Podcasting_logo.jpgAs a response to the reading done by groups in a year 8 literature circles class, we have been trying to engage students in reading reflections by creating podcasts of interviews with the book characters.
Each group conducts an interview, with one person taking on the role of the interviewer and the others become characters from the novel.
Each of the boys has to complete a character profile and then the group works on a script for a 3-5 min interview. Once they are satisfied with the script the use iRivers to do the recording, often conducting 2-3 "run throughs" before putting it all together using the Audacity (audio-only podcasts) software.
They can put in special sound effects and create extra atmosphere by adding music before they send us the final product. The boys always love this project and enjoy using the technology. They become quite critical of their scripts, the timing and the effects, often re-writing and re-recording to get things just right. For most of the students very little teacher help is needed although they do like to discuss production ideas, etc. It is a great way for each of the groups to respond to their reading.
To help students get started, we made a simple template to assist them to create their character profile. This works well and gives many of the students ideas that they take into the script writing.
We have assessed a numbers of things from the different stages of the podcast:
  • Planning/preparation (character profiles, scripts) The student are given a template they can use/modify. external image Character%20profile%20table.doc?h=40&w=200
  • Production (recording the interviews)
  • Editing (and other technical processes) of the interviews
  • Publishing (Sharing the interviews)
  • The group work


The Assessment Rubric
CATEGORY
(10)
(7)
(4)
(1)
Preparation
(Character Profile)
Character profiles revealed a very good understanding of the characters in the book
Character profiles revealed an understanding of the characters in the book.
Character profiles revealed some understanding of the characters in the book.
Character profiles revealed little or no understanding of the characters in the book.
Preparation
(Script)
The interview script was prepared in great detail. The questions and comments indicated excellent insight into both the characters and events in the book.
The interview script was prepared with some detail. The questions and comments indicated a good insight into both the characters and events in the book.
The interview script was prepared with questions and comments indicating some understanding of the characters and/or events in the book.
The interview script showed little or no preparation. There was little or no insight into the characters and events in the book.
Interview introduction
(Context)
The interviewer introduced himself clearly and succinctly. He put the interviews into context by explaining why the interviews were being conducted and introduced the interviewees.
The interviewer introduced himself and put the interviews into context with some explanation as to why the interviews were being conducted and introduced the interviewees.
The interviewer introduced himself and the interview put into some context. There was some introduction to characters being interviewed.
The interviewer did not clearly introduce himself. No context was given for the interview and there was little or no introduction of the characters being interviewed.
Understanding of the book
The interview indicates a clear and thorough understanding of the book: the characters, the setting, the events and the theme or themes.
The interview indicates a significant understanding of the book: the characters, the setting, the events and the theme or themes.
The interview indicates a general understanding of the book: the characters, the setting, and the events.
The interview indicates a minimal understanding of the book: the basic plot
Formatting and editing
The group edited and organized the transcript in a way that made the information clear and interesting.
The group edited and organized the transcript in a way that made the information clear.
The group edited and organized the transcript but the information was not as clear or as interesting as it could have been.
The group did NOT edit or organize the transcript
Sound Quality
All of the cast can be heard or understood very clearly on the tape with no distracting background noise.
All of the cast can be heard or understood clearly on the tape but there is some background noise.
The interviewees can be heard or understood very clearly on the tape but the interviewer's voice is not easily heard.
The sound quality is poor making it hard to hear/understand the interview.
Special sound effects
The special effects were well chosen and greatly enhanced the quality and authenticity of the interview.
The special effects were well chosen and enhanced the quality and authenticity of the interview.
There were some special effects used. They were moderately useful in adding to the authenticity of the interview.
There were little/no special effects. If they were used they did not enhance the interview.
Collaboration with peers
Worked cooperatively with other group members all the time with no need for teacher intervention.
Worked cooperatively other group members most of time but had a few problems that the team resolved themselves.
Worked cooperatively other group members most of the time, but had one problem that required teacher intervention.
Worked cooperatively other group members some of the time, but had several problems that required teacher intervention.
Use of class time
Used time well during each class period (as shown by observation by teacher) with no reminders.
Used time well during most class periods (as shown by observation by teacher) with no reminders.
Used time well (as shown by observation by teacher), but required reminders on one or more occasions to do so.
Used time poorly (as shown by observation by teacher) in spite of several reminders.