In the spirit of the current Mobile Quest (Mobilize Your Assignments), I want to share some of the results of my mobile Photography I final I assign to my high school students.
Throughout the entire semester, I emphasize the Elements of Art (line, shape, form, color, value, texture, space) and Principles of Design (rhythm/pattern, contrast, balance, emphasis, movement, proportion, unity). The other key topic, besides the camera settings themselves, is composition.
Initially, I created this final in a last-ditch effort to have students showcase their understanding of key course vocabulary. Until last semester, I generally had students create a cumulative portfolio, but when our student server crashed, I had to come up with something practical and enjoyable. That's when I came up with the Mobile Final!
Each student was required to have the Canvas by Instructure app installed on their personal smartphone. This part was easy since most of my students already had it on their devices! Then, students could choose from a variety of editing apps, but I suggested Snapseed (iOS + Android) and Pixlr (iOS + Android). This way, they'd be prepared to take the photographs, edit, and submit their work...all from their personal devices. I thought this was amazing since the entire activity could be done outside and within the hour-long time restraint of our scheduled final.
In their "Photo I Final" module, I added the following prompts, each as their own assignment:
Leading Lines - "Capture an image that utilizes leading lines. How can lines help guide a viewer through your image?"
Framing - "Capture an image that contains an excellent example of Framing. Framing is a technique that photographers use to help emphasize their subject. How can you surround a subject with other objects to exaggerate the importance of the subject?"
Exaggerated Perspective - "Capture an image that exaggerates perspective. Consider a subject, but then think about how foreshortening changes the way a viewer would interpret the images. (A good place to start would be worm's-eye-view...but don't be afraid to look at extreme angles of all types.)"
Rule of Thirds - "Capture an image that utilizes Rule of Thirds." Composition is everything! Demonstrate your knowledge of this key compositional tool."
Macro - "Capture a beautiful macro image. Get up close and personal with an object and emphasize texture!"
Each had their own directions and rubric. Students liked how they knew exactly what they needed to accomplish, and yet, they had some freedom on how to interpret the prompts. It was amazing how many compliments I received about this mobile experience. Needless to say, this activity was repeated this semester...with warmer weather. Again, these students enjoyed the active learning and being able to demonstrate their learning, rather than only being evaluated what they could communicate on a written final.
This will be something that I continue to do. The unique combination of assigning a written final with a later (mobile) skills final really does provide me with some great ways to assess student learning.
I love creating ways that technology can prioritize problem-solving and reflection while also improving communication, collaboration, and organization for learners and leaders. I hold an M.Ed in Curriculum & Instruction - Learning Technologies a B.S. Teaching degree in Art Teaching. Before joining the Community Team in 2022, I taught visual arts classes for 12-years at the high school level.