Communications professor coauthors interactive textbook
April 27, 2017   //   By:   //   Achievements, Research and Academics

Kirsten Johnson has turned the idea of a textbook on its head.

Johnson, an associate professor of communications at Elizabethtown College, recently coauthored “Shoot, Edit, Share: Video Production for Mass Media, Marketing, Advertising, and Public Relations” with Jodi Radosh, a professor at Alvernia University in Reading, Pennsylvania. Published by Routledge, the textbook explains broad concepts of video production, including current technologies and framing shots.

Unlike most textbooks, “Shoot, Edit, Share” includes QR (Quick Response) codes to allow interaction between text and student. Johnson said the QR codes make the textbook unique and also made the book appealing to the publisher. According to Johnson, these videos are helpful in a variety of ways. Students are able to access videos for homework without having to log onto a database, whether they watch the embedded videos in the online textbook or scan the physical QR codes. In turn, this saves class time.

The videos, Johnson said, also are reflective of the textbook’s purpose. “Of all the things that should have videos in them,” the professor said, “a video production textbook (should).”

The textbook and its videos represent what Johnson describes as a broad area in the field of communications. “If you think about it, there has been an explosion in video production and distribution,” she said. “We have tons of cable stations, Amazon, Netflix and social media videos. There are so many jobs in (video production) that didn’t exist five years ago.”

Johnson said that she and Radosh, who had previously worked together at WGAL-TV8 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, found there was a need for a textbook that wasn’t “overly technical in nature.” Many video production textbooks are written to describe intricacies of camera operations and other specifics. However, “Shoot, Edit, Share” is accessible to anyone interested in video production, not just communications majors.

This makes the subject easier for students. “Students just weren’t reading the textbooks we were using,” Johnson said. “They were just so difficult to read.”

Johnson emphasized that the book is written not just for mass media students but also for marketing, advertising and public relations students. “People going into these areas are being called upon more and more to show video production proficiency,” she said.

According to Johnson, she and Radosh plan on implementing “Shoot, Edit, Share” into their video production classes this fall. Colleagues of theirs have already begun using the book and have reported that students enjoy the textbook’s hands-on approach.

About the Author :

Rebecca Easton is a junior at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. She is currently studying English with a concentration in professional writing, and is pursuing a double minor in communications and business administration. Her primary interests in these fields include journalistic writing, copy editing and marketing. She currently works for the Elizabethtown College Center for Student Success as a writing tutor. She also works for the Office of Marketing and Communications.