Blog Posts: 20%
Interview Episode: 20%
Discussion Episode: 20%
Narrative Episode: 20%
Process Assignments: 20%
Glen Weldon, NPR’s Podcast Startup Guide (Ten Speed Press)
Note: I’ll provide links or PDFs for other listening and reading assignments on our course website.
Most Thursdays, a few students will post a blog entry reflecting on something specific you’ve learned about podcasting and/or storytelling in an audio medium. Each student will post three blog entries over the course of the semester There’s a single rule: Each post should include one quotation (from our reading, our listening, or a source of your own). Students who don’t post on a given week will post comments on at least one of that week’s posts.
I’ll assign each student to a blogging group during the first week of class and post the dates for each group’s posts on our calendar page. The blogs are meant to give you a place to experiment and write informally. When I evaluate them, I’ll be looking for genuine engagement rather than polish or correctness. Posts are due on Thursdays by midnight and comments Sundays by midnight.
Each of three major assignments will be to create a podcast episode in one of the form’s three major genres: the interview, the discussion, and the narrative. You will complete informal “process assignments” as you work toward each episode. You may choose to develop and produce episodes on your own or to collaborate with a group of students. Individually authored episodes should aim for 10-15 minutes. Collaborative ones should aim for 20-30 minutes and involve a careful delineation of each collaborator’s role.
Teaching and learning online can be taxing. When we meet each other in a physical classroom, we establish a rapport and a dynamic. That will be different online, but I’ll do my best to foster interaction, conversation, and collaboration. Zoom fatigue is real! For that reason, we’ll usually only meet via Zoom only one day each week. When we do, I will design the session so it involves a variety of activities and periodic breaks. Sometimes we’ll turn off our cameras and do some writing or another activity. During breaks, I encourage you to walk around, stretch, breath, splash water on your face–whatever helps you focus and feel present. For most of us–and most of the college (and most colleges, for that matter), this is an experiment. I’ll check in with you regularly to ask you how it’s working and get your suggestions on improving our experience.
If you have a learning, sensory, or physical reason for special accommodation in this class, contact the Office of Special Services at 718-997-5870, and please let me know that you have done so.
The Writing Center
The Writing Center is a great resource for getting feedback on your writing, whether you’re struggling or just want to hear the ideas of a trained expert as you’re revising.
A student’s work should be his or her own. But a student’s ideas should also engage the ideas of other thinkers and writers. Communication gives ideas meaning and creates a community of thinkers. This is where citation and plagiarism can become tricky. Plagiarism is, of course, a serious issue. It is important that you establish your own point of view, make it clear what ideas are yours and which come from your sources, and respond to your sources critically. Be sure also to cite all sources appropriately, using MLA style. Finally, if you’re struggling with your ideas, your writing, or your sources, be sure to talk to me. Plagiarism sometimes arises from confusion and sometimes from desperation. If you are feeling panicked or just unsure about a writing assignment, talk to me. I can help you with the process. I count on you to take your academic integrity seriously, and I take any breach of the college’s policy on plagiarism seriously, too. You should familiarize yourself with that policy, and let me know if you have any questions about it.