Dr. Laura Senio Blair’s Sample Materials for Planning a Class Oral History Project

Are you an instructor who is interested in potentially planning a class oral history project?  Dr. Laura Senio Blair, Professor of Spanish at Southwestern University, recommends the source “Conducting Interviews” in Doing Oral History: A Practical Guide by Donald A. Ritchie to introduce students to best practices for interviewing oral history narrators.  She developed the following project plan/workflow to facilitate an oral history project in her class:

  • 1st assignment: students listened to oral histories (conducted in Spanish) and wrote summaries of 5 stories to turn in as a homework assignment
  • [https://storycorps.org/theme/en-espanol/]
  • 2nd assignment: students outlined an article on doing Oral History as a homework assignment. Each member of the group read a different article and shared their outlines with all members of the group.  Sample Student Assignment_Outline_Doing Oral History
  • 3rd assignment: groups filled out proposals with assignment of duties and initial interview questions (in Spanish)
  • 4th assignment: groups made initial contact  with interviewees
  • 5th assignment: students attended an orientation on recording in SU’s sound booth
  • 6th assignment: all students practiced using the equipment during class
  • 7th assignment: groups edited interview questions
  • 8th assignment: groups contacted interviewee with confirmation of date and time
  • 9th assignment: groups had interviewee fill out donor form
  • 10th assignment: groups conducted their interviews (in Spanish)
  • 11th assignment: groups uploaded the interview to the class Google Folder
  • 12th assignment: post-production of interview
 Take a look at Dr. Laura Senio Blair’s Spring 2016 Syllabus to gain a sense of the role the oral history project plays in her class and compare it to your own curriculum.
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The following are sample materials from her class which can serve as models for other classroom-centered digital oral history projects.

 

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