Although it has been some time since my last post, I’ve been waiting to publish in anticipation of the students’ first video and text blog posts. Well, the wait is over! The firs assignment for Public Speaking in a Digital World is now available for your view and mine. Before you head on over to their sites and review the awesome-ness for yourself, consider a few of my preliminary comments about their work — besides, I’ve got some good inside information that you might find interesting.
Improvisation Was Key I learned while listening to the small group impromptu speeches (about their most recent blog work–of course) that most of the groups decided to go the route of improvisation. Initially when I started this whole Public Speaking in a Digital World enterprise, I assumed that students would be more inclined to create scripts for themselves to make sure their final product is as polished as possible. What I learned through their brief presentations was that most purposefully avoided creating a script to present a more “real” and “authentic” representation in their video posts. I have to admit that this approach was a pleasant surprise.
Themes as a Means During these same presentations, each group also indicated that through discussion and deliberation, they decided collectively to embrace a visual thematic approach to create a blog identity. The students also identified their concern with maximizing each students’ personality or determine strategies that would provide a way for each student to experiment in their video posts. This is a point that really impressed me about their collaborative work. If you have ever incorporated group work in a course — you know the typical consensus among students is extreme dislike. This may be the case in some instances; however, collaborative work is apart of the professional world. Also — and more importantly — some of the best projects, ideas and solutions happen as a result of group efforts. I’m thrilled to know that students are finding ways to make group work a positive and productive experience.
Unique POVs are HOT! When I initially introduced the component of the assignment that each students’ text post had to represent a Unique Point of View on the singular situation — they grimaced with disbelief. Right away I got questions like, “How are five people each supposed to write something different about roommate conflicts?” My answer was simple, I replied: “You are all different people with different experiences, so draw upon that.” It must have sounded too simple — but what this simple assignment brought out a range of depth and reflexivity for which I had hoped. That being said, I could not have anticipated the level of depth and complexity of these posts. I learned that there were roommates taking the course together. I also learned that some roommates met and corresponded via Facebook before arriving at the university…interesting stuff for sure.
So, I encourage you to review both their text and video posts. I’ve included the links. Also, I invite you to leave a comment or two and let me know what you think. Remember, they are students learning about public speaking so please provide both positive feedback and constructive criticism because they are important components to the learning process.