oral history project final project

How do individuals experience “new” media? Are their generational differences?

This assignment requires you to interview a person who is at least 20 years older than you. This person may be a family member or friend. The purpose of your interview is to investigate the cultural reception of new media among an earlier generation of living individuals.

This medium could be a radio, television, camera, record player, cassette player, VCR, fax machine, DVD player, computer, cell phone, or some other technology, website, or software. (These are just some suggestions, not a comprehensive list.) This “new” medium need not be new to the world during your subject’s life; it could be a technology that has been around for a long time – for example, a record player, typewriter, or radio – but was once “new” to your subject.

Interviews

During your interview, you might consider asking your subject to reflect upon the following questions:

  • Where and how old were you when you first encountered this “new” medium?
  • Where did this medium come from? How did you gain access to it? In your home, with friends, at a store, in school, somewhere else?
  • Were you the first in your family or peer group to acquire it or did you acquire it after seeing others with it?
  • How did you learn to use this medium? Did you teach yourself, did someone show you, or did you read a manual?
  • How did you use this medium? What exactly did you do with it? Did you use it alone or with others?
  • How did you feel when you first used this medium? What emotions accompanied the experience? Awe, fear, pleasure, confusion, ambivalence, curiosity, envy, pride – some combination? (These are just a few possibilities.)
  • Was this the first of many uses or a one-time experience? If it was the first of many uses, how did you incorporate this medium into your life? When did you use it and under what circumstances?
  • At the time, how did you imagine that this medium fit into American culture and society? Was it widely popular among people from all walks of life or more narrowly popular among a specific group of users – for example, children, teenagers, adults, music lovers, artists, gamers, hobbyists, or technology “geeks”?

Your interview, which should be at least 15 minutes long, must be recorded (via video or audio-only) to assist you with your note-taking and written report.

Written Reports

After conducting the interview, each student will write a paper that summarizes his/her findings and reflects upon themes and issues that arose in the interview. In addition to personal reflection, students must reflect upon and incorporate insights from at least three of the assigned readings in this course.

Papers should be 850 words (about 3.5-pages, double-spaced, in 10 or 12-point font with one-inch margins). Attention to writing, spelling, and grammar constitutes part of your grade.

Papers should be submitted online by 11:59pm on Friday, May 8. Late papers get a reduced grade of one half (e.g., B becomes B-) for each day beyond the deadline, including the weekend.

Rubric

Oral History Project (1)

Oral History Project (1)

Criteria Ratings Pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeDepth & detailReport contained detailed description of the interviewee’s responses, including specific examples of the his/her experiences with “new” media. Report includes thoughtful reflection on generational differences/similarities revealed by the interviewee’s responses.

5.0 pts

Exceeds expectation

4.25 pts

Meets expectation

3.75 pts

Partially meets expectation

3.25 pts

Does not meet expectation

5.0 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeCourse conceptsReport incorporates references to concepts from appropriate course readings. References to course readings are relevant and demonstrate clear understanding of the concepts used.

3.0 pts

Exceeds expectation

2.55 pts

Meets expectation

2.25 pts

Partially meets expectation

1.95 pts

Does not meet expectation

3.0 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeWritingWriting is coherent, free of grammatical or typographical errors, and the report meets the word count requirements.

2.0 pts

Exceeds expectation

1.7 pts

Meets expectation

1.5 pts

Partially meets expectation

1.3 pts

Does not meet expectation

2.0 pts

Total Points: 10.0