Telling Stories in Land & Food Systems: OpenEd09


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Students in UBC’s Faculty of Land and Food Systems are passionate about the environment, urban farming, sustainability and food. As applied scientists, it is crucial that they learn media skills, and this session examines their use in context. Presenters will discuss how Land and Food Systems partnered with the UBC School of Journalism to teach students how to tell stories and make their research accessible to those on and off campus. Students used open source audio editing software to create Creative Commons-licensed audio documentaries that give their work a whole new audience.

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Telling Stories in Land & Food Systems: OpenEd09

  1. 1. Telling Stories in Land and Food Systems Andrew Riseman Kathryn Gretsinger Cyprien Lomas Duncan McHugh University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC, Canada OpenEd 2009 August 14th, 2009 Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License
  2. 2. ・ How did this course come to be? ・ How did we do it? ・ What were challenges? ・ What were results? ・ How did openness benefit this course? Special Topics in Agriculture
  3. 3. ・ Very passionate about their research ・ Somewhat isolated ・ Many have a lack of awareness as to how to tell a story LFS students
  4. 4. ・ Engaging their research in a new way ・ Improving their communication skills ・ Expressing themselves using digital tools ・ Spreading their message to a broader audience LFS students
  5. 5. ・ Mostly re-purposing lectures ・ Useful, not very dynamic Academic podcasting
  6. 6. ・ Cross-campus collaboration The PEPI Group
  7. 7. ・ Cross-campus collaboration ・ Putting the technology into students’ hands ・ Sought to create an open source, ‘academic iTunes’ ・ Evolved into a partnership between LFS & SoJ The PEPI Group
  8. 8. ・ 4th year seminar in issues related to the UBC Farm ・ Traditionally assignments were essays ・ UBC Farm is the only working farm in Vancouver ・ UBC Farm is threatened by development ・ Two-part assignment AGRO 461 & UBC Farm
  9. 9. ・ Sought to use journalism skills to teach to six LFS students to create engaging and rigorous audio documentaries ・ Four-member teaching team: ・ Agriculture prof ・ Journalism prof ・ Tech instructor ・ Big thinker This year’s course
  10. 10. ・ Students didn't have a framework for this type of work ・ four rules of journalism     ・ storytelling, not just feeling ・ crafting a narrative out of an interview This year’s course
  11. 11. ・ Students were taught the difference between advocacy and journalism ・ As newspapers and other media suffer cutbacks, room for citizen journalists to have a voice What is citizen journalism?
  12. 12. ・ Streeter: students were sent out to ask strangers a question ・ Voicer: simple story piece that combines basic audio editing, sound recording, interviewing and narration Early results
  13. 13. ・ New skills for students to pick up ・ “ Copyright awareness” ・ “ How to get good recording” ・ “ The use of audio recorders” ・ “ Basic audio editing” Technology workshops
  14. 14. ・ Sakai ・ Audacity Tools
  15. 15. ・ Audio piece, ~10mins in length ・ Workshopped extensively ・ Sense of accountability to students and the work ・ CBC competition ・ CC licensed Final project
  16. 16. ・ “ The Soil Beneath Your Feet ” ・ “ Dandelion ” ・ “ The Farmhouse ” ・ “ Where Are We Growing ” ・ “ Agricultural Inspirations ” ・ “ The Chicken Man ” Final project
  17. 17. ・ new technology ・ lack of time ・ the need to change culture ・ scarcity of resources [pilot] Challenges
  18. 18. Student Reflections
  19. 19. ・ formalised course, restricted elective ・ 15 students cap ・ new assignments Next year
  20. 20. ・ One way to tell 50 stories ・ Better breed of podcasts ・ Student satisfaction ・ raised the bar and they stepped up ・ tangible product to share with those outside of the university ・ giving students the tools they need to be heard     ・ epiphanies can't be planned Conclusion
  21. 21. Questions?
  22. 22. Thanks! Andrew Riseman [email_address] Kathryn Gretsinger [email_address] Cyprien Lomas [email_address] Duncan McHugh duncan [email_address] Faculty of Land and Food Systems The University of British Columbia