Audio Story Assignment

Raw Audio Footage 10 Tues., Mar. 20
Audio Story – Draft 30 Fri., Mar. 23
Audio Story – Feedback 20 Tues., Mar 27
Audio Story – Final Draft 120 Fri., Mar 30

The Audio Story will be our focus for the rest of Unit 3. The project will follow a process similar to that of the previous two units. You will produce a 1-2 minute audio story related to your semester topic.

  • The first step of the assignment, the Raw Audio Footage, is due on Tuesday.
  • The second part of the assignment, the Audio Story – Draft, is due at the end of the first week;
  • The following week, your feedback on your peers’ Audio Story drafts is due;
  • Then, based on feedback you receive from your peers and your instructor, you will revise your draft to complete a Final Audio Story.

Raw Audio Footage

In this project, you will create a 1-2 minute audio story related to your semester topic. In the first part, you will begin gathering original audio through interviews and ambient sound recording to use in your story.

1. Get Organized and Inspired

Start by thinking about what aspects of your topic are communicated well through audio, and what type of audio story you want to tell. You have the creative freedom to develop this story in the format you find best suits your story. Possible formats include:

Other formats are also encouraged, but it’s recommended that you speak with your TA ahead of time to make sure the idea will work well with the rubric requirements.

2. Collect Original Audio

Before you begin to construct your Audio Story in Adobe Audition, you will need to begin collecting interviews, ambient sound or other recordings. You can use a smartphone, computer or other digital audio recording device to record sound.

  • Record at least 2 audio tracks that you may use in your audio story. One of these may be your own voice or narration. The other should be audio you’ve recorded by interviewing someone else or finding other sounds relevant to your story.
  • Upload these two unedited audio tracks to Soundcloud as you did for the Audition Tutorials. You do not need to use Audition for this portion.

3. Submit your Raw Audio Footage

Once you have at least two tracks you may use in your Audio Story uploaded to Soundcloud, publish them on your blog and submit the URL to Blackboard to complete the Raw Audio Footage assignment.

  • Upload at least two unedited audio tracks to Soundcloud.
  • Create a new post in WordPress and embed your Soundcloud tracks in that post.
  • Include at least one sentence describing the Audio Story you plan to tell.
  • Publish your post and submit the URL in Blackboard.

Note: You will need to collect more than two audio tracks to make a successful Audio Story. You may also make use of free-to-use and Creative Commons audio, but the majority of the material in the story should be your own recordings. It is OK if you decide not to use the audio files you posted for your Raw Audio Footage assignment.

Grading Criteria

The Raw Audio Footage will be graded for completion, with full credit awarded if all required components are published and submitted correctly.

Draft Audio Story

Next, you will use Adobe Audition to edit together clips of your audio interviews and other audio footage to create an audio narrative, story, or collage about your topic.

1. Edit your Story in Audition

Use the audio you collected to craft your story. You may or may not choose to narrate the story yourself with a written voiceover. The majority of material in your Audio Story should be your own recordings. You may use audio from other sources as long as the files are Creative Commons or licensed as free-to-remix. If you use audio that is not your own, you should clearly link to the page with the original source of the audio with a clear indication of its free-to-remix license. Your Audio Story should not include copyrighted music.

Key audio story requirements:
• Edited with Adobe Audition, not any other software program
• 1-2 minutes in length (precisely, not 0:58 or 2:09)
• Effectively tell a complete story related to your topic
• Use primarily audio you recorded yourself
• Use only audio that is yours or licensed as free-to-remix (no copyrighted music)

Export your Draft Audio Story as an .mp3 file like you did in the Audition Tutorials, and upload it to Soundcloud.

2. Publish Your Draft with a Post

After you have finished your draft Audio Story, write a 300 to 500 word blog post to accompany your story. As noted in the rubric, this post should include your design inspiration, links to sites you used for research, and details about your design significance and technical process. Publish a post on your blog with both the Soundcloud embed and your written post.

Key post requirements:
• 300-500 words (OK to go a little over if necessary to explain all ideas)
• Use principles and vocabulary from the course readings in your explanations
• Follow strong blog practices as outlined in Blogging Best Practices
• Include credit for any materials you didn’t create yourself
• Appropriate for a general Internet audience and respectful of diverse perspectives

You can use the outline below to make sure your post includes all information required by the rubric. Write in complete sentences with 1-2 paragraphs for each section. You can use the section headers if you like, but do not include the questions.

Idea and Inspiration
• What did you decide to create for this project? How does this project idea relate to your course topic?Design Process
• What design influences or principles inspired you? What research did you do to inform your design and idea?
• What is the significance of the elements in your design?
• What was your design process, from beginning to end? (Use terms and principles from the course readings to explain your design choices.)Technical Detail
• How did you collect or create the elements used to create your project?
• What was your process for constructing your project using Adobe software? What tools and techniques did you use?
• What technical challenges did you encounter with the software or specific tools? What solutions did you find, and do you have tips for anyone else encountering the same problem?Sources and Materials
• Cite any materials used in your project that you did not create yourself.

3. Submit Your Post to Blackboard.

To complete the Draft Audio Story assignment, submit the URL of your completed blog post to the appropriate dropbox in Blackboard.

Note: You must submit the direct link to your draft post, not the generic link to your blog.

Grading Criteria

The Draft Audio Story will be graded for completion, with full credit awarded as long as a published post containing the audio embed and written blog post is correctly submitted to Blackboard. The multimedia project draft may be rough as long as it demonstrates progress toward the final version.

Audio Story Feedback

After you post your draft audio story, you will critique your classmates’ drafts as well as your own design. For this assignment, the class is divided into feedback groups. Each feedback group includes 4-5 members. Feedback groups are different each unit, and will be posted on Blackboard under “Announcements” immediately after the Draft Audio Story deadline.

1. Listen to your group members’ drafts

Feedback groups will be posted under “Announcements” on Blackboard immediately following the Draft Audio Story deadline. Find your feedback group and visit each of your group members’ blogs. For each group member, find their draft audio story and consider how they made use of audio to tell the story. You may want to read their “About” pages or introductory blog posts to learn more about their course topics. Think about the design in terms of the audio storytelling principles from Unit 3, as well as general design concepts.

2. Leave a critique comment for each group member

For each group member, write a 150-300 word critique of their story. You should provide at least 2 critical suggestions for improvement and 1 specific area where the story design is already strong. Please offer suggestions for improvement based on the assignment rubric and our course material. You might offer technical or content-based feedback. Your critiques should be substantial and respectful.

Post your critique as a “comment” on each group member’s blog post. Also collect each comment you post in a Word document, which you will eventually submit to Blackboard. If a group member has not posted a draft post by the deadline, indicate this in your Word document. You are not responsible for leaving a comment if the draft post is not present. (Click here to download a Word document template)

3. Review comments from your group members

Depending on your WordPress settings, new comments will typically not appear on your blog until you approve them. Go to your WordPress dashboard and select Comments from the main menu to approve any critique comments in your queue.

4. Add a self-critique comment

After reviewing feedback from your group members and instructor, leave a 150-300 word self-critique comment on your own draft post reevaluating your work. This critique can and should integrate the feedback from your peers, but can also offer further insight based on your thinking and viewing other designs. Explain what you plan to revise in your final version and what challenges remain.

5. Submit all feedback comments to Blackboard

In a Word document or similar text document, collect the 4-5 comments you wrote for your group members and your own self-critique comment. Submit this document as an attachment to the appropriate dropbox on Blackboard. Because feedback is time-sensitive, this assignment must be completed no later than two days after the deadline for partial credit.

Sometimes WordPress blogs do not display the most recent posts on the homepage. If you cannot find the latest posts from any of your group members, add a slash and the year after the URL for the site, such as for example. That will bring you to a list of all posts published this year.

Final Audio Story

Your Final Audio Story should be an update of your Draft Audio Story. Based on the feedback you received from your peers and your own critique of your design, how can you more clearly communicate your story to your audience and make use of the power of audio?

1. Revise your Audio Story

Based on the feedback you received from your peers, your instructor and your own critique of your story, make revisions to improve the final product. If you find any helpful tutorials or techniques as you experiment with Audition, share them on the “General Discussion” forum on Blackboard.

2. Revise your Written Post

Once you have completed you revisions to your audio story, you should then create a new Final Audio Story post on your course blog. Your final audio story post should be a revision of your initial post, published as a new, separate post. The final post should be 300 to 500 words and should include your Soundcloud embed.

Your post should outline the entire design process including the initial idea and draft story, a summary of the feedback you received and your process of making revisions to complete your Final Audio Story. Do not assume the reader has seen the draft blog post write-up. Your post should be creative and engaging and supplement the audio story. See the rubric below for further details.

Key post requirements:
• Follow all requirements of the draft post, appropriately updated.
• Outline your full design process in detail, from inspiration through revisions.
• Summarize feedback you received and changes you made from the draft.

3. Submit your final post to Blackboard.

After you have published your Final Audio Story post on your blog, submit the URL for your post to Blackboard in the appropriate assignment dropbox.

Please post any questions you may have to the “Ask the Instructors” forum in Blackboard, or talk with your COM210 TA during lab or office hours.

Grading Rubric

Carefully read the Multimedia Project Rubric for details about grading. The following list summarizes the key criteria and requirements you should be aiming for.

Multimedia Product (60%)

Content (15%)
❑ Presents a clear, nuanced, fully comprehensive communication of the topic.
❑ Utilizes unique combination of materials from varied and novel sources.
❑ Developed within constraints and requirements identified in the assignment.
❑ Does not use any copyrighted content without permission.

Design Principles (15%)
❑ Expert execution of all design concepts from course readings.
❑ Professional and engaging design; clear, compelling organization of information and ideas.
❑ Design conveys a strong sense of purpose and function.
❑ Meets all expectations and professional standards for chosen form of media.

Originality and Experimentation (15%)
❑ Original design solution with many unique qualities that presents an engaging concept.
❑ Project shows substantial exploration and experimentation, resulting in an innovative visual solution.
❑ Evidence of substantial and varied purposeful iterations from initial design to final draft.

Technical Proficiency (15%)
❑ All elements are fully refined and flawless.
❑ Uses a significant number of tools appropriately.
❑ Clear mastery of techniques demonstrated in course tutorials as well as experimentation beyond the course tutorials.

Written Post (40%)

Relates to Topic/Issue (5%)
❑ Strong, nuanced and personal explanation of the relationship to the topic.
❑ Clear, comprehensive and consistent context for design choices.

Design Process (10%)
❑ Comprehensive and insightful explanation of research process; thoughtful, articulate and personal description of design influences and inspirations.
❑ Fully articulated and thoughtful description of the design approach to project.
❑ Comprehensive, detailed and instructive explanation of the design process, demonstrating sophisticated understanding of course principles and vocabulary.
❑ Reflective and insightful description of a detailed and purposeful revision process.

Technical Detail (10%)
❑ Includes comprehensive, technically detailed explanation of how required assets were collected.
❑ Thorough, detailed and instructive explanation of how content editing was executed using software tools.
❑ Comprehensive explanation of process followed for overcoming challenges encountered while using programs or tools, including tips to avoid these in the future.

Diverse Perspectives (5%)
❑ Appropriate for diverse Internet audience and WSU community.
❑ Shows respect for a diverse Internet audience and WSU community.

Professionalism and Style (10%)
❑ Meets 300 word minimum required in assignment.
❑ Follows all best practices for blogging established in class; adds substantial value to the post.
❑ No grammar/spelling/punctuation errors. Eloquently written.
❑ All sources properly cited.