Media Studies - annotated exemplars level 1 AS90989 (Resource A)

Demonstrate Understanding of How Individuals Interact with the Media (1.1A)

Show: All Media Studies exemplars

Read the STANDARD See EXEMPLAR B for this standard
TKI Media Studies Assessment Resources Download all these exemplars and commentary for offline study


Students must track and analyse the key patterns of media interaction of at least two individuals.

The media encompasses all forms of print, broadcast and online media services.

Tracking should cover a typical seven-day week in order to establish key patterns of interaction.

Students could track interaction with a range of media relevant to the individuals.

Alternatively, students could focus closely on one specific aspect of media interaction. For example, students could track the interaction of the individuals with social networking online/digital media platforms (blogs, wikis, Facebook etc), OR with news sources (print, online, television, radio etc).

To assist them to meet Merit and Excellence criteria, students should track the interaction of two individuals from distinctly different demographics that are likely to produce different key patterns of interaction,.

Students may track their own interaction as one of the individuals, but are not required to.

The tracked information may be gathered by the students, provided by the teacher or derived from other sources.

Key patterns of interaction could include such aspects as:

  • amount of time spent
  • times of interaction (day, hour etc)
  • place (e.g. home, car, work, school , bedroom, study etc)
  • level of passive/active engagement, for example:
    partial engagement , such as monitoring/reading a Facebook page while doing other work or surfing other sites; listening to television while completing homework
    full engagement such as watching television while doing nothing else; being active on Facebook via chat, mail, posting etc .

Explanations should address such significant/relevant aspects as the individual demographics (age, culture etc), media access, competency of the user.

For Achieved, students must be able to:

  • describe the key patterns of media interaction for at least two individuals
  • identify similarities and/or differences.

For Merit, students must be able to:

  • give reasoned explanations for described key patterns AND for identified similarities and/or differences in media interaction.

For Excellence, students must be able to explain the significance of these key patterns for the individuals and/or the media.

Teachers should consult the explanatory notes in the standard, the Conditions of Assessment and the Senior Subject Teaching and Learning Guidelines for further explanation of the requirements and expectations of the standard.

The student completed this work for assessment of Elements 1 and 2 of the NCEA Level 2 Media Studies unit standard, US7467 Investigate how different audiences interact with media text.

Students recorded their own interaction of media and that of another individual. They then provided written responses to questions about demographics and key patterns of interaction.

Primary evidence consisted of media consumption sheets and information about demographics .


Exemplar 1:  Low Excellence

  CommentaryStudent response

The response clearly identifies two individuals, including significant elements of their demographics, such as occupation, age and gender.

Subject A is Matt. He is a 14 year old student at (name of school). Matt uses the social networking site Facebook. Subject B is Jill. She is a mid-40 year old and she works a 9 to 5 job. Jill also uses to social networking site Facebook.

The response describes in some detail the interaction with Facebook of one individual.

The response includes some limited explanation for this key pattern of media interaction.

Jill uses Facebook to communicate with her friends.

(Jill) “I use Facebook to send quick messages and to keep up to date with friends overseas or out of Auckland.”

Jill views photos, emails her friends, posts and comments on her friends’ Walls. Jill does not play games or do quizzes.

Jill uses Facebook at work for a short period of time most days, checking her page for about ten minutes, and sometimes before leaving the office at 5:30.

Jill does not have a computer at home, so she cannot log in when she is not at work.

The response describes in some detail the interaction with Facebook of a second individual.

The response does not provide any explanation for his key pattern of media interaction.

Matt uses Facebook to communicate with his friends. He chats with his friends on Facebook a lot, views photos, posts on friends’ Walls and updates his Status quite a bit. Matt also does not do quizzes or play games on Facebook. Matt uses Facebook after dinner while he does his homework and has it in the background, flicking over whenever he has a notification beep.

The response describes a further key pattern of interaction with Facebook for one individual.

A pattern that I saw with Jill is that she logged on about 8 am before she started work.

(Jill) I use Facebook at 8 o’clock in the morning before starting work, for about ten minutes, checking messages or sending messages.

And then again before she leaves the office at 5:30.

The response provides description of details of the interaction with Facebook of the second individual.

The final sentence includes some implied explanation for the key pattern of interaction with Facebook.

Matt uses the site to communicate with his friends and catch up on what has happened at school that day. Most the days he logged on for, he was chatting to his friends, posting on friends’ walls and communicate on his friends’ activities that had happened since he had last logged on. Matt used the Chat function seven out of seven days he was recorded. Matt finds that Facebook is a free and easy way of keeping in contact with his friends at school and friends who he sees less often.

The response describes a similarity between the two individuals in onee key pattern of media interaction.

A similarity between both Jill and Matt is that they both don’t play games or quizzes. They both use Facebook to communicate and share what’s happening in their lives through photos and commenting or Posting on friends’ walls.

The response describes in detail a significant difference between the two individuals in one key pattern of media interaction.

The response explains the differences in one key pattern of the two individuals.

A difference between Jill and Matt is that Jill uses Facebook for a short time at work and Matt uses it at home for quite a bit. Jill could only use Facebook at work as she does not have access to a computer at home. This limits the amount of time she can spend on Facebookas she is not likely to go on Facebook in work time.

(Jill) “I can only access it out of work time because I feel guilty going on to Facebook during work hours.”

This means that Jill only has a short gap to use Facebook before and after work, where Matt, on the other hand, has a laptop and can go on Facebook at home as it is blocked at the school he attends. This means that Matt has access to Facebook from 4 pm to 9:30 pm which is a larger time gap than Jill.

The response describes a further signficant difference in the key patterns of media interaction of the two individuals.

The response provides somewhat superficial explanation for the pattern.

The response begins to discuss the concept of private communication versus public communication, but does not delve deeper into the wider significance of this.

The student redundantly states what the sound bite says and then includes it.

However, the response does include some primary evidence (sound bites) in the podcast.

The response includes some use of statistics.

Another difference is that Matt has far more friends on Facebook than Jill. Matt has about 379 Friends, while Jill had a small 45 Friends connected to her Facebook account. Jill is in contact with about 50% of her Friends.

(Jill) “About 50% of my Facebook list I keep regular contact with, and send messages, birthday greetings and comments on their posts.”

This is because Jill does not think that having heaps of Friends on Facebook is that important.

(Jill) “I’m not out to break the world record to see how many mates I can accumulate. I cannot understand those people who have hundreds and hundreds of people as their friends who they never contact or stay in touch with.”

Jill thinks this because she uses Facebook in a very private and personal way. She does not think that the [missed word] accounts needs to know so much about her life. While Matt, on the other hand, is only in contact with 20% of his 379 Friends on Facebook.

The response begins to make generalisations based on one generation represented, but does not elaborate.

For teenagers, getting as many Friends as possible is like a game. Whoever has the most Friends is considered the most popular.

The response identifies a significant difference in a key pattern of media interaction, but fails to link it to the comment above about the different expectations/needs of different generations.

For Matt, Facebook is not a very private as he uses it as a way of posting information on a public bulletin board for whoever is interested or sees it on a News Feed.

The response summarises a further key difference in the two patterns of media interaction and the reasons the two individuals interact with Facebook.

Facebook is used to connect people together. Adults and children use Facebook in similar ways. Both age groups use it to keep in contact and share their lives with their friends. For Jill, Facebook is a way of communication.

(Jill) “I use it as a quick access to mates.”

With Matt, it’s a way of socializing; it’s the teen version of the adult going out to dinner.

The response describes a wider significance of Facebook interaction and includes some superficial explanation.

In ways, Facebook is taking over the teenage texting craze as Facebook is free and is a place where everything is: calendars, photos, discussion boards, emails, videos and a chat area. Facebook works because it does everything. No need to have several websites or a million accounts for different things.

The response explores the significance of an aspect of media interaction with Facebook - mobile access.

The response describes the interaction with and/or attitudes of both individuals to the concept.

With new phones that could access the Web, social networking has become very easy. Matt has an iPhone and he can be anywhere and log in to Facebook and start communicating with his friends. This has changed the idea that you have to be at home or at the office to be interacting with our friends online.

(Jill) “If I could access Facebook with my phone, I guess I would access it more frequently.”

The response makes a conclusion about the existing and future key patterns of interaction of individuals with media.

Social networking sites are changing the way we communicate and interact with people. More and more people are joining social networking sites. One in six people have Facebook. Social networking sites must have done something right.

Holistic summary comments

The response is at the national standard for low Excellence because the student:

  • describes two individuals and their key patterns of interaction with Facebook
  • describes and explains similarities and differences in the key patterns of interaction.
  • uses primary evidence (excerpts from a recorded interview), but these are often merely paraphrased in the podcast.
  • provides appropriate reasons for differences and similarities in key patterns of interaction of the two individuals.
  • begins to explain the significance of these key patterns for the individual and for the media, but in a superficial manner.

Exemplar 2:  High Merit

  CommentaryStudent response

The response clearly identifies two individuals, including significant elements of their demographics, such as occupation, age and gender.

I am a fifteen-year-old male. I am currently in high school and I use Facebook on a regular basis. I access it on my laptop every night. I currently have 603 friends but I obviously don’t communicate with all of them regularly.

My mom is a 50-year-old female. She is a doctor and works at a children’s hospital. She doesn’t use Facebook every day of the week, but when she does, she uses it at night time, after work. She is currently connected with 107 friends on Facebook, but like me, doesn’t contact all of them on a regular basis.

This student has noticed a subtlety in the way Facebook operates (taking you to the home page first), and then discusses the effect on individuals interacting with the site.

However, the response does not link this idea with the media interaction of either individual, and therefore does not adequately discuss the significance for the media or the individual.

One pattern I noticed was that we both spent more time reading through the home page than other locations on the site. I think this is because when you log on it takes you to the home page automatically. The home page gives you a News Feed of all the latest interactions that people you are connected with have made, such as people’s recent Status updates, photos which people have uploaded, and it also shows when people become friends with other people. It captures your attention, and then you start reading through the whole home page.

The response provides a good explanation of one key pattern of media interaction and mentions the blocking of Facebook.

However, the response does not go on to discuss the possible significance of filtering or blocking websites for the website or for user interaction.

Another pattern I noticed was that when the person I monitored went on Facebook, they would only go on it once a day and not make multiple visits to the site. This is because my mum was busy with work and could only access the website at night when she is at home, because Facebook is blocked at her workplace because of the potential distraction it could cause.

The response identifies a clear reason for the key pattern of media interaction noticed in the mother’s interaction with Facebook, but does not discuss the student’s own, which weakens this section.

One significant difference which I have noticed was that my mum used Facebook to communicate with close friends, family members and childhood friends who are currently living overseas, and Facebook is an easy way to stay connected with them.

The student gives a reasoned explanation for the difference in the key pattern of media interaction of the second subject (familiarity with the Internet), and begins to explain the significance of this for the individual and/or the media.

The lack of primary evidence and repetition of detail weakens this section of the response.

The response ends with a clichéd and brief conclusion that does not add to the response.

She is connected with 107 people, but doesn’t contact them all at once, whereas I use Facebook as a means of communicating with a wide range of people. I am connected with 603 people, but some of them are people that I hardly know and have never contacted in my life. I personally think the reason we are connected with a completely different amount of people is because the older generations don’t trust the Internet as much as the younger, and will only become direct friends with people who they know well and trust. This is because they did not have the privilege of growing up with the Internet. Technology has come a long way since they were children.

Holistic summary comments

The response is at the national standard for high Merit because the student:

  • describes key patterns of media interaction by two individuals
  • describes similarities and differences clearly in the key patterns of interaction
  • gives clear reasoned explanations for several specific key patterns of media interaction
  • does not always provide convincing primary evidence.

Exemplar 3:  Low Merit

CommentaryStudent response

The response clearly identifies demographics of the individuals.

The individuals chosen are appropriate for the task, since they are sufficiently different to provide evidence of both similarities and differences in their media interaction.

My name is Sean (last name omitted) and I’m a fourteen year old boy who attends (name of college). I monitored my use and that of Ginny (last name omitted) , aged 48, of the social networking site Facebook every day for one week.

The response describes key patterns of interaction and identifies similarities.

One particular pattern was that the majority use we had for Facebook was to talk with our friends in some sort of way. Another pattern was that almost every day we both had multiple visits on the site, spending over half an hour on Facebook every day.

The response identifies a significant difference between the two individuals in one key pattern of media interaction.

The response provides reasons for the difference.

One significant difference between our two uses of Facebook was the way we communicated on it. I primarily communicated through the chat system and commenting on friends’ Walls; whereas Ginny primarily communicated through the mailing system. I think this is because the time I actively used Facebook was any time after school between 5 and 7 pm when all my friends were online so I could easily chat with them at once; whereas Ginny’s use of mail was because she communicates with old friends who live overseas and could not communicate with them live due to the time differences and also she would prefer the mailing system to send long messages rather than short instant messages.

The question and answer structure clearly supports the purpose previously given for Ginny’s interaction with Facebook.

I have asked Ginny a few questions to figure more about her use of Facebook. The first question I asked was “Why do you use Facebook?” This was Ginny’s reply:

-So I can keep up to date with my friends who live elsewhere and also it is a far easier source to communicate as opposed to forms of communication such as writing letters.

The questions and answers provided in the response elaborate on the idea previously presented about the duration of interaction, but are not connected to the previous comment.

The second question I asked was “What time do you primarily use Facebook and why?”

-I usually use Facebook in the morning before work because that’s when I have the most free time in my day, and it is a good way to start the day.

The next question I asked was “What influences the amount of time you spend on Facebook each day?” Ginny answered:

- The time I am active on Facebook varies due to whether I have a busy day or if I am just generally not in the mood to use Facebook.

This question and answer brings out new information which is not discussed in any other part.

The fourth and final question I asked Ginny was “Did you use any other social networking site before Facebook?” She answered:

- No, I’ve only ever used Facebook. I’ve only used Facebook because none of my friends use any other sites.

The response closes with a basic conclusion which does not demonstrate any further understanding of how individuals interact with media.

This brings my podcast to a close.

Holistic summary comments

The response is at the national standard for low Merit because the student:

  • describes key patterns of media interaction
  • identifies similarities and differences in the key patterns of interaction of the individuals
  • uses primary evidence to support some conclusions. However, it is not integrated into the discussion of key patterns of interaction or discussion of similarities and differences
  • provides reasons for differences in key patterns of interaction but not for similarities.

Exemplar 4:  High Achieved

CommentaryStudent response

High Achieved (close to Low Merit)




I am a 14 year old boy that monitored my use of the social networking site Facebook over a one week period, and I compared this to the use of my 46 year old mum. 

The response weaves comparison and contrast together in an organised manner.

I mainly use Facebook because I can communicate with my friends. Facebook is a lot easier than texting, and I can log on from my laptop whenever I am at home. My mum used Facebook for similar reasons, but she was using it to communicate with friends overseas. Her close friends have jobs that involve a lot of travel, and Facebook is a good way for her to keep in contact with them.

The response provides some limited explanation of the differences in one key pattern of media interaction of the two individuals.

Because I can’t access the site at school, I usually use the site after school. This is different to my mum who can access the site at work whenever she wants to.

The response demonstrates a subtle understanding of the similarities and differences in interaction, noting that the length of time is similar, but the reasons are different.

We generally stayed logged in for the same amount of time. I was often too busy with homework or sports practices to stay in for any longer, and my mom would often lose interest in the site after about 30 minutes. She only stayed logged in for a long time when she was uploading pictures.

The response explains one similarity in the key patterns of media interaction of the two individuals.

Because we are both using Facebook to communicate with our friends, we only use the tools that let us to do this. Tools like chat, or commenting or posting on friends’ Walls. I sometimes play games or answer quizzes on the site, but I find that this gets quite boring after a while.

The response begins to discuss a wider framework for understanding (‘for us teenagers’) but does not go into any more detail, or give any reasons why this might be the case.

There is clear discussion of an expectation of media interaction of one individual (She would prefer to talk to people face to face).

The response claims that the two individuals interact with Facebook in similar ways, but the conclusion contradicts that.

My Facebook usage is quite similar to my mum’s, except for the fact that I sometimes play games. This is because my mum is 46 years old, and she is more interested in talking to friends than playing games on the website. She would also prefer to talk to people face to face, which for us teenagers is very different. We don’t mind having texting or instant messaging conversations. 

Holistic summary comments

  • The response is at the national standard for high Achieved because the student:
  • expresses ideas cogently, with comparison and contrast woven into statements
  • includes limited primary evidence
  • provides a clear discussion of two individuals’ interaction with Facebook, pointing out similarities and differences
  • lacks primary supporting evidence. As the final product is a podcast, there is a clear opportunity to use sound bites for this purpose.

Exemplar 5:  Low Achieved

CommentaryStudent response

The student has chosen two individuals, but they are too similar in demographics for this study.

I monitored the social networking of myself as a 14 year old girl and one other person who is out of my age group, 20 years old. I have done this by using a usage diary and recording how long I am on Facebook for and what I do on Facebook. I have also done this for the other person so I can compare similarities and differences on what we use the social networking site for. The social networking site that myself and Subject 2 uses is Facebook.

Some basic similarities have been noted.

Some of the similarities I have observed are: both have updated our Status once over the 7 day period, haven’t watched videos, we have posted links, don’t play games and we don’t answer quizzes.

Some basic differences have been noted.

Some differences I have observed are: Subject 1 uses chat, Subject 2 doesn’t comment on Wall posts, Subject 2 posts more links, Subject 1 uploaded photos.

General reasons for the similarities and differences have been given, but these are not linked to the specific similarity or difference. For example,there is no description of the way ‘the time they have in the day to go on Facebook’ affects Subject 2 not commenting on Wall posts.

Some of these similarities and differences are judged on the age of both Subject 1 and 2, depending on the time they have in the day to go on Facebook, their age, the popularity of people who use this interactive site, and the importance to go on there.

The student attempts to give a reason for one of the differences, but can only speculate as they have not asked the person directly. Links between the demographics and the usage cannot be made as the demographic information lacks detail.

For instance, Subject 1 uses chat whereas Subject 2 does not. This could be based on the main factor of whether they have time to go on the site or not and the importance to talk to friends if they are on the site.

The student identifies one key pattern of media interaction for each subject

The student attempts some speculative explanation of Subject 2’s key pattern

The response does not provide sufficient supporting evidence to validate the claim.

Subject 2 only uses Facebook from home and varies between 5 minutes to one hour and five minutes of usage time. This indicates that Subject 2 does not use it for any more than emailing and posting some links. Subject 1, however, uses mostly Chat and comments on friends’ activities frequently. Subejct 1 also uses email and posts links on other people’s pages, people’s Wall.

The response provides a further simple identification of a difference between key patterns of media interaction of the two individuals.

Subject 2 has only 172 Friends other than Subject 1 who has 349 Friends on their Facebook page.

The response repeats description of the aspects of similarity and difference in key patterns of media interaction of the two individuals (duration, how often they visit the site, if they have multiple visits, and what they do on Facebook).

From all of this information and from looking at the usage diary, I have gathered that Subject 1 uses Facebook for a more interactive purpose, and uses it every day for a minimum of 23 minutes and a maximum of one hour and 45 minutes, whereas Subject 2 uses it far less and for a lot shorter time. Subject 1 has also been on the site for multiple visits other than Subject 2 who only goes on Facebook once that day, indicating the difference what both subjects use it for based on the duration, how often they visit the site, if they have multiple visits, and what they do on Facebook.

Holistic summary comments

The response is at the national standard for low Achieved because the student:

  • chooses individuals who are too similar in demographics which does not enable student to make sufficient comparisons or conclusions. Both are females (although this is not stated), one aged 14 and one aged 20
  • includes no primary evidence in the form of sound bites, but does refer to specific information in usage diaries. However, these diaries have not been submitted.
  • discusses several key patterns of her own media interaction, but only one for the other individual
  • provides only very general key patterns that are not well described
  • has intrusive errors in grammar and poor diction that make this response difficult to understand.

Exemplar 6:  High Not Achieved

CommentaryStudent response

The student records a log of her own media interaction.

The sample provide represents four days of seven tracked.

Media consumption diary/log

The student identifies two key patterns of media interaction for herself, but does not do so for the other individual.

The main pattern that I have found are that I spend on average two hours on most weekday mornings watching Breakfast before school.

Also, another main pattern that I have identified is my iPod consumption. The main times that I listen to my iPod are in the evening generally from 4 pm onwards.

The student identifies the first difference (duration), but is not very specific about describing it clearly.

The response identifies another generalised statement of difference (variety of forms).

The media consumption key patterns of my teacher and I are very different. One the media forms itself, we have very different time periods in which we consume media, and not really any of our mediums are the same. He tends to have wider duration of sticking with the same medium, whereas I tend to have short bursts of certain mediums.

The student is able to identify an area of similarity in the key patterns of interaction, in terms of the timing of television viewing.

However, the response includes no specific examples to support the ideas.

The response provides similar evidence about internet interaction.

The things we have in common are that the majority of the television we watch is in the evenings. Even though the amount of television I watch isn’t a lot, the television I do watch tends to be in the evenings. This is the same as my teacher.

Another comparison, or thing that we have in common is that we spend around the same amount of time on the internet, even though at different times, the duration is about the same.

Holistic summary comments

The response is at the national standard for high Not Achieved because the student:

  • omits some primary evidence
  • does not clearly describe similarities and differences between the key patterns of media interaction, supported by sufficiently specific details for the statements.

Skip to main page content Accessibility page with list of access keys Home Page Site Map Contact Us