Podcast Project

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PURPOSE: This collaborative podcast project gives you an opportunity to apply the writing and audio techniques we’ve been discussing all semester, deepen your understanding of the UVA-related topic and its current impact on students and the community, and gain experience as researchers/journalists working with a team to complete a project for a public audience.

TASK: We will be creating a 4 episode podcast series about a UVA-related topic of your choice. Each team of 4 students will be responsible for conceptualizing, scripting, designing, and editing one episode. The focus of your team’s episode is entirely up to you (we will brainstorm and form teams early in the semester). Working together at every stage of this project will be critical to your episode’s success. While it is fine to split up some tasks (e.g. researching a particular topic, interviewing a person when your partners have class, etc.), your team should collaborate thoroughly in the production of the episode. In other words, everyone should participate in every stage of the process: brainstorming, scripting, researching, interviewing, composing, and editing. Below you will find some general information and guidelines about the project. We will also be discussing the various phases of the project in depth during class time.



-Each episode should be between 15-20 minutes long. That may seem short, but a lot of work goes into creating a polished podcast of this length.

-Your episode must include a mix of scripted narration, research, and interviews.

-Your episode must include music and/or ambient sound of some kind

-Your episode must include a written transcript for accessibility. In other words, you must provide a textual version of the podcast episode, including descriptions of sounds and/or music. We will be looking at example transcripts in class. Please include a “Works Cited” page at the end of your transcript for all of the research, music, sound clips, interviews, and/or ambient sounds that were used in the production of your episode. Use MLA format.

-Each team must provide a collaborative written reflection along with their final podcast submission. And each team member must provide an individual reflection. The guidelines for these documents are included below.


Collaborative Reflection Guidelines [minimum 600 words, single-spaced]:

-At the top of the page, please include your team members’ names, the title of your episode, and a one sentence description of the episode. Then, you should address the following questions/prompts:

-Name and describe some podcasts or audio projects that inspired your episode. How is yours similar to or different from audio work that already exists in the world?

-What do you want your audience to understand or take away after listening to your episode? What is the point or purpose of your episode?

-Describe in detail the process of composing your episode. This should be the longest section of your reflection. Specifically, you should consider how and why you made particular compositional and rhetorical choices. For example: What is the tone of your episode and why? What was the logic behind structuring your episode the way you did? In what ways did the various components of the episode—research, interviews, narration—enhance the episode or the stories you tell? How and why did you make use of music or ambient sound? What material did you ultimately decide to cut down (or not to use at all) and why?

-What were some of the challenges/limitations that your team encountered while working on your episode?

-How would you evaluate your episode overall (1 = poor, 10 = excellent)? Explain why you chose this score.


Individual Reflection Guidelines [minimum 500 words, single-spaced]:

-Each member of the team should individually submit a reflection that addresses the following questions/prompts:

-How was this project different from or similar to more traditional forms of textual writing you’ve done in the past (like research essays, for instance)?

-In a paragraph or two, please evaluate your team’s collaborative process. Describe your group dynamics. Do you feel that your team’s collaboration was successful? Why or why not? What worked about your collaborative process? What was the most difficult thing about collaborating on a project like this? What are some things your team could have done to improve your collaborative working situation? What have you learned about collaboration?

-What have you learned from doing this project (be specific)?

-What would you say has been the most valuable part of the class for you?


Evaluation: To see how the various components of this project will be evaluated, see “How to Do Well in This Course.”


TO RECAP, here is what you need to submit for the final project:

[one member can submit the podcast, transcript, collaborative reflection, and interview permissions by uploading your team’s materials directly to our Box folder]:

-15-20 minute podcast episode in .mp3 format

-Written transcript of the episode with works cited page

-Collaborative reflection [minimum 600 words, single-spaced]

-Any permissions forms (from interviews) that you need to include; these can be scanned or you can take a picture with your phone and upload it that way

-Individual reflection [minimum 500 words, single-spaced]; each person should submit this document VIA EMAIL separate from their team’s project submission



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