Analyzing Media Impacts

Analyzing and understanding how media messages are intentionally crafted to produce specific audience responses to become more media literate, better able to choose media for learning goals, and better able to craft effective media messages.
Made by Digital Promise
APPLY
G
Earn Graduate Credit
Graduate-level credit is available for this micro-credential. You can apply for credit through one of our university partners after successfully completing the micro-credential.
Learn More About Graduate Credit

About this Micro-credential

Key Method

Using a research-based framework to analyze types of media messages, students become more aware of techniques used by media producers to inform, persuade, or entertain; they apply this awareness to crafting a short media message designed to inform viewers and persuade them to take some positive action (see the Persuasive Presentations micro-credential). They then evaluate audience responses to the message.

Method Components

After establishing discussion guidelines, educator guides students through a critical discussion of media messages, followed by reflection by the students and teacher. This framework can be implemented individually, in small groups, or during whole-group instruction.

Research-based framework for analyzing media impacts:

  1. Who created this message?
  2. Who is the intended audience for this message?
  3. What creative techniques were used to attract and keep my attention?
  4. What creative techniques were used to inform, persuade, or entertain me?
  5. What values, lifestyles, and points of view are represented in, or omitted from, this message?
  6. How might different people respond differently than me to the message?
  7. What impact do you think the creators of this message wanted?
  8. Which techniques were most and least effective in achieving the intended impact?

Suggested implementation activity

Using strategies like the following eight-part approach to evaluating media messages, students discover the methods media producers use to get intentional responses from audiences:

  • Who created this message?
    • All media messages are constructed with a purpose in mind.
    • Who designed the message can reveal much about the intention behind the message.
  • Who is the intended audience for this message?
    • Knowing the targeted audience for a media message can help explain the choice of words, music, tone, style, actors, voice of narrator, and other elements.
  • What creative techniques were used to attract and keep my attention?
    • There are a wide variety of proven, powerful methods to get and keep attention for the message being presented; identifying these techniques can help consumers resist being manipulated by the media and offer techniques for creating impactful media messages.
  • What creative techniques were used to inform, persuade, or entertain me?
    • Identifying the methods used to keep you engaged in receiving compelling information, persuade you to adopt a certain perspective or take a particular action, or entertain you with humor, drama, or stories will increase your level of media literacy.
  • What values, lifestyles, and points of view are represented in, or omitted from, this message?
    • The choices made regarding who presents the message and how it is presented are intentional and often result in subtext or hidden messages about class, race, and values.
  • How might different people respond differently than me to the message?
    • Different audiences often take different meanings from media messages, depending on their background, age, experience, and other elements.
  • What was the intended impact of this message?
    • Taking all of the above analyses into account, what do you think were the obvious and not-so-obvious intended impacts of the message?
  • Which techniques were most and least effective in achieving the intended impact?
    • Evaluating the level of impact of the media designers' choices can make you a more critical media consumer.

Students then design and create a short video or presentation to inform an audience and persuade them to take some positive action using some of the techniques they observed, then play or present it for an audience. Each audience member writes about how the message impacted him or her and what parts of the message had the most impact.

Suggested preparation

After watching an example of a short video commercial or public service message, students discuss what kinds of responses they think the producers of the video wanted from viewers, what media techniques the producers used to get these effects, what were some of the hidden messages being communicated, and how effective these techniques were.

Suggested review

Students discuss the results of the audience feedback and the lessons learned about how media impacts their everyday lives.

Research & Resources

Supporting Research

Research on media literacy, understanding the design of everyday media and their impacts on students indicates that critical media analysis is important to deepening understanding of the impacts of individual media choices and students' ability to design effective media messages.

Resources

Submission Requirements

Submission Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria

Following are the items you must submit to earn this micro-credential and the criteria by which they will be evaluated. To earn the micro-credential, you must receive a passing evaluation for Parts 1, 3, and 4 and a “Yes” for Part 2.

Part 1. Overview questions

(200-word limit for each response)

  • Activity Description: What kind of project activities did you and your students engage in to become more proficient in analyzing media impacts? Please describe the learning activities and strategies you used.
  • Activity Evaluation: How do you know your students increased their proficiency by engaging in the Analyzing Media Impacts activities and what evidence did you collect that demonstrates these learning gains?

Part 2. Evidence/artifacts

Please submit work examples from two students (such as links to writing, audio, images, video, and other media) that demonstrate progress toward competency in analyzing media impacts, including such items as evidence of discussions of producers’ intended media impacts, examples of student analyses of specific media messages, samples of the videos the students created, discussions of lessons learned from the media analysis activities, and other relevant items.

Part 3. Student reflections

For the two students whose work examples were included above, submit student-created reflections on their experience of the analyzing media impact activities. Use the following questions as a guide:

  • How did the analyzing media impacts activities help you use understand how media designers construct media messages to create their intended impacts on you?
  • How did the strategies for analyzing and creating media messages change your view of the influence media has in your life and your learning?

Part 4. Teacher reflection

Provide a reflection on what you learned, using the following questions as a guide (200-word limit):

  • What was the impact of engaging your students in the Analyzing Media Impacts activity?
  • How will experiencing these project activities shape your daily teaching practice in the future?

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Requirements

Download to access the requirements and scoring guide for this micro-credential.
Requirements for Analyzing Media Impacts
How to prepare for and earn this micro-credential - in a downloadable PDF document

Ready to get started?

APPLY