Pedagogical Applications - The EVIA Digital Archive Project

Pedagogical Applications

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EVIA Project depositor Gilyana Dordzhieva presents information about her collection, Bloomington, Indiana, 2008. Image © Alan Burdette.

While research and publishing has been the primary focus of the EVIA Project, pedagogy has been part of how its mission was conceived from the very beginning. In addition to concerns about preservation and access, the initial discussions that led to the Project focused on a need for a greater variety of ethnographic materials to use in the classroom. Raw field video was seen as especially useful to advanced students desiring to study cultural performances via recordings that contain no editing beyond that of the scholar who made the recordings.

Some examples of uses for instructors include streaming sequenced clips to illustrate instruction and discussion topics, using video as a resource for pertinent background to research projects or assignments, and training students in ethnographic methods.

The Project has created playlist functionality for users of the Online Search and Browse Tool, which, among other things, allows an instructor to prepare a set of video segments for ready use in the classroom. The Online Search and Browse Tool also has full-screen playback capability which facilitates the use of the video in a classroom. With video streams of 2 Mbps, the quality of the video approaches that of most DVD video.

Scholars in ethnographic disciplines and especially those who study cultural performances of various kinds strive to analyze performance within cultural processes and relationships, and in so doing they cannot rely exclusively upon canonical texts or scores as sources for analysis. For example, an instructor of World Music or a similar course needs access to contextualized recordings of musical performances. The use of ethnographic video allows the instructor to present students with musical processes as they occur in their cultural settings. The practice of studying moving images alongside annotations allows one to transcend the tendency of focusing only on music sound or formal characteristics. In using EVIA Project resources, instructors thus can integrate discussion of music sound with discussion of other contextual aspects inherent in and/or important to experiences of the musical events in question. Many depositors also provide supplemental information linking users to textbooks or other scholarly writings, such as monographs or journal articles related to their video footage.

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