Film & TV
HyFlex Film and Television Studio
Max Schleser
Dept. of Film & Animation
Eloise Ross
Dept. of Film & Animation

Vincent Giarrusso
Dept. of Film & Animation


Since 1966 Swinburne Film and Television is widely acknowledged as a high profile, progressive and innovative program. During COVID-19 we were faced with disruptions (more significant than most other courses in the School of Social Science, Media, Film and Education).
With the LEAP initiative and the learnings from blended learning during the pandemic, this project will develop novel approaches to a hyflex studio environment for a Film School.
This initiative will explore how to combine face-to-face, synchronous video tutorials and asynchronous learning through Canvas into a Film School specific studio class.
Resources 
Shareable teaching and learning resources for this project coming soon!

Problem
Since 1966 Swinburne Film and Television is widely acknowledged as a high profile, progressive and innovative program. During COVID-19 we were faced with disruptions (more significant than most other courses in the School of Social Science, Media, Film and Education). 
With the LEAP initiative and the learnings from blended learning during the pandemic, this project will develop novel approaches to a hyflex studio environment for a Film School. 
This initiative will explore how to combine face-to-face, social media video tutorials and asynchronous learning through Canvas into a Film School specific studio class. 

Project Overview
In the unit FTV30001 Breaking the Screen, Dr. Eloise Ross trialed the use of Adobe Express software, led by Adobe Creative Cloud, to support students in a dynamic environment of synchronous and asynchronous learning. This approach encourages students to build a page as a virtual tutorial space, adding to it as a resource through the semester by reflecting on their engagement with seminar and reading material. Foregrounding student choice while noting the importance of pedagogical guidance, the virtual tutorial space allows students to mimic engagement in class discussion and reap similar benefits to those found by attending a synchronous tutorial. Through the use of audiovisual media and photography students can contextualize their theoretical explorations. Students do not need to describe a scene, but can shift to the analytical element of their work. 

In A/P Max Schleser’s unit FTV10009 Experimental Screen Production students are encouraged to experiment with smartphone filmmaking. While cameras in smartphones have become very advanced, students are also asked to explore manual functions in the camera. Through exploring exposure and motion blur as well as long exposure cinematography students can shift from stories toward crafting experiences. A more playful engagement with the manual controls in smartphones will enable students gain an in-depth understanding of light and how digital cinematography operates.  

Emergent Outcomes
HyFlex Film and Television studio has: 
Established a set of guidelines that allows students from trans-disciplinary foundations to benefit from synchronous and asynchronous interaction with others in a learning environment 
Sharable resource for Experimental Smartphone Cinematography. In the past the smartphone filmmaking community relied on the mobile cinematography app FiLMiC Pro. In mid 2022 the app changed to a subscription model that is out of the price range for most students. As an alternative the camera app in Adobe Rush was explored. Most RUSH users only know the editing functionality, but do not realize the manual controls available in the RUSH camera app. These controls are not fund in the standard iOS or Android native camera apps. Thus RUSH is used in a HyFlex mode to encourage experimentation. Once an idea strikes students can explore and test with their smartphone. Through evaluation and refinement students can optimize their creative strategies and then also apply this with other cameras.  
The application of Instagram is an exploration in HyFlex mode to give students more options. As a pedagogical strategy the videos aim to utilize the independent study time more effective and hope to inspire and remind students to make use of this time more effectively. Through this experimentation with Instagram we will encourage students to use Instagram as a visual sketchbook for future iterations of the unit. 

Digital Literacy outcomes
This has encouraged student engagement with the Digital Literacies pillars: 
Technology literacy 
Students apply digital tools such as Adobe CC express and RUSH app to further develop their creative processes. The playful application encourages experimentation and reflection. Students learn about the particular software and also how to communicate their ideas more effectively. By means of teaching the manual camera controls students understand why and how cameras operate in a particular way in the automatic control. Through a playful experimentation student gain more insights. 
Information literacy 
Through sharing the videos on Instagram we hope to encourage students to explore digital platforms for learning. Students are encourage to follow filmmakers online who provide inspiration to them. Simultaneously the Insta platform facilitates a more flexible communication and reflection. Using a central webpage or platform to gather reflections allows students to build skills in data management and share their resources collectively. 
Critical literacy 
Students engage with screen media across diverse forms and reflect on their origins and meanings in written, spoken, and audiovisual forms. Through this engagement across platforms and within the classroom, digital literacy is built through flexibility, encouraging learning in a range of environments that are guided to individual strengths. 

Key Learnings
Putting this together required consideration of how students would best respond to course and unit content, when offered a choice within the HyFlex model. Most students opted out of the engagement with Adobe Express web page, and those who did engaged with it only minimally. More investigation is required to embed this virtual tutorial space more holistically into the delivery of unit materials and student learning pathways. This flexible process has a lot of potential in the teaching and learning space. 

Impact
In FTV30001, 50% of students completed an Adobe Express webpage. Few students used it for more than one response to the unit. Now that we have artefacts, resources, and examples, we will be better able to implement the approaches and measure the impact in future units
Flexibility 
Giving students choices 
Expanding the potential for student engagement  

Student quote from FTV10009: 
Arden Cvitanovic  
"The new updates for the Experimental Screen Production canvas pages provides students with plenty of study material to go through - organized neatly from Required Viewing/Reading to Recommended Viewing/Reading to Optional Viewing/Reading. This makes it easy to find what you're looking for while providing plenty of extra material to the student that would love to learn more." 

The HyFex engagement resulted in A/P Max Schleser’s feature OnCourse as a best practice guideline for the University (October - Faces of Swinburne_ Max Schleser _ Swinburne University of Technology.pdf)  Students’ self-reflection on their work and learning experiences is a key element of success of Blended Learning. 
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