Each student will work in a group (comprised of 4-5 students) to write, produce and record a radio show around a theme. These should show the forms and characteristics of the radio shows you listened to in week 4, and demonstrate the ideas of shapes of stories,
Groups will be self-selected using the groups feature in Canvas (login to your course site and add yourself to a group by midnight on 2/14; if you do not add yourself to a group, it shall be done for you). Each student will design a proposed logo for their group in week 6; the team will need to produce a poster for their show as well.
Each radio show must be at least 5 min X the number of group members. In other words, a four person group must produce at least a 20 minute show. A five person group must produce a 25 minute show.
In addition, each student will have to produce in week 7 a bumper (15-30 seconds) for their particular show and a commercial/promo (~60 seconds).
Your group should decide on a theme by the end of week 6:
- Spring: Spring represents change, renewal, a new start. Build a whole story that is based on this season, overcoming challenges, etc.
- Roadtrips: Everyone loves a roadtrip — the lure of the open road, the wind rushing through the windows, the smell of diesel on 95. Build a show around the adventure and mystery of the road trip.
- UMW Stories: What makes it special here? What mysteries are there on campus? What kind of wild fiction could happen here?
- Time Travel: What would happen to go back or forward in time?
- Apocalypsing Now: Oh no, the world as we know it is over. Survival in a new age, how will it be (you are going to have to make a strong pitch for anything zombie related, we’ve heard them all).
- Something Else: Don’t like these choices? Okay. Propose something else!
It may help to review the kinds of shows done in the past; see the archive of past radio shows. You may choose your format from the following types:
- Radio Drama: Write a fictional story around your theme and produce a radio drama, complete with sound effects, musical overtures, and funny voices.
- Interview Show: Either conduct a panel interview (with group members) or interview people from around campus/your neighborhood/your workplace about the theme. Warning: It is HARD to do entertaining and interesting interview shows. We’re not looking for boring people droning on about things. You’ll have to be creative to make an interview show interesting. They need some structure, and do not work as off the cuff banter. Use techniques demonstarted by shows like This American Life and/or Radiolab.
- Soundscape: Choose a variety of audio assignments from the audio section in the Assignment Repository, and produce them around your theme. Come up with an eclectic and interesting mix of audio pieces; make sure to build interludes between them. Work on producing a show that unifies these disparate pieces.
- Something Else: Don’t like these choices? Okay. Propose something else to Alan or Martha (ASAP), and we’ll let you know if it sounds good.
Whatever you do must have a structure similar to the ones we listened to- some sort of introduction, a mid show reminder, use of bumpers in the middle of a show, and an outro (or exit).
Sunday 2/17 (by midnight): Login to Canvas and assign yourself to a group. Come up with a name for your team. Tweet it out with the #ds106 hash tag
Sunday 2/24 (by midnight): As a group, settle on a theme and format for your show. One designated group member must write a blog post outlining these choices. Each student should design a proposed logo for their team.
Sunday 3/2 (by midnight): Each student must write a blog post outlining his/her planned contributions to the radio show. In addition, each student must design a poster as an advertisement for their group’s show.
Friday 3/16 (by midnight): Radio shows and bumpers must be completed and uploaded to Dropbox at http://dropitto.me/ds106 (the password is “wejamecono”).
Sunday 3/17 (by midnight): Each group member should write a post on his/her blog reflecting upon the show and their contribution to it.
Monday 3/18: We will will be broadcasting the premiere of all shows live on ds106radio. At least one group member must be available by Skype to “call-in” to the radio station and discuss the show.
Note: As soon as groups are formed, you should begin working together to make decisions about your show. As soon as you know what you’ll be doing for your show, you should begin working on it! While we will be moving into other units for the next two weeks, we encourage you STRONGLY to not wait until the last minute to work on this project!
It is your responsibility, as a group, to determine the best way to manage group communications. You may use whatever tools you like. Here are a few suggestions:
- Canvas: Once your groups have been formed in Canvas, you will have access to a set of tools within that system. You can use these to share files, edit pages collaboratively, start discussion threads, or hold synchronous chat sessions. If you like, you can use these tools as your main avenue for communicating.
- Email: Once your groups have been formed, we will send out an email to each group so that you all have access to each other’s email addresses. You may use this to facilitate conversation.
- Twitter: You may wish to choose a hashtag for your group and ask everyone to use it whenever writing a tweet related to their work on the show.
- Google Hangout: If you’re looking for a tool for group meetings/conversations, Hangout is a good choice. You can each have audio/video as well as sharing screens. You can also record these sessions.
- Skype: Skype is always a good (free) choice for conducting group discussions. You can have an unlimited number of audio connections in a Skype call. In order to do group video calls, however, you have to have a Premium subscription (there is a free 7-day trial).
- Your Blogs: While some blogging will be required as part of this project, we encourage you to go beyond those requirements. Use your blog as a place to narrate your show’s progress, communicate questions to your group, and ask for help!
You will receive a group grade on your radio show, as well as an individual grade for your work in the show (based on your reflections on your blog). Generally, shows will be graded on the following criteria:
- Creativity: Your show should creatively interpret your theme in a way that makes for an enjoyable (not boring) listening experience. It is NOT considered creative to pick a theme and then have every person simply turn on a mic on their computer and talk about it. Plan your show/segments. Think about what kind of audio techniques and storytelling techniques you can use to make it/them as entertaining as possible!
- Quality: We know that you’re not audio experts and that producing really good radio takes years of practice. However, we still expect a modicum of basic quality from your show. We should be able to understand what you are saying. There shouldn’t be a lot of background noise or static. Music and effects should be clear and well-modulated. The sound shouldn’t go in and out or have dramatic changes in volume.
- Groupwork: In order to produce a really solid show, you will need to work well together. The best shows involve regular communication and collaboration among members, particularly during the planning stages. The weakest shows tend to be ones where the groups pick a theme and then everyone goes off in different directions and they don’t really consult on how everything goes together.