Podcast Project – Exploring New Media and College Life

This is a project from an Intro to Digital Media class in which students explore the role emerging media are playing in the lives of college students.  I had my students work in groups of about 3 to develop a set of questions about media experiences, interview students from outside our class, and put it together as an edited audio file with narration. Students worked with Audacity and created screencasts for each other to share helpful tips for using the program to improve their podcast episodes.

Overall, I was pleased with what the students produced and received positive feedback about this project.  In the future, I will probably include an opportunity to present a draft before finishing their final mix, and I will be more explicit about what types of sources I expect them to reference in their narration.  I can include links to some of my students’ works once I get it up on my page.  I liked this assignment because it asked students to do real analysis while working in a format that was new to most of them.

Podcast Assignment

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2 Responses to Podcast Project – Exploring New Media and College Life

  1. bboessen says:

    Sounds like a really cool assignment. 🙂

    I’m curious what if anything you do to make sure the class is up to speed on producing the podcast – in-class exercises, out-of-class workshops, etc. – or do you encourage them to learn on their own?

    • tony says:

      Thanks Brett! If you happen to try something similar in one of your classes in the future, let’s see if we might get our students involved in an inter-campus exchange.

      I have included some in-class time for learning some basic audio recording and editing skills, as well as asked students to listen to sample audio documentaries. The first time I tried this project, I took the Poynter’s free, short course “Telling Stories with Sound” (http://www.newsu.org/courses/telling-stories-sound) to help me prepare a lesson for students (though it doesn’t go over the basics of Audacity). But this last round, I just added the course itself as a reading assignment for all students.

      I also asked students to listen to at least 3 short audio documentaries (a good source for short docs: http://thirdcoastfestival.org/) and note several ways the creators had enhanced the stories beyond simple dialogue. In class, we discussed those observations and play clips from the docs they listened to and talked about key points from the Poynter class.

      Next time I’d play an audio doc in class and have the class identify some of its storytelling techniques before having students do this individually, as they seemed to have trouble identifying the specific kinds of details I was looking for without that guidance.

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