Presentation Title

Teaching Scholarly Podcasting

Streaming Media

Submission Type

20-minute Presentation

Abstract

This presentation explores how experiential learning sharpens students’ understanding of academic storytelling. Our case study is a final assignment in a writing seminar where students create a 5-minute science-news podcast about on a fictional contagion. Partnering with this course to stage a hands-on workshop, McGraw Digital Learning Lab technologists employed an experiential learning pedagogy to align the multimedia assignment to the core goals of the class, demonstrate playfulness and creative prototyping as a device for storytelling, and give students creative confidence through a guided, yet flexible, exercise.

Start Date

5-24-2018 1:35 PM

Description

This presentation explores how experiential learning with digital tools can sharpen students’ understanding of a central curricular goal: academic storytelling. At Princeton University all first-year students are required to take a writing seminar, preparation for a curriculum that formally emphasizes argument-driven scholarly writing.

Our case study is a multimedia assignment in a writing seminar in which students write about scientific, institutional and cultural discourses related to the containment of communicable diseases. For their final assignment, students create a 5-minute science-news podcast about on a fictional outbreak loosely based on their research. Creatively reframing their ideas in audible form provides an opportunity to reimagine the formal academic-writing voice they’ve cultivated in a medium that’s defined yet flexible and accessible to a broad audience.

Digital Learning Lab (DLL) technologists planned the podcasting workshop around the instructor’s learning goals. We suggested that students record a paragraph of text and provided online resources for finding music or sound effect audio files that represent their topic. In class, we offered a handout outlining essential tools, contrasted podcasting conventions with academic writing, then offered an improvised demonstration. Then, students worked on their own projects while we, and the instructor, circulated around the room. In the weeks that followed, these students came back to the DLL to work, borrow equipment, and ask for technical assistance.

This case study offers at least three useful insights about experiential teaching. First, what is learned out of class reinforces points made in class. Having recorded a narration on their phone, for example, made our discussion of mic quality directly applicable. Students understood, also, that writing must change to accommodate reading aloud. Online research for applicable audio sparked consideration of how music and sound effects could represent their topic and reinforced a core learning goal: podcasts are layers of audio arranged in time.

Second, this podcasting session was an experiment in teaching a workshop by demonstrating - spontaneously - a podcast-building process and outcome. This approach emphasized experimentation and prototyping as a critical means for building impactful story elements.

Ultimately, the students’ multimedia projects exceeded the instructor’s expectations. In her view, the experiential learning pedagogy aligning the multimedia assignment to the core goals of the class, the demonstration of playfulness and creative prototyping as a device for storytelling, and hands-on work in class gave students creative confidence to produce sophisticated argument-driven storytelling based on scholarly research.

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May 24th, 1:35 PM

Teaching Scholarly Podcasting

This presentation explores how experiential learning sharpens students’ understanding of academic storytelling. Our case study is a final assignment in a writing seminar where students create a 5-minute science-news podcast about on a fictional contagion. Partnering with this course to stage a hands-on workshop, McGraw Digital Learning Lab technologists employed an experiential learning pedagogy to align the multimedia assignment to the core goals of the class, demonstrate playfulness and creative prototyping as a device for storytelling, and give students creative confidence through a guided, yet flexible, exercise.