It’s been 24 years since Australians last voted in a referendum in 1999. Many students at UTS would have never seen a referendum in their lifetime!

As the Referendum on a Voice to Parliament approaches, Postgraduate Learning Design in partnership with the Faculty of Law set out to create a resource to educate students about the importance and place of referendums in our governmental system. The team produced a short video from the legal perspective to explore this topic, and how it relates to the upcoming Voice to Parliament Referendum.

Video as medium for education and engagement

The script was drafted by Associate Professor Harry Hobbs, who is a constitutional and human rights lawyer, and the video is narrated by Professor Hobbs and other UTS Law experts. It gives an overview of how the Constitution was created and how it can be changed. It then goes into detail about the current proposed change to the Australian constitution, known as the Voice to Parliament. With Professor Hobbs’ script, the PGLD Media Team were given the challenge of producing a video that was both educational and visually engaging.

From concept to creation

When conceptualising the visual style of the video, the team chose to use a combination of greenscreen footage, 10-frames-per-second digitally hand-drawn animation, archival photographs and text. Richard E. Mayer’s Principles of Multimedia Learning posit that people learn best through a combination of words and visuals, rather than one standalone channel. Further to this, his modality principle outlines that deeper learning occurs through a combination of visuals and narration, rather than visuals and text. In the video, text is used only when necessary, to emphasise key points and quotes.

To create this video, a storyboard was drawn up to get an overarching picture of the visual narrative. Participants were then filmed in a studio, and the narration was assembled to create a guide track for the animated elements. The colour palette features the heavy use of two shades of purple, yellow, and a navy blue, which is a subtle nod to the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and a way to acknowledge UTS’ full support of the implementation of the Statement in full. 

For the Postgraduate Learning Design team, this was a valuable opportunity to apply our expertise in the field of learning design media to a project that exemplifies UTS’ commitment to social justice.

QR codes to watch the video are currently displayed around campus. For more information on communicating with students about the referendum, check out this blog post and the resources available on the UTS Voice website

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