College of Western Idaho's (CWI) Multimedia Storytelling class (COMM 261) teamed up with the College's Cybersecurity program for a semesters-long project to shine a light on one another's work.
Each semester, Marketing and Communications Instructor, Dan Garrity, has his Multimedia Storytelling class examine the fundamentals of different types of storytelling skills, such as news stories, feature stories, public service announcements, and social media. Students get to write copy, shoot video, shoot photographs, and edit content for broadcast, print, and social media platforms.
The class then uses those skills and tools to amplify messages and awareness of a particular topic, such as suicide prevention, coping with COVID-19, race relations, and public speaking.
"My sincere hope and main goal are for students to develop not just digital storytelling skills, but also critical thinking skills," Garrity said. "They're presented with a creative challenge to which there are incomplete instructions. They're proving to be capable of so much more than 'painting by numbers'. They create independent productions that, absent their own creativity, would not exist."
For the Fall 2022 semester, Garrity decided to have his students focus on cybersecurity and work on sharing important tips and information related to the CWI community.
The idea came to Garrity after having a conversation with CWI Dean of Computer Science and Information Technology, Dr. Miguel Olivares, who shared the great work Cybersecurity students and faculty have been up to for the last year. Garrity thought it would be the perfect way to utilize some of the College's pool of resources and shine a light on the program.
Students created social media accounts, podcasts, public service announcements, and more that shared cybersecurity awareness advice. As part of the student's final project, they had to create a live broadcast show based around the semester's theme. The students chose to take the route of producing a gameshow — which Garrity called a creative success!
"I was really excited for them but also a bit anxious when they chose the 'gameshow' format because gameshows are hard," Garrity said. "They have a lot of moving parts that take time to prepare, and then they all have to come together at the exact same moment perfectly. They set the bar high for their first-ever show, and I think they did an amazing job. It was truly their creation, I think it did what they meant for it to do, and it was kind of fun!"