1. Erin Kraal
  2. Associate Professor
  3. Student Produced Audio Narratives
  4. Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
  1. Ari Epstein
  2. Lecturer
  3. Student Produced Audio Narratives
  4. Massachusetts Instiitute of Technology
  1. Laura Guertin
  2. http://sites.psu.edu/drlauraguertin/
  3. Professor of Earth Science
  4. Student Produced Audio Narratives
  5. Penn State Brandywine
  1. George Sirrakos
  2. Chairperson, Associatw Professor
  3. Student Produced Audio Narratives
  4. Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Erin Kraal

    Erin Kraal

    Lead Presenter
    May 12, 2019 | 09:35 p.m.

    Thanks for watching our video!  This pilot program has just completed its first full implementation year.  We are funded through the Engaged Student Learning – Exploration and Design Phase in the IUSE (Improving Undergraduate STEM Education) program at NSF.


    Please share your suggestions and experiences with instructor utilization and/or student generation of stories in science. What are some of your favorite 'science stories' you have read, heard via podcast, live event, etc.? If you are an educator, how to use written/oral stories with your students? Since our program focuses on introductory-level general education college courses, how do you help your students connect with science? We are especially interested in the use of audio in college courses.


    Also, please share any feedback or links to other programs that use narrative in education or studies that look at how students perceive and connect with science through storytelling. 


    If you have any questions about our study, we would be happy to answer them.  

     
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    Trey Smith
  • May 13, 2019 | 02:33 p.m.

    Erin et al.

    This looks great. I will share it with my colleagues.  I sometimes use artistic reflection to help students grapple with new concepts, but I have not used audio/visual.  It seems like a great way to connect locally relevant geoscience themes to non-STEM students. Who knows, they might become STEM champions or even STEM-committed.  

  • Icon for: Erin Kraal

    Erin Kraal

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 04:08 p.m.

    Thanks for your comment Jonathan.  Once you start using audio in your course, it can get a bit addictive!  Both for students and faculty.  I find students really enjoy not only creating podcasts, but also listening to them as part of the content material.  Often podcasts link to other topics they find interesting (like this cool Planet Money segment about the element Phosphorus https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2018/01/26/581156723/episode-820-p-is-for-phosphorus - business majors really like it or my literature majors really like the approach from Nick Dimeo at Memory Palace like this one called 'Distance' http://thememorypalace.us/2012/03/distance/ - I won't give away the science connection because I don't want to be a spoiler but I use it when I teach about the scientific process).  

  • May 13, 2019 | 04:58 p.m.

    I can imagine it becoming addictive. Story telling seems like a powerful tool for engagement. I look forward to hearing about what you learn in the pilot program. 

  • Icon for: George Sirrakos

    George Sirrakos

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 05:24 a.m.

    Hi Jonathan.  Thank you for your comment.  Yes, storytelling truly is a powerful tool for engagement because it offers the opportunity to communicate complex scientific information in an accessible and multi-modal manner.

  • Icon for: Danielle Watt

    Danielle Watt

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 04:23 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your project! It is a great way to engage non-STEM majors/communities. Although you are currently analyzing data, do you see increased interest in engagement with STEM especially in non-STEM majors? Have you considered expanding to target younger audiences - high school, middle school, or general public?

  • Icon for: Laura Guertin

    Laura Guertin

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 07:05 p.m.

    Hi Danielle, Thanks for your questions. As most of us involved with the project are teaching non-STEM majors in our introductory-level Earth and space science courses, we are seeing that increase in interest and engagement in the majority of students (this is from our observations and the direct comments from students - data analysis is still to come).

    For myself, I've been pleasantly surprised at the sense of pride students have in their projects. This semester in my oceanography course, I had students create rally speeches for coastal optimism -  not just tell a story of "doom and gloom" on the coast, but they had to use the COMPASS Message Box as their template to communicate a message of adaptation and resilience on the coast, what we are doing to succeed, etc. The students took to this challenge of finding hope, and their second audio file (they had to record two messages) surprised me with several students including actions they could take as individuals to help our planet. When thinking about the long-term impacts I want out of my course, I'm thrilled with this realization they have made!

    My students did generate several audio files one semester to share with the Pennsylvania Earth Science Teachers Association (PAESTA), responding to Earth science questions asked by K-12 teachers to help them with their professional development. We learned that the teachers were then sharing the audio files with their students in class as well, and some were even printing off our scripts of the podcasts (we included scripts to make them ADA compliant) and had younger students read while listening to enforce these basic skills. I know there is a large community of podcast listeners out there at K-12 (just look at the recent NPR student podcast contest and the organization Listenwise), and 2019 has been "declared" the Year of the Podcast! But with a lack of podcasts that focus on the Earth sciences (see Figure 2 in this Royal Society Open Science article), I think we can do more to reach an even greater audience.

    Please let me know if you have any additional questions - and thanks again for asking!

     

     
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    Danielle Watt
    Trey Smith
  • Icon for: Danielle Watt

    Danielle Watt

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2019 | 10:17 a.m.

    Thank you for sharing the resources. Really nice to see the connection with PAESTA, high school teachers and students. Have you considered inviting teachers to write/provide lesson plans to accompany your audio file topics to increase classroom use?

    This project has potential to reach beyond local communities, maybe utilizing social media, museums & science centers, podcast, blogs, department website, or even course website to share the audio stories. 

  • Icon for: Laura Guertin

    Laura Guertin

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 11:16 a.m.

    Hello Danielle, you list some excellent suggestions here. I've worked with middle and high school teachers, and I think that collaboration of inviting them to contribute further to modeling how the audio files can be used in the classroom, with even additional curricular materials, would be excellent. I know teachers need time to do this, but that could be a half-day workshop, perhaps, where teachers come in and are given the introduction to existing audio narratives, time to work, and opportunity for sharing (something K-12 teachers do not have enough opportunities to do!). Personally, I would love to see this with stories on local topics, so students can learn about Earth science topics in their communities and hear about the individuals/organizations that are working to make a difference that benefits their lives directly.

    I'll share an example of what we did in one of my classes one semester with audio narratives. The course was titled Water: Science and Society, and it was a general education course for non-STEM majors. As I was teaching the course in the spring semester, the students decided to do a week-long campaign the week of Earth Day, promoting water issues (this was their idea, their desire to share their audio files beyond classroom walls). In addition to the audio files that they all created, they did a Twitter campaign with a hashtag and released multiple audio files a day, created a Tumblr to time the release with Twitter, and convinced the University Relations Office to write an article about their project. Their work picked up the attention of a science museum in Singapore, that then shared their audio files on their museum website. The students were thrilled! 

    So yes, the internet is a powerful way to share and disseminate with wider audiences. As my students learned, it is about using multiple platforms and the right hashtags to connect across the world. I haven't had an energized class quite like that one that took ownership of their own dissemination, but I am seeing a growing interest among students, especially in recent semesters, to share their work.

     

     
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    Danielle Watt
  • Icon for: Danielle Watt

    Danielle Watt

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2019 | 02:10 p.m.

    Bravo to you and your students for expanding beyond the classroom to have international impact! Great examples of the classroom assignment sparking action! Thanks for sharing.

  • Icon for: Phillip Eaglin, PhD

    Phillip Eaglin, PhD

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 06:30 p.m.

    How exciting that you are engaging students through recording their own narratives!  What a great way to help them connect their experiences, culture, and knowledge to the course content.  You are giving them a voice and listening to them!  Question: Do students have a place where they can share the narratives with other students?  How and when are the audio narratives assigned as a task during a semester?

  • Icon for: Laura Guertin

    Laura Guertin

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 06:51 p.m.

    Hi Phillip, thanks for your post. With our faculty community across multiple universities, each of us have implemented audio narratives in different ways - from laboratory assignments to semester-long scaffolded assignments. I start with the information literacy phase, using the faculty librarians on my campus to lead instructional sessions on how to search for and evaluate sources. Then I go in to the "how to write a story" phase (such a different style of writing in a STEM course versus the traditional laboratory reports they are so used to). Finally, I address the digital literacy with showing students how to record audio, layer on sound effects (if appropriate), etc.

    For your second question, we each have found different ways of sharing the student audio narratives. Some just remain in class for peer review and/or a listening party at the end of the semester. Some go and are played on a campus radio station. Some are shared with K-12 classrooms and teachers. In my experience, students definitely want a broader audience than just their peers to hear their recordings - they are proud of their work, which makes me proud that non-STEM majors want others to hear their STEM stories!

     

     
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    Phillip Eaglin, PhD
  • Icon for: George Sirrakos

    George Sirrakos

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 05:32 a.m.

    Hi Phillip and thank you for your comment. You are spot on. We used 'culturally relevant pedagogy' as one of our guiding conceptual frameworks to provide students (particularly those not interested in STEM fields) with opportunities to connect their experiences and culture with course content to allow them to make sense and meaning.

     
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    Phillip Eaglin, PhD
  • Icon for: Erin Kraal

    Erin Kraal

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 08:55 p.m.

    Phillip - Thanks for your question.

    I've usually ended my semester with a 'listening party' where we have guests from the community come in.  I've also done partnerships with our campus radio station, KUR.  Mostly, however, I incorporate a lot of peer listening and evaluation.  I have large classes (this semester about 80 students will do SPAN in one semester) so I focus on process, rather than finished product with that many students.  

     
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    Phillip Eaglin, PhD
  • Icon for: Laura Guertin

    Laura Guertin

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 08:58 p.m.

    Yes, I want to echo Erin's comment that throughout this project and within our courses, the process is the most important part. As we are teaching courses that have specific learning outcomes, we must address the content knowledge and skill sets that we are required to work on with students. Fortunately, we have found the incorporation of audio a tool that does not become a technology barrier for student success.

     
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    Phillip Eaglin, PhD
  • Icon for: Marcelo Worsley

    Marcelo Worsley

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 12:22 a.m.

    This sounds like a great way to get students to identify connections between their lives and geoscience. Can you talk more about the overall vision for the program? Do you think it would be beneficial to provide more of these kinds of experiences in upper division classes?

    Also, I really like that you are working with so many different institutions. What kinds of tools are place to maintain communication and interaction about the cohort of instructors? 

  • Icon for: Erin Kraal

    Erin Kraal

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 09:47 a.m.

    Thanks for your question.  The overall vision for the program is to find sustainable, accessible, and realistic ways to develop meaningful connections with more general education students.  To that end, the focus is on the student experiences (rather than a 'radio quality' audio product, for example).  And these assignments are integrated into their courses (not supplemental experiences).  Thousands of students take 'GenEd' geosciences courses every semester (from traditional introductory geology labs to 'flavor' lecture courses like national parks, geology of Mars/California/New York City, and special topics on environment, oceans, water, etc.)  These students are NOT geology majors.  And the courses are not designed for science majors - they are designed for 'General Education' requirements.  However, as we know, for STEM to grow, we must get students like this to consider science as a possible major to consider it a career.  This grant looks at an even more basic step - finding science (and geoscience) relevant and interesting.  A student must first connect with the science.  Then they might consider another course, a major, a career.  But without that first connection - there aren't future ones.  So this project focuses specifically on these types of courses and instructors who teach them.  Our class sizes have ranged from over 100 to fewer than 10 - each unique and individual to the institution.  But they share that the majority of students in them are NOT science majors.  So these project 'replace' another assignment within the course (perhaps a lab write up, or report, or class presentation).  Our hypothesis is that by participating the creation of audio narratives (science stories) related to the topic & content of the course, will help students more deeply connect with the sciences on a personal relevance level. 

     

    And thanks for the communication question, Marcelo - it's been integral to our grant implementation.  Our incredible team of partner faculty are regionally located (so we can all drive to meet).  We started with a series of three day-long workshops where we introduced the concept of audio assignments and provided professional development training and support.  To build our professional learning community, we meet face to face now twice a year, faculty keep weekly logs, and we have regular virtual meetings.  It turns out that this has been a very important aspect of our grant - support the faculty who teach these large, gened courses in underserved programs.  

     
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    Jonathan Lewis
    Danielle Watt
  • Icon for: Laura Guertin

    Laura Guertin

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 01:11 p.m.

    Hello Marcelo, I just want to share some of the unexpected communications and connections we've seen among our cohort of instructors participating in this pilot program. Although each of them have kept an individual implementation log they are posting in weekly (and the PIs are reading weekly), they have been excellent at supporting one another. They are not pedagogical researchers but have expressed a strong interest in presenting their pedagogical approaches to using SPAN to faculty on and off campus. We've had our participants present at on-campus professional development days and at regional meetings in southeast Pennsylvania (I'm currently at a second conference where I'm co-presenting with one of our participants). The shared experience of not only learning about implementing of audio narratives with students but also sharing what they have done within and outside our cohort has been quite rewarding to see.

     
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    Danielle Watt
  • Icon for: George Sirrakos

    George Sirrakos

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 06:10 a.m.

    Hi Marcelo.  Thank you for taking the time to watch the video and post a comment.  Broadly, our vision is to help engage students (who might not otherwise be interested in STEM) by connecting their experiences, backgrounds, and interests to course content and outcomes.  Through this process, we hope to build/grow students' interests in STEM fields.  Our focus was on introductory-level STEM courses because those are most often the courses taken by students who are not already STEM majors.  However, I can certainly see that the skills developed by engaging in this process (i.e. communication, understanding, research, peer review) can also be helpful to students who are STEM majors and taking upper division classes.  With regard to our communication, we have built in a couple times a year where we meet face to face, but the majority of our communication has been through regularly scheduled virtual meetings.

  • Icon for: William Swift

    William Swift

    Coordinating Producer. PBS NewsHour STEM and Health Student Reporting Labs
    May 14, 2019 | 10:03 a.m.

    Hi Erin, I had to watch your video after Leah commented on it in her response to you.  You do have a wonderful program.  It is interesting what get's student imagination and creative drive in gear when it comes to the sciences.  We use video production to get students engaged, but I love radio or podcasts, because it is theater of the mind.  One of the things I love about teaching video production for STEM understanding is how it helps students realize that reading, writing and arithmetic are essential to being able to produce great stories.  I think that is often a hurdle for student progress, that they just don't get why they are taking the course load they are give, or they feel it is a punishment of some form.  Like Louis, you hope that they find that spark that opens their eyes, and reveals the richness of the STEM or Geographic world around them and they are hooked.  Great work!

  • Icon for: Laura Guertin

    Laura Guertin

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 01:16 p.m.

    Hi William, thanks so much for your comment. I like how you mention the STEM content and the "skill" at being able to produce great stories. One of my motivations for continuing to use audio with students comes from the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) Workforce Report, where AGI interviewed companies that hired recent Earth science graduates. The employers said that students were fine with tools like PowerPoint and overall geoscience content knowledge, but one of their weakest skills coming out of college is the ability to listen. Listening is so important for all fields, not just geosciences! Whether a student has to listen to a patient describe their symptoms to negotiating a contract, the focus on audio allows us to help all students in all fields become stronger (not just the geoscience majors!).

  • Icon for: R. Bruce Mattingly

    R. Bruce Mattingly

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 14, 2019 | 01:23 p.m.

    I love your program! I'm assuming that the faculty who teach these general education courses are from your science departments. How much professional development (if any) do they need to become comfortable with audio technology, podcasts, etc? 

    You might be interested in our video on the Common Problem Project. Our focus is on upper-division courses for majors. The idea is to get students from different disciplines working together to solve an open-ended problem. For example, we've had students from a science class work with a video production class to create short films to educate the public about environmental issues such as climate change. The same concept would work by pairing STEM students with audio production classes and/or art and graphic design students to communicate the same messages in different media.

    I'd also recommend the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science: https://www.aldacenter.org/  I'm sure that many of you are already familiar with their work.

     

     

  • Icon for: Laura Guertin

    Laura Guertin

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 01:47 p.m.

    Hi Bruce, Thanks for your posting. I saw your video and commented on it yesterday - such a great program for students in New York! (that certainly is a model that can be applied anywhere) Certainly, the implementation of audio could work across disciplines - for certainly faculty/campuses. For example, my campus is a 2YC, and we have other community college faculty participating in our cohort, where there are no audio production classes or art/design courses above the introductory level. So each of the faculty makes the project work for what we have with facilities and access to technology. Fortunately, MacBooks come with GarageBand already for students to use as their software editing tool. Audacity is a free download that students can also use. And depending upon the project, if sound layering is required or not, students could simply use their cell phones as their recording device.

    And yes, there are excellent resources with the Alan Alda Center! I also like the resources available through the AGU Sharing Science tools (click on the right on their webpage), in addition to the COMPASS Message Box I mentioned above for how to organize the story (we can have great technology, but as you know, it starts with the story!).

     

     
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    Jonathan Lewis
  • Icon for: Erin Kraal

    Erin Kraal

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 01:50 p.m.

    Hello Bruce - Thanks for your question.  Actually, our faculty are not from our home institutions (although Laura, Ari, and myself all use audio in our courses - that's how we met and developed this research question!).  They are at 6 different institutions, ranging from 2 year community college, regional campuses, R1 institutions, private colleges, rural, suburban, and urban.  One of the things our pilot program seeks to explore is if these types of assignments can be used in such a range of institutions, especially where there may not be other support.  

     

    It actually doesn't take much training to become competent in teaching audio - we use free software (like Audacity and Garage Band) and the students record on their phones.  The whole idea is that the assignment should be 'free' to implement and not require any special equipment or exceptional training.  For our project, we are not focused on creating 'production quality audio' - that does take a lot of work!  We are focused on empowering many students to tell their own science stories.  To specifically answer your question, we did about a 1 day full workshop training on using audio.  This was supported by other professional development related to assignment scaffolding, literacy, rubrics, and evaluation that could be broadly applied to any assignment (not specific to audio).  I'll let my colleague Ari talk more about the audio, though, that's his real area of expertise.

  • May 15, 2019 | 06:28 p.m.

    Very intrigued by your project and eager to hear more as you share findings. I research students' multimodal compositions processes, products, and perspectives, and sound often plays an integral role in their work and engagement. I am interested in how you might be assessing the design of their audio narrations?  Thank you!

  • Icon for: Erin Kraal

    Erin Kraal

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 09:28 a.m.

    Bridget, thanks so much for your question - later today George Sirrakos can answer your question with much more details (he's in meetings all day today!) but I wanted to briefly address your question.  You asked specifically about the design of their audio narratives - I assume you are referring to the students audio narratives?  We actually do not assess the student products as a part of this study.  The partner faculty assess them as a part of their class assignments (so they develop their own rubrics related to their specific assignment and course objectives).  The grant evaluates students response to having created them - through pre/post survey of perceptions of science and a subset interview.  The focus of the grant is not to produce high quality audio products, but to examine the pedagogical impact of this particular activity.  Since the students are not enrolled in 'audio' courses - they are enrolled in science courses, these assignments support, rather than drive, the course.

     

    George can fill in more the assessment specifics, but I can tell you that in my courses (I have had over 100 students doing these at a time), I use this assignment to drive creativity, encourage experimentation and play.  The content objectives involve communicating a scientific topic involved in the course, relating it to the scientific process, and using scientific literature.  And often students will attempt very creative things that are terrible audio pieces to listen to! Just this semester, I had one student who tried to use the idea of a 'shadow' within their audio narrative.  It was a creative, sophisticated idea.  But their audio implementation was not effective, the student knew that and in their post assignment reflection commented that they didn't end up getting the effect they wanted and would have tried a different way again.  They also commented that they really liked trying to figure out a way to express the scientific idea as a shadow, that it connected with other classes they was taking and she appreciated that the assignment allowed them to take a risk and try it.   If you were evaluating the audio piece created (as in I just played it for you), you would not 'assess' it as an effective design.  However, the assignment accomplished its purpose when evaluated by me, as the instructor with regard to the objective of the course.  Now the grant will look at, did that assignment have an impact on her perception of science in general.  

  • May 15, 2019 | 07:29 p.m.

    Having students make audio narratives to explain concepts is a great idea for engagement. And I can see a use for this in the BVI(blind and visually impaired) community. The project I am involved in works with BVI to help develop accessible astronomy software(Innovators Developing Accessible Tools for Astronomy-https://stemforall2019.videohall.com/p/1609). Before engaging BVI in the development of astronomy software, we needed to teach many of the concepts to them. This would have been a perfect addition to that teaching. In fact, I am wondering if you have encountered any instances of this method helping groups needing accessible methods to understand science concepts. Thanks!

  • Icon for: Laura Guertin

    Laura Guertin

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 08:55 a.m.

    Hi Kathy, Thank you for your post and for sharing the incredibly important and meaningful work you are engaged with. We have not yet done any intentional outreach with the BVI community. And we are challenged not knowing who listens to the audio files once they are placed online (so hard to track this type of access). The only instances I can share (which are not the same, but shows how audio can be an inclusive pedagogy) involve the audio files my students created for teachers in the Pennsylvania Earth Science Teachers Association (PAESTA). The audio files were created to help teachers with some mini-professional development on learning science content. My students provided a script with the audio files to be ADA compliant for their website. It turns out that the teachers (mainly teachers in Philadelphia schools) were not only listening to the audio files themselves, but they were playing the audio in their middle school classrooms and having students read the scripts while listening to enhance reading/listening skill development.

    Another example I can give is that with ELL students, we have seen that when students record in their native language, they become much more engaged in the delivery. We have not specifically measured if the learning of science content increases when generating audio narratives in their first language, but we can certainly hear the difference when a student records in both English and their primary language.

    One other point I'll mention that we are not assessing here but is important is making the audio narratives culturally relevant (as mentioned by my colleague George earlier on this page). What are the students experiencing, where do they come from, what connections can they make, and how can audio get us there to create that connection and engagement?

    Thank you for giving us more to think about with the BVI community, and how we can be more intentional with the creation and utilization of audio narratives.

     

     
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    Kathy Gustavson
  • Icon for: Erin Kraal

    Erin Kraal

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 09:41 a.m.

    Kathy - Thanks for your question!  As a pilot program, our grant has not formally explored this connection.  However, I can share my personal experience as an instructor using these techniques.  

    I often have students with accommodations in my courses and I've found this assignment to be highly adaptable to many situations. And let me say that I have not background/expertise in this - I rely on support from my campus disability services office.  Here are two examples:

    - A visually impaired student - this assignment (as self reported) was one of their favorites.  They did all of the interviewing themselves, developed all the content and did all the research.  The only assistance required was some support for the audio engineering interface.  This assistance was provided through the DSO office.  Since all of the final presentations were also only audio - the student was able to fully participate with no accommodations at all in the end of semester presentations.  

    - I've had students with anxiety and accommodations related to this - while there was some nervousness around recording their voice, they appreciated that they were able to present by preparing ahead of time - and not get 'put on the spot' and still contribute.

     

    Not disability accommodations, but it has help me work to be more inclusive in these other ways - 

    - Multi-lingual students are encourage to record both in English and another language, or to incorporate other languages into their narratives.  As Laura mentioned above, this really is noticeable in their sense of ownership (and we have interviewed some of these students to begin to explore this connection)

    - I had a student transitioning - they chose to record their own presentation in their voice (which was not a requirement) but asked to step out of the room while it was played. The student made these decisions and later expressed that it was a supportive environment during their transition.  

     

    We have much work to do when we get our results to examine how these different aspect contribute to students experiences.  Thanks so much for this great question

  • May 16, 2019 | 09:50 a.m.

    Very interesting approach. I've heard of several groups using audio and multi-media to get students thinking more deeply lately, and think it would be a great strategy. Three questions. First, how are you assessing the SPANs for students; are they graded on components, or on participation in process mainly? Second, does your network extend beyond geosciences to other STEM disciplines, and if not, do you think the approach will need to be modified to work in other topics? Third, will you be sharing the assignment prompt and assessment strategy anytime? 

  • Icon for: Erin Kraal

    Erin Kraal

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2019 | 07:56 a.m.

    Daniel - Thanks for three great questions.

    How are students assessed on SPAN - students are assessed by their faculty, not by the grant.  The faculty design the assignment and their own rubrics.  The qualifications for it to be a SPAN assignment are that it be an audio assignment (not a poster presentation or class presentation, for example) and that it involve narrative/storytelling aspect (not just reading a report or definition).  We have collected data on the different types of assignments that the faculty have developed, it's a wide range both in terms of style and length.  Like any major assignment in a course, there are often multiple was a student is assessed including components and participation.

    Our assessment of student perception of science was not limited to geoscience.  However in this pilot we only worked with geoscience courses.  Geoscience is very broad - so this included courses in planetary sciences/astronomy, marine science, environmental sciences as well as 'traditional' geology courses.  We see broad applications to other disciplines with little, if any, modification.  

    We will be sharing some of the assignments and our assessment strategies.  Part of this pilot was to examine the implementation - both from the student and faculty prospective.  How do students respond and what do faculty need to implement.  Once we conclude our data collection, we will be able to speak more about our models for sharing.  As a pilot program, we were in an embedded assessment model to refine the project as it developed.  We anticipate submitting our first results this fall.

  • Icon for: Ari Epstein

    Ari Epstein

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 01:01 p.m.

    Hi all, sorry to be jumping in so late. My own students had a broadcast last night, so we were focusing pretty intently on that....

     

    And that's actually a good jumping-off point for joining this discussion. One of the themes that comes up repeatedly within SPAN (and also when we discuss the project with others) is process vs. product. I happen to teach a class that focuses on audio production, and one of our goals in that class is that students become able to produce broadcast-quality work. That class is not a SPAN class, partly because of how focused it is on audio production.

     

    The *product* of a SPAN assignment is not whatever audio the student produces, but the transformations that happen within the student as a result of producing audio. For sure trying to produce high-quality audio adds to the students' experience in a variety of ways, but for us, if creating an audio narrative about a geoscience topic helps engage a student more deeply in geosciences, the assignment has accomplished its goal, regardless of the quality of the final audio project. So really we're focused on helping faculty develop assignments in which the process of doing the assignment helps achieve some of the learning goals for the class, and helps students see the class as more relevant to themselves and their lives.

     

    For sure it's great to have settings in which students can share their audio with their peers and the outside world, , and sometimes that kind of sharing does serve the goals mentioned above. And it's wonderful when audio assignments are of high enough quality to be broadcast widely. But part of the idea of SPAN is that it should be accessible to faculty without any special audio background or ability, and for many of those faculty (and their students!), putting in the extra work to make an assignment really broadcast quality, and evaluating the "broadcastability" of students' work, would be an extra burden.

     

    That said, I would be happy to answer any questions anyone might have about the technicalities of producing audio, teaching basic audio skills to students (and themselves), etc.

     

  • Icon for: Erin Kraal

    Erin Kraal

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2019 | 08:13 a.m.

    Informal poll:

    What is your favorite 'science story'?  What kinds of scientific narratives do you like (either personally or to use in education)?

  • Icon for: Laura Guertin

    Laura Guertin

    Co-Presenter
    May 18, 2019 | 06:42 p.m.

    I find that my interests in audio files differs from my students. I don't mind longer ones, but if a student is listening to learn (a science topic) versus enjoyment (a sports conversation), then they prefer a shorter length for the audio.

    At the AAAS Meeting in DC this past February, I sat in some of the sessions at the Sci-Mic stage, and I really enjoyed hearing the short series from the Wall Street Journal on The Price of Climate. I have the audio files linked here: https://journeysofdrg.org/2019/04/07/dc-2019-aaas-meeting-sci-mic-stage/  What I liked is the journey I was taken on - the interviewer and the interviewees did an excellent job painting the picture of where they were, what they were pointing at, etc.

     

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