My research is situated in the overlapping fields of New Media Literacy, Digital Composition Studies, and Learning Sciences in locating where and when learning takes place through new media production. New Media Production–from producing a video or podcast to composing code through Scratch–reflects the reality of our increasingly digital and collaborative literacy practices. As educators quickly re-envision their classrooms as 21st century spaces and incorporate new media practices into their classroom, it is important to first understand how learning takes place. My work explores new media production in asking four main questions:  

  1. How and where does learning take place during new media production?
  2. How can educators design to enhance learning through new media production?
  3. How do young composers navigate the new media production process? 
  4. How can new media literacies be leveraged to promote youth voice?

Youth Critique Practices

My dissertation, “Critique Practices in Digital Media Production” is focused on the critique practices youth employ through video production, the ways in which young composers incorporate peer feedback into their productions, and the ways educators design critique practices that promote student agency. 

Related Presentations:

Nixon, J. & Hanlon, M. (November 2019). Process of Illumination: Innovative Critique Practices for Collaborative Inquiry. Workshop to be presented at the National Council of Teachers of English Conference in Baltimore, MD.

Nixon, J. (June 2018). Critique processes in digital journalism. International Conference on Learning Sciences, London.

Language Use and Discourse

The language youth use in providing one another feedback is based not only on instruction, but brings up numerous questions of power and space. Through my work with the Personalization in Practice, a research team fostering a network improvement community we worked with personalized learning educators from across the state in developing conferring protocols. In particular, I researched the development and implementation of peer conferring protocols as a scaffold for helping young students learn how to better communicate with their peers about their work.

Related Presentations:

Kallio, J. Dryer, J., Strikwerda, A., Nixon, J., Hackett, S., & Rawat, T. (August 2018). Developing conferring protocols for personalized learning. Play Make Learn Conference, Madison, WI.

Kallio, J., Nixon, J., Redmon, F., Bielmeier, & S. Dryer, S. (2017). Design for emerging practices in personalized learning. Presentation at the 8th Annual National Convening on Personalized Learning in Milwaukee, WI.

Nixon, J. (2017). Peer conferring protocol: Personalization in practice. Poster Presentation at Play Make Learn Conference in Madison, WI.

Digital Composition

My interest in digital production stemmed from years teaching Persuasive Writing at the University of Alaska Anchorage, where I partnered with a colleague in creating a themed course focused on identity. With a heavy focus on digital composition, students wrote an argumentative essay on an identity or label either with which they identify or which others have identified them and composed a definition argument to dissect the issues with labels and stereotypes. Students them transformed this traditional essay into a video essay, exploring the rhetorical possibilities created through multimodal composition.

Related Presentations:

Nixon, J., Monday, M., Estrada, E., & Mencher, R. (October 2019). Amplifying Youth Voices Through Video Production: An Interactive Workshop. Workshop at the Connected Learning Summit in Irvine, CA.

Hendricks, R., Nixon, J., & Tiedens, J. (April 2019). Click Youth Media. Presentation at the Wisconsin Public Television Education Innovation Summit.

Nixon, J. (March 2019). Re-positioning the camera: The language of action and reaction. Poster presentation at American Education Research Association in Toronto, ON.

Biebel, J. & Nixon, J. (August 2018). Finding authenticity through digital production.Play Make Learn Conference, Madison, WI.

Nixon, J. (2018). Fostering critical awareness of literacy practices: How students make meaning through multiliteracies. Work-in-progress presentation at the National Council of Teachers of English Assembly for Research Conference in Towson, MD.

Nixon, J. & Caldwell, H. (2014). Remixing the self: Don’t tell me who I am. Popular Culture Association/ American Culture Association.

Stone, J., Caldwell, H., Nixon, J., Banker, M. (2014). Digital storytelling methods for experiential learning. ASTE, Alaska Society for Technology in Education.

Creative Production

I am also curious about the role production plays outside of schools in more informal spaces such as libraries, kitchens, kids’ bedrooms and believe there is much we can learn about youth production in spaces where they are the masters of their kingdom. Maker spaces, for example, have increasingly become a space where youth have agency in their learning through the means of production. With this in mind, my colleague, Anna, and I are currently researching the maker and science practices youth engage in through the creation of Youtube slime tutorials.

Related Presentations:

Nixon, J., Douglass, A., Schindler, E., & Wheeler, N. (October 2019). What’s Art Got To Do With It? Arts Integration Models as a Foundation for Connected Learning. Presentation at the Connected Learning Summit in Irvine, CA.

Douglass, A. & Nixon, J. (August 2018). I had the slime of my life: No, I never felt this way before. Connected Learning Conference, Boston, MA.

Nixon, J. (2017). Toward equity oriented spaces: Using digital storytelling in makerspaces. National Council of Teachers of English Assembly for Research.

Related Scholarship:

Halverson, E., Douglass, A., Nixon, J. & Schindler, E. (in press). How educational technologies and communications technologies play a role in Arts and Humanities teaching and learning. Handbook of Research in Education Communications and Technology, 5th Edition.