Search Search
Playlist HTH Project: "In Sickness and in Health: Facing Disease through Oral History"
HTH Project: "In Sickness and in Health: Facing Disease through Oral History"
This Project's Final Products: The Videos

In the resource below, you can see some of the "annotated interview" videos that students created based on their interviews. If you're thinking about doing this project, take a look at this resource first, to see if you want to do something like this with your students!

0 0
PBL Resources

These are "generic" project-based learning resources. I've included them because they've helped me out, and I'm hoping they might help you too!

0 0
0 0
0 0
Basic Project Documents

I start my projects out by filling in a "project plan" like the one under "PBL Resources". Then I distill that plan into a "Project Sheet" that I share with students and parents. For this project, I also created a "project map" that showed every step of the process as well as key deadlines.

0 0
0 0
0 0
My Project Prototype

One of High Tech High's maxims is "do the project yourself first". You do this for a few reasons: in order to understand what students will need in order to complete the project, in order to find out whether the project is worth doing, and in order to provide students with a "model" so that they understand what they are doing in the project.

0 0
0 0
0 0
Step 1: Critique the Prototype

The first step in the project is to watch the prototype video as a class. As they watch, students take notes on questions they have about what they'll be doing based on the video, as well as feedback about what they think is good about this video, and what they would change in the next draft if it were theirs. This feedback, edited and rephrased by me, becomes the "assessment criteria" for the project. I've also included a link to the "Storycorps" project in this step - you can find additional examples of great oral history interviews here. I've also included a link to another High Tech High oral history project, called "True Stories". Finally, I've included a film trailer for a documentary about the great oral historian Studs Terkel. It contains some good insights into oral history.

0 0
0 0
0 0
0 0
Step 2: conduct a "technology audit" of your students

This project will require students to record interviews (you can do this on a smartphone) and edit video on a computer, so it's good to find out early how many students will be able to supply their own equipment, and how many will need to borrow equipment from you. I figured this out by creating a survey in Google Forms and giving students time in class to fill it out.

0 0
Step 3: Decide who to interview

Students draw up a family tree and talk to family members in order to figure out who to interview (which also entails deciding what disease to focus on). When I did this project, students were already studying their family's medical history in biology, so I didn't spend much time on this.

0 0
Step 4: Schedule your interview

This is a simple but important step, and it's good to build some accountability into here (as in "put the date you're doing your interview into a spreadsheet, then email me as soon as you've done it").

Step 5: Figure out how you will record your interview

Students will have a variety of different needs for recording - for example, some will be interviewing over the phone, and some will need to borrow equipment from you. The following article, written for freelance journalists, gives good advice on equipment and apps that can be used to record interviews.

0 0
Step 6: Develop interview questions

Good oral history interviews don't stick too rigidly to a pre-planned set of questions. Instead, they start with a good question and ask follow-up questions based on what the interviewee says. Having said that, it's good to plan questions in advance in case the interview starts to stall. The "oral history guide", which I developed with students, has useful advice for planning an interview, and the Storycorps link has lots of great questions.

0 0
0 0
Step 7: Conduct a mini-interview with a friend to test your equipment and practice asking questions

This serves two purposes: first, students get a feel for what it's like to interview someone, which will help their real interview go more smoothly. Second, students test out their equipment and make sure everything works. For this reason, students should record their mini-interview on the device they plan to use, and back it up on a computer, just as they will with the real interview.

Step 8: Conduct the interview

Students should make a back-up copy of their interview as soon as possible.

Step 9: "Map" your interview

Conventionally, oral historians transcribe their interviews in their entirety. For a professional, an hour of interview takes seven hours to transcribe. We didn't have time for this, so I had students "map" their interviews instead, making an outline of topics covered. Students then used these maps to decide which sections to use for their "annotated interviews".

0 0
0 0
Step 10: Cut down your map to an "edited outline"

Now that students can see their interview on the "map", they can decide what to keep and what to cut in order to create a tight, coherent narrative. They will use this outline as a guide for editing their interview recording.

0 0
Step 11: Edit your interview recording based on your "edited outline"

At this point, students edit their "raw" recording into a coherent narrative. If they were careful about listing all the timings in their interview map, this should be fairly straightforward. My students did this step in GarageBand, but there are lots of audio editing programs you can use. IF YOU JUST WANT TO MAKE AUDIO INTERVIEWS, YOU CAN FINISH THE PROJECT HERE AND SKIP STRAIGHT TO EXHIBITION.

Step 12: "Story" critique

At this point, students listen to each other's edited recordings, and critique the "story" told in each recording. The purpose of this is to make sure the overall structure of the edited recording is as clear and interesting as possible. It's important to do this NOW, because once students are making videos, it will be very difficult to rearrange the original audio track.

0 0
0 0
Step 13: creating the "annotated interview" video

Students will need a lot of class time to do this. In order to help them set goals and reflect on their productivity every day (see "in class work reflection" below). This is the most logistically complex part of the project, since it requires a computer for every student, and students are working with very big files that are difficult to store in "the cloud". My students made their videos using iMovie, but there are lots of video editing programs you can use. Just make sure you make your prototype using the same program that the students will use, so you get familiar with the program's quirks.

0 0
Step 14: Work in Progress Film Festival

At the start of "work-time" class periods, I show students' works-in-progress to the group (I only show videos if the student has volunteered to have their work shown). Depending on the day, this can be more or less formal. It's best not to critique at the "story" level at this point (because it will be difficult for students to cut and rearrange audio), but there will be plenty to say about use of text and images - hence the "words and pictures" critique structure below.

0 0
Step 15: Turning in the final "annotated interview" video

This was the most frustrating part of the project, because video files are large and therefore difficult to move from computer to computer. I bought four flash drives, labelled each one, and told students to keep track of which flash drive they uploaded their video onto, then transferred the videos from the flash drives to my laptop. Figure out a method that works for you.

0 0
0 0
Step 16: Exhibition

This is it - the big moment when we show our work to the world! We exhibited the annotated interviews on our school's "exhibition night" at the end of the first semester. Our team turned two classrooms into a medically-themed art gallery, featuring paintings, a pig dissection, and a table with monitors and headphones where visitors could watch the annotated interviews. I've included the spreadsheet that our student "project managers" created, a presentation that shows what we did on the day before exhibition, a "virtual tour" of the exhibition, and a blog post from a student explaining the technical process of setting up the monitors for exhibition.

0 0
0 0
0 0
0 0