Hi folks, hope you’re doing well and taking good care of yourself.  I know that many of you are completing your first week ever of online learning and the rest of you are prepare to start. There’s a lot of generous offers and plenty of good advice, but once you go online, you’re going to realize  you might need more than that. So I thought I would go into some specifics and tell you about a class that I’ve been teaching for a little over 10 years.

 Audio Recording and Production is a first-semester college class, but it’s easily adaptable to high school or even middle school. It’s’s a blended class and I usually teach it face to face, but I’ve also taught it online.

What I’m going to do is give you a series of videos. This first one here will be an overview of the class.  Then another one with some details about how the class operates. I’ll do a video on assessment, how I deal with that. And then I will also, produce a last video, which will talk about the adjustments I have to make to move the class online.

So, this class is a project-based class. It’s one long project with three parts. The first part is songwriting.   The students each write a song and when they complete the song, at the end of about four weeks, they then pitch the song to the class and find a producer. The producer is responsible, really for getting the record made. And then finally, when they’re done with that, then they hire a mixing engineer, a third student.  And so, each one of the groups has three students in it, and each student is in three different groups in three different roles.

It’s also a modified flipped class. All of my lectures are online. I do do a little bit of lecturing in the classroom, but not very much.  So, most of the materials that they need are on the course site. But where it’s modified is that I don’t assign those videos at any particular time. Students will follow their own path through this project and will end up needing them at different times throughout the class. And so, I don’t expect them to watch the videos at a particular time and then do an activity in the class. I expect them to watch them when they need them. And to be honest, most of the students don’t need all of the videos, but that’s okay.  They use what they need. And then I also hope that those videos will inspire them to do their own research and go a little deeper into the topics that they actually need.

So, the students post their work on a journal. It’s a multimedia journal. They put graphics, audio, video, and then they discuss what they’ve done in their work and then what they’re going to do next. I’ll talk about it a little bit more in depth in the assessment video. I give them feedback each week, and then I also use that to inform me about things—problems– that I might need to address in the class; where I haven’t done a video for a particular issue.

And so, let’s take a look at what goes on in the classroom. At the beginning of each section, I do a brief lecture and discussion and question and answer, so students are clear about what’s going to happen in that section of the project. We do a lot of listening activities, listening to a variety of types of music. There’s a lot of individual help going on, from reading their journals, I have learned which students are in need of help, and which students just really need a pat on the back. And then very often what you’ll see is a lot of collaborative work going on. Students, as they form their teams, start to work with each other. My lab is set up so that they can easily move around and gather around one computer. As the teams grow, you see more and more collaboration going on.

So that gives you an idea of what the class is all about, how I put it together, and how it operates. And so in the next videos, I’ll get into a little bit more detail about, about how I do everything, the assessments, and then we’ll talk about how and what I’ve had to do to move online.

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