Conspiracy Theories (CT) Digital Video Project
This document contains three instruction sections:

  1. OVERVIEW – a general description of the project
  2. PART 1: PROPOSAL for CT Digital Video Project (5 marks) – Due in Week 6
  3. PART 2: FINAL CT Digital Video Project (15 marks) – Due in Week 11
    Individually or in a Group (3-5 students), you will create a Video Project
    researching and analyzing one Conspiracy Theory (CT) of your choice.
    You will then apply the analytical tools explored in this course (Module
    2) to attempt to DISPROVE the CT.
    There are two parts to this project:
    Proposal (5%) + Final Project (15%) = Total 20%
    OVERVIEW Digital Video Project
    Choosing a Conspiracy Theory to Analyze
    Find a Conspiracy Theory (CT) to analyze that you find interesting, and that has not been covered significantly in the
    course. Remember, a CONSPIRACY is a fact (proven and supported by significant evidence). A CONSPIRACY THEORY (CT)
    is just a theory. This project is NOT about proven conspiracies, so make sure you choose a conspiracy THEORY.
    You are looking for a CT that:
    1) seems plausible (isn’t wild, fantastical, obviously untrue or already disproven, such as David Icke’s
    reptilian/human theory); but
    2) isn’t an already widely-accepted and proven CONSPIRACY
    3) it must be a CT and NOT just a mystery, hoax or fantasy (review these definitions in Module 2).
    4) is NOT a CT already discussed in class, one that attributes blame to specific religious, racial, gender, or sexual
    orientation groups, or any listed in the No Fly List (see below). Look for CTs from around the world that are
    unique, or relevant to your interests or program)
    Once you have chosen a CT, you will use analytical tools (Module 2) to help you REFUTE the CT. Yes, you are seeking to
    disprove the CT—if it is an actual conspiracy, it will stand up to the tools and analysis you are going to put it through.
    But, often if it does, others will have proven it before you!
    IMPORTANT NOTE – If you only find supporting evidence for a conspiracy theory (CT) without any refutation, consider:
  4. It might be a fringe theory lacking substantial support.
  5. It may be widely accepted and no longer debatable as a CT (possibly a proven conspiracy, not just a CT).
  6. Consider if you are in an echo chamber of information, or falling prey to confirmation bias (Module 2)
    Digital Video Project Presentation Details
  • Create a video presentation exploring your CT. This can be a short film, an animated piece, a video podcast, or a
    news-style segment. Use video editing software like iMovie or Adobe Express, etc. Interactive Presentations like
    PREZI or anything PowerPoint-like are NOT Allowed. You can use a PowerPoint as a background to your video, but
    a PowerPoint submission alone will not be accepted. If you are concerned about technical issues, email your
    professor to discuss – do not leave this to the last-minute.
  • Your video must have BOTH audio and visual elements, including images relevant to the topic.
  • This not an essay made into a movie, so do not just type scrolling words into a movie or animation! This will NOT be
    accepted. Make sure not to have too much writing on the screen—most should be presented orally, with only brief,
    vital information on the screen (otherwise, it is too hard for the viewer to follow).
  • USE OF VIDEO CLIPS: While you can use short video clips from other sources within your own movie, these should be
    no longer than 30 seconds and no more than 1 per assignment (or several totalling approximately 30 seconds). They
    must be well-chosen and not just ‘filler’ content. The point is to see your work and not the work of others.
    SUBMISSION: Upload your videos to YouTube or Vimeo (you can restrict access to users with the link only), or use
    Google Drive or Dropbox. Provide the link in your Brightspace submission; do not upload directly there.
    Submit BOTH in the Assignment Dropbox and the Week 11 Discussion Board, so other students can view and comment.
    LENGTH: Ensure your project is within 3-5 minutes for individual work, or 4-7 minutes for group work. Not meeting the
    minimum time suggests inadequate coverage, while exceeding it means you need to be more succinct. Video
    presentations that are too long take a significant amount of time to mark and delay the return of grades for all students.
    For this reason, exceeding the video time limit will result in a 1-mark penalty per minute.
    Due to concerns about the use of AI to create videos, the following are now required:
    1) USE YOUR OWN VOICE – You MUST use your own voice to narrate the video. Computer-generated audio will
    NOT be accepted.
    2) SHOW YOUR FACE – At least briefly, you must show your face while speaking in the video – I need to be able
    to match your voice to your face. IF you are uncomfortable showing your face to the class, please submit a
    second short video where I can see your face and hear you speak at the same time (just introduce yourself).
    Videos that do not meet these requirements will NOT receive a grade.
    Research & Group Work
    This is a research project and 5 references are required for individual projects and 10 references are required for groups.
    Each group member must do the same amount of academic research and share relevant content to create one project
    (not 3 sections done separately and just pasted together!).
    Every member is responsible for all words and content in a project. If one member copies and pastes, or uses AI to
    write/create material, that means the whole project is compromised. If one section has grammatical errors and typos
    that reflects on the whole project.
    NO FLY LIST (Banned Topics)
    Do not choose any of the CTs covered extensively in the modules, or of any of the following:
    AIDS, Ancient Alien Astronauts, Bermuda Triangle, Crop Circles, Elvis’ death, Flat Earth theory, Free Britney,
    Hollow Earth theory, The Kardashians, Kennedy & Lincoln, Mandela Effect, Michael Jackson’s death, The
    Moon Landings, Marilyn Monroe’s death, 911 (The September 11 Attacks on the WTC), Paul is Dead,
    Reptilians (David Icke’s theories), Who built the Pyramids?, Natalie Wood’s death, the 27 Club, Water
    Fluoridation, the Sandy Hook massacre, plus any theory posited/bellowed by Alex Jones, and any theory
    involving Hitler.
    Part 1: PROPOSAL for CT Digital Video Project
    (Worth 5 marks Due Saturday 11:59 pm Week 6 of 15-week course)
    After choosing your Conspiracy Theory (CT), write a proposal for your final digital project (see details on how
    to choose a CT in Choosing a Conspiracy Theory to Analyze in the Overview section).
    In describing the CT, you must explain: WHO the conspirators are, WHAT they are doing/conspiring about, and WHY
    they are doing this (what will they gain?).
    Your proposal must include these 6 sections (only 5 for Individual Submissions):
  1. FULL NAME(S) for each person participating in the project.
    In this section explain your general topic, for example: E. Howard Hunt, the C.I.A. and the assassination of
    JFK. This first step will enable you to stay on topic and focus your work.
    In describing the CT, you must explain:
    a. WHO the conspirators are
    b. WHAT they are doing/conspiring about; and
    c. WHY they are doing this (what will they gain?)
    ANALYZE THE CT (1 mark)
    A) Daniel Pipes’ Analytical Tools – Choose 2 From Common Sense, A Knowledge of History, and from
    the list of Distinct Patterns: Obscurity, Reluctance to divulge information, Reliance on Forgeries,
    Inconsistencies, Overabundant learned factoids, Piling On, Dismissing contradictory evidence,
    Indiscriminately accepting, Oblivious to the passage of time, or Cavalier attitude toward facts.
    B) Choose 2 of these Other Analytical Tools:
  • Semiotic Analysis
  • Psychological Analysis
  • Social/Cultural Anthropology
  • Political Science
  • Literary Theory
    Note: Documentation and Consumer Applications are required, so please choose from the list above.
    You can change your mind on the tools you will use, but as this is a proposal, identifying the tools you MIGHT
    use helps show you understand the requirements.
    Include an Annotated Bibliography using APA format that includes at least 10 references for groups, and
    5 references for Individual submissions.
    An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is
    followed by a brief (50 -100 word) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of
    the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.
    Learn about an annotated bibliography here:
    Your resources must include references in each of these areas:
  • Pipes’ Analytical Tools (Module 2). (NOTE: The original book can be hard to access, so in this case, you
    can reference the Pipes’ material provided within the course module)
  • Resources related to the theorists who have researched, written about the CT. For example, who first
    wrote about the CT. Resource/resources related to the credibility of these theorists.
  • Resources related to at least 2 of the Other Analytical Tools you will be using.
    Explain what part of the project each person will be researching and doing (content researched and
    object creation tasks for each member). Everyone should be involved in the planning and creation in
    some way. Make sure each person is working on unique content. In this section you could create a little
    chart with the headings, name, content worked on, creation responsibility.
    In your group you should be researching different areas, but that does not mean you will each do a
    different part on your own. Any groups work together on ONE project with an introduction, main points
    and conclusion.
    For the creation part your group could assign duties such as voice over, editing, gathering images and
    video, directing, managing project, coordination, final cut, etc. All members should be reviewing final edit.
    Only ONE submission in Blackboard per group
    (the other group members can email me back-up copies if they would like)
    See MARKING RUBRIC in the Assignment Submission Area in Brightspace to see how your
    assignment will be graded.
    Part 2: CT Final Digital Video Project (Creation & Submission)
    (Worth 15 marks Due Saturday 11:59 pm Week 11 of 15-week course)
    VERY IMPORTANT: If you were told you need to change your CT or any other essential element in the
    Proposal feedback, please make sure to do this and seek feedback prior to final project submission. If
    your CT Proposal was NOT Accepted, you will receive a zero on the CT Final Digital Video Project, if you
    did not make the required changes.
    LENGTH: 3-5 minutes for Individuals and 4-7 minutes for groups. Do NOT exceed these time limits (there is a 1-mark
    deduction for each minute the project exceeds the time limit).
    See Digital Video Project Presentation Details in the Overview section of the instructions for further details
    on Submission, Format, Group Work and the use of AI.
    Your CT Final Digital Video Project must include these sections:
  2. CT Description and Background (2 marks)
    o A clear introduction of your topic. Present the CT, including WHO, WHAT and WHY of the CT in writing
    on the screen and verbally.
    o Explore in further detail to give your audience a clear understanding of the CT and people involved.
    Explore the history and background of this CT. Where did it come from? How has it spread? What are
    the implications?
  3. Daniel Pipes Analysis – 2 or more Tools (4 marks)
    o Remember: Pipes must only be used to disprove a theory, not to support.
    o Use at least 2 of the Pipes’ Tools of common sense, a knowledge of history, or distinct patterns,
    including: obscurity of evidence; reluctance to divulge information; reliance on forgeries;
    inconsistencies; overabundant learned factoids; piling on conspiracy theories; dismissing contradictory
    evidence as a sign of conspiracy; indiscriminately accepting; oblivious to the passage of time; cavalier
    attitude toward facts. For clarity, you must clearly identify EACH tool in writing on the screen as you
    apply it—do NOT combine tools.
    o Make sure to DEFINE the tool prior to applying it.
    o Give specific examples showing how these tools were applied to your chosen CT. A general application
    won’t work – use specific research about your CT to support the use of this tool.
  4. Additional Analytic Tools – 2 or more Tools (4 marks)
    o Use 2 of the following: Semiotic Analysis, Psychological Analysis, Sociological/Cultural Anthropology,
    Political Science, Literary Theory. For clarity, you must clearly identify EACH tool in writing on the screen
    as you apply it—do NOT combine tools.
    o Make sure to DEFINE the tool prior to applying it (if you are picking a specific area, for example,
    Paranoid Personality Disorder for Psychological Analysis, you would define that term).
    o Give specific examples showing how these tools were applied to your chosen CT. A general application
    won’t work – use specific research about your CT to support the use of this tool.
  5. Documentation Analysis (of 2 or more sources) (2 marks)
    o Examine the credentials of the authors/theorists you have chosen to include in your references your
    authors + their background/expertise, your authors’ clear train of thought vs. random assertions; your
    authors’ sources, access to documentation; your authors’ style + documentation; your authors’ variety
    of sources + other areas under the Documentation section (Module 2) that may be applicable. Who is
    spreading this CT, who is debunking this CT, and what might the motivations of both be?
  6. Consumer Applications (1 mark)
    o How has your CT manifested in Popular culture -What products, branding, merchandising, shows, etc.).
    Who is profiting from this CT? Include images. If there are no consumer applications (but there usually
    are), why do you think this is the case for your chosen CT?
  7. Organization, Presentation and Documentation (2 marks)
    o Content is well-organized including an Introduction, and Conclusion. Information is presented in a logical
    order. Videos ONLY – No other type of assignment submission format will be marked.
    o No grammar or spelling errors.
    o Visuals are appealing and relevant (not too much writing on the screen).
    o APA References are present – this does not need to be an Annotated Bibliography, please just include a
    Reference List. Either put it at the end of your video, or post them with your URL.
    o REMINDER: exceeding the video time limit will result in a 1-mark deduction per minute – this
    deduction is on the assignment total and not just in the presentation section.
  8. Peer Feedback submitted by each group member (for Group submissions ONLY)
    BONUS MARK: Responses & Participation – Individual Responses to the Digital Projects posted in the
    Week 11: Links to Digital Projects discussion board (minimum of 2 responses). Relevant, thoughtful responses
    that add new information or asks meaningful questions. (Bonus 1/2 mark) DUE: Tuesday in Week 12.
    Submission of Final Digital Project – ALL DUE Saturday 11:59 pm Week 11
    1) Submit your digital project URL + Reference List (unless it is included in the video) in the Assignment Dropbox.
    ONLY 1 Group Member should submit the Assignment for the group.
    2) POST your digital project URL in the Week 11: Links to Digital Projects Discussion forum.
    In the discussion board text box, include: Your Topic + Names of Group Members + URL for your video.
    ONLY 1 Group Member should submit the Link in the Discussion Board. To earn a ½ Bonus mark, comment in
    this Discussion Board on at least 2 other projects (the same expectations as other discussion board
    3) FOR GROUP SUBMISSIONS ONLY – Each Group Member must submit their own Peer Assessment
    Individual students who worked in groups will NOT receive a mark for the group assignment if they have not
    completed the Peer Assessment.
    If you need help or advice along the way, don’t be afraid to send an email!
    See MARKING RUBRIC in the Assignment Submission Area in Brightspace to see how your
    assignment will be graded.