Home > Teaching Resources > Vodcast assignment

Vodcast assignment

This project was designed for a course of 30 students from a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds, most of whom are taking Arts of Japan to fulfill a General Education credit. It is designed to give them an opportunity to explore an object that intrigues them through the multiple perspectives art history affords them, and also to share what they have learned with their classmates. There are multiple benefits: students get some autonomy in what they research, they are asked to utilize the tools of art historical analysis that they have learned in class, they learn some basics with regard to software and good production design, and they get to learn about objects that we haven't studied in class.

I have done this type of assignment in many of my art history courses over the past 4 years. Because of the visual component, I refer to these as Vodcasts [visual podcasts] rather than simply podcasts. The software most commonly used to create them is iMovie, but some students are also using PC-based software as well as basic Podcast software.

Vodcast Assignment, Art 260, Spring 2013. 25% of final grade


Step I - Before Wednesday, February 20 - you will choose an object from the IDEAS database that intrigues you.

Step II - Go on Moodle and describe your objects to the class. Be sure to give the database name/title in your description.

Step III - Throughout the next month, there will be brief Moodle assignments related to the project. You MUST do these as each smaller assignment adds to your final grade. Please also try to do them in a timely fashion as they build upon each other. The assignments will be scaffolded smaller works asking you to do research in a wide variety of sources: encyclopedias, on-line databases, journals, and books, all leading up to the final Vodcast.

Step IV - The first draft of your project is due April 15th.

Step V - May 3rd, you will trade off Vodcasts. Final versions of your Vodcasts must be done by this time. Everyone will be asked to assess three other peoples' work; their feedback will comprise 5% of your grade.

Step VI - by May 13th, upload your final bibliography to Moodle.


For this assignment, you will work to design an audio-visual podcast of a work of art or architecture found in the IDEAS database. This item MUST be from Japan. Your job is to figure out a sophisticated way to link this work of art or architecture to others for your imagined museum-goer. It will be your job not only to research your objects, but also to contextualize them into a broader framework that will educate viewers/listeners about the relationship between the objects and time and places they come from. Be creative, informative and smart. You can connect your work of art to others found on-line or in books. Vodcasts will range in length, generally from 3 - 5 minutes


You should begin to work on your Vodcast content by using other resources, such as books, articles and other image resources. Start by researching your object, finding specific facts about the object and the times it comes from. Keep in mind that you might not find anything specifically related to your object except through what is available within the database, so be creative in your search! You'll need at least ten sources total for your final bibliography posted to Moodle. Your textbook cannot be included as a source; however, you may want to look through the bibliography at the back for help with other art-specific sources. You MUST cite your sources. Failure to do so is plagiarism. See http://www.stolaf.edu/stulife/thebook/academic/plagiarism.html for more information about plagiarism.

Karil Kucera
Associate Professor of Asian Visual Culture
St Olaf College