The Instagram Activism Slideshow helps undergraduate students bridge theory and practice by connecting the media arguments they see in their daily lives to the principles of policy argument they learn in argumentation courses. Students use a relevant argumentation theory or concept to argue for a public policy in a concise and palatable Instagram “slideshow” format. The Instagram Activism Slideshow engages students with a highly relevant media context, equips students with a meaningful product for their professional portfolios, and teaches students how to leverage argumentation for advocacy.Courses This assignment is suitable to relevant upper-division undergraduate communication courses related to argumentation, social and digital media messaging, civic participation, social justice, and public policy. Relevant courses might include argumentation and debate, argumentation and advocacy, argumentation and public policy, and social media campaigns.Objectives The purpose of this assignment is to assist students in: (1) understanding how stock issues arguments apply to public policy rhetoric; (2) effectively planning, creating, and presenting multimedia arguments; and (3) analyzing and evaluating public policy arguments.Victoria Ledford and Matthew Salzano, “The Instagram Activism Slideshow: Translating Policy Argumentation Skills to Digital Civic Participation,” Communication Teacher (January 19, 2022): 1–6, https://doi.org/10.1080/17404622.2021.2024865.
This project builds from my previous work on Instagram Slideshows that serves as a chapter in my dissertation. Also still forthcoming from this line of research is a publicly-accessible digital archive (currently in Beta testing) that hopes to support scholars, educators, and activists who want to browse a collection of slideshows for education, criticism, and/or inspiration.
If you’d like a PDF of the article, please email me! Also check out the Twitter thread Victoria wrote about the article.