our guide and our leader who taught us the ins and outs of the field and also shared A LOT of personal testimony on how exactly to succeed and make the most of our work and time. I’ve had quite a few friends who have taken this course with other professors and speaking with them and their experiences (as well as seeing their work) it’s obvious the amount of involvement that their professors had with them. Some peers even mentioned that their teachers gave them barely any guidelines for their major projects and basically just sent them out to make their work happen. I was pretty surprised and felt pretty happy to know that my professor was not like that in any way. He truly cares about his students and it’s evident from the minute he walks in to class, to the minute he walks out (which is about an hour after class ends since he’s always here helping us). Most professors simply say that they want to see their students succeed. Jay actually shows that he wants us to succeed. Ultimately, I’ll be walking away from this class with much more experience than from when I initially entered, as well as a bunch of projects to show for it. I’ve learned how to navigate so many programs which will definitely be beneficial to my career and life in general. I can honestly say that while summer classes in general tend to be a drag, Multimedia Production with Jay turned out to be an amazing experience and a great way to spend my summer!”
“I can finally breathe again, after what has felt like the longest semester of my life. Jay’s multimedia production course has been anxiety-inducing, but nevertheless rewarding. Without this class, I would have never discovered the realm of video and production — a medium that will probably benefit me more than I even know in my future career.
The class covered a wide range of production including still images, audio and video. This class gave me a solid foundation, especially in the latter. I am especially thankful for the introduction to Audacity and Final Cut Express.
I am also thankful for Jay’s time and help. Students can sense his enthusiasm and, in turn, they become excited about the course. I also appreciate his understanding and willingness to help. What other professor will sit in front of a computer with you for 30 minutes helping you color balance your entire video!?
Instead of busy work and exams, and being unreasonably strict on deadlines, Jay instead values the learning experience… that is, making sure students understand what they are doing wrong, how they can do something better, and that producing something to the best of their ability is of greater importance than completing something just to get a grade.
Jay really instilled this value in my mind over the course of the semester. When it came to the last two projects, I actually did both of them twice, and I couldn’t be more proud of myself and the final products.
But there is still room for improvement. Although I am proud of myself, having never recorded or edited video before this class, I now see how I can improve moving forward with video and production.
This would include white balancing and planning for more b-roll.
I am just sad that this class has to end when I was just starting to get the hang of it. Recording and editing was actually — dare I say it — FUN. I plan to use what I have learned in Jay’s class next semester with The South Florida News Service and in my internship with The Miami Herald.
This is one of those classes where students take what they have learned and actually put it to practical use — at least in our fields.
This class helped me conquer a phobia. This class helped me build a foundation that will help me in my career. That is something to be thankful for. It also something to be excited about.”