Project 2: Focus on Gainesville

Using the skills developed in Project 1, students will go out in small teams and report on something of interest in the community beyond the university. The topic needs to have visual interest. An audio slideshow will tell the story, so while reporting you will gather audio and make photographs. The slideshow will be made in Soundslides.


One student on the team will be designated as the Project Editor. Each team will choose its own story topic and plan its own story, but each story must be approved in advance by Professor McAdams. (If your team decides to change the topic after approval, you must get my okay first. It's probably a bad idea to change it, in any case.)

The project grade includes a team grade. Read about Team Structure to see how it works.

Timeline for Project 2

Deliverables for Project 2

Each student will construct his or her own Soundslides for a grade. However, the assets (audio and photos) will be gathered as a team.


Please invest enough TIME in your reporting to ensure a good grade for your team.


Tasks for the Project Leader

  1. Your team needs to choose a visual topic and agree on it. Then pitch it to Professor McAdams. You must get her approval for your topic.
  2. Consider diversity. Not all people in Gainesville are white or under 25. Not all people in Gainesville were born in the U.S. Can you do anything to allow your story to portray the diversity of this town?
  3. Your team must analyze your selected topic. What is the story? Why would anyone care about THIS story? What would be most interesting about this story? Whatever that is, how can you convey it through image and sound?
  4. Your team must identify people to talk to and places to go to. More locations = better photos. (Hint: Photos outdoors are often MUCH better than photos indoors.) Also think about location sound. When you hear the water lapping at the shores of a lake, the sound transports you to that place. (You will be able to edit natural sound together with the voice interviews you conduct.)
  5. Your team must identify the research your story requires. You always need to do some preparation BEFORE you go out and interview people. (Your interviews will be MUCH better when you do!) How will you conduct the research? How can you be sure your sources are reliable? Plan in advance for your required list of sources and resources (this is explained above, under "Deliverables for Project 2").
  6. Assign tasks to each team member. Who will conduct the interviews, and when, and where? Who will shoot the photos, and who will accompany him or her? Two people are ALWAYS better than one. One person holds the mic and the other person writes notes, for example. Sometimes you can go back and shoot photos later. Sometimes you should shoot photos first and later conduct the interview. The team leader needs to WRITE DOWN the tasks and the names to which they have been assigned.
  7. Write up a schedule, and exchange phone numbers, IMs and e-mail addresses with your team colleagues! Coordinate NOW -- before anyone starts reporting!

Project editors must get buy-in (agreement) from all team members. Make definite assignments and set concrete deadlines. Everyone on the team should enforce the deadlines!

Grading for Project 2

The total grade possible for the completed project is 15. The grade is a combined individual and team grade. Whoa, how does THAT work? Well, it breaks down like this:

The team portion breaks down thus:

  1. Story: 2 points if good/great, 1 point if so-so, 0 points if weak
  2. Audio: 2 points if all is good/great, 1 point if some is poor quality, 0 points if it's bad
  3. Photos: 2 points if 20 are good/great, 1 point if some are poor quality, 0 points if they are mostly bad
  4. List of all sources and resources: 2 points if perfect, 1 point if incomplete or sloppy, 0 points if important stuff is missing

The team needs to select a cut of 20 to 30 photos (no more, no less) to show to me. Those are the ones each student will get to use.

Everyone on the team gets the same team grade.

The "you" portion breaks down this way:

  1. Storytelling: 2 points if good/great, 1 point if so-so, 0 points if weak
  2. Pacing and interplay of audio with pictures: 2 points if good/great, 1 point if so-so, 0 points if weak
  3. Captions and other text: 2 points if perfect, 1 point if any significant errors, 0 points if many errors
  4. All-around: 1 point if good enough to show outside class

The finished audio track must be between 90 and 120 seconds. This will also be the length of your slideshow.

Everyone on the team needs to put in his or her best effort to make sure the reporting is accurate and complete. Make sure the audio you gather is of good quality. Make sure the photos are of good quality and have sufficient variety to hold the visual attention of the viewers.