chat with RogerDrury

Transcript of the chat with Roger Drury, Custom and Online Course Coordinator at

Georgia Tech Language Institute.

(Note: In places I've edited the transcript, grouping questions and answers together and deleting parts to shorten it. Lot's of good ideas and information here! Thanks Roger, Sue, Sergio, Juan and CathleneB! Ryan)

Feb 10, 2007. Chat in progress....

SergioMa: One question I have is about evaluation. The sheets you
uploaded show that you grade Production and Delivery. At the top there is
space for you to comment on Title, Creativity, and Production values. Am
I correct in supposing that you do not in fact give them points for
those? Since your subject is Oral Skills I fully understand that. At the
same time, I would perhaps be concerned that students would expect some
tangible reward for working hard on the video. Actually, this is a
general issue I have with using student video production in ELT.

RogerD: Yeah...that's definitely my experience

RogerD: i find that the students are pretty honest

RogerD: they know when they put in effort and when they don't

RogerD: and when their classmates do and don't

RogerD: so that's there mostly to keep people honest

RogerD: if they know I'm going to "evaluate" it, they are inclined to
more effort

SergioMa: I see.

RogerD: and it lets me reward the students who work harder

RogerD: if a student tries but isn't technically great, that doesn't
matter to me

RogerD: i still reward the effort

RogerD: after all, like you said, it's a pronunciation class

SueP: Roger, I was able to see the video your students did with phrasal
verbs but I couldn't access the videos on your Web page. There's been a
few comments in this class about students not wanting to participate.
Could you talk about how you get students to want to make or be in the

RogerD: one thing I let student do...if they're really, really shy in
front of the camera

RogerD: is to do voice over images

RogerD: for example

RogerD: i had a japanese student who was painfully shy

RogerD: and for his ad, he took some ipod pic

RogerD: pics

RogerD: and just wrote and recorded a script

SueP: good solution

RogerD: however, i really try to create an open atmosphere that
stresses the fun elements

RogerD: i think they feel pretty uninhibited

RogerD: so that doesn't happen much

RogerD: ...and again, though

CathleneB: voice overs might overcome some cultural barriers and fears
of illegal aliens.

SueP: my experience as well since they work in a small group or pair

RogerD: my kids are here in the US...I think the might be much more shy
in Korea or Japan

RogerD: oh yeah, Sue...I could completely see that

SergioMa: About the ads. They were really fun. Do you ask your students
to parody specific ads? I do not watch American commercials here in
Japan, so I cannot tell.

RogerD: for the broadcast, we watch a real local news first and i have
them take notes on it...on stories and ads

RogerD: they note the topics...I let them choose

RogerD: I think they're real good at getting the atmosphere

RogerD: I think you might be able to do the same in japan

RogerD: have them do english versions of japanese products

RogerD: with that more-intense japanese atmosphere

RogerD: i see a lot of funny student vids from japan, taiwan and korea
on utube

SergioMa: Interesting. Thanks. One of the ads features a real product,
a soap called Dove. My understanding is that in the US parody is
protected from copyright infringement, but satire is not. Presumably you
thought the Dove people would take it in good sport or would not waste time
complaining about such a small thing.

RogerD: Yeah, i'm afraid I probably too relaxed about things like that,
Sergio...funny story-

RogerD: one of the ads is for the text we use, Well Said

RogerD: the author is a good friend of mine

RogerD: when the students did that ad, I sent it to her in an email

RogerD: with the subject line: unauthorized ad

SergioMa: Cool!

RogerD: she thought it was so funny that she sent it to here publisher

RyanDe: uh oh

RogerD: so...i guess if Dove were angry, it'd just take it off

RogerD: publisher liked it, too

RogerD: ESL people are just so relaxed

SueP: true

RyanDe: ..about evaluations.. does the award ceremony that you do
motivate the students to work harder?

RogerD: I found the vid projects hard to get started

RogerD: the first time I did them, they mostly didn't work

RogerD: that is, the Phrasals and the News

RogerD: however, after I had a few samples of toher student work

RogerD: they really took off

RogerD: i think people needed a target to shoot at

RyanDe: interesting

RogerD: and they always try to do better

RogerD: they want to do better technically

RogerD: but the good thing is that they hear

RogerD: the other students miss the occasional stress

RogerD: and they pay more attention to theirs

RogerD: and i think they like that they aren't having to record sound
files of texts

RogerD: video is something different

RogerD: ...just my opinion

RogerD: have others had that experience?

SergioMa: Can you elaborate on that, please?

RogerD: different more in a novelty way than least,
that's what I meant

SueP: Do you video their acceptance speeches?

RogerD: they're proud to be able to produce something that looks half

RogerD: for my awards?

SueP: yes

RogerD: i'm so sorry i couldn't get some exerpts of that online

RogerD: yes, I do

RogerD: in fact, the last time, I had two students taping it

RogerD: (one Saudi student LOVED video)

SueP: wonderful

RogerD: after they taped everything, the Saudi edited it, added music

RogerD: and everyone had it as a souvenir of the class

RogerD: usually, I just do one camera

SueP: Is it on your site?

RogerD: it's too big...and I haven't taken parts of it out

RogerD: but I'll do that, Sue

RogerD: they can be fun

SueP: Great. I do something similar with accepting Academy Awards and
I'd love an example to show my class. And the language of awards "I want
to thank everyone"

RogerD: Exactly!

RogerD: i have the presenters write and practice

SueP: "I couldn't have done it without you"

RogerD: then they open the envelope and announce the winners

JuanlusGst6: excuse me, Roger, you work with teenagers, you have
parent`s consent and do you upload videos to the net?

RogerD: we don't really work with teens...our kids have to 18

RogerD: but i have started getting permission from the student as a
result of last year's evo

RogerD: and, exactly!, winners ahve to give an acceptance

RogerD: great impromptu experience

SueP: yes.

RyanDe: do your students sign release forms?

RogerD: yes, they all sign the release....i think it's the way i
present it

RogerD: i tell them I want to put their work on the net, and that
Georgia Tech is making me get this release before i can do it

RogerD: they're all motivated and want to do it

RogerD: i like the release form in the EVO YG files section

RogerD: especially the class one

RogerD: i'm going to switch to it

RogerD: sue, what level are your students?

SueP: Interesting point someone made about students feelings about
participation in Japan, let's say and here in the states. I've never had a
student who didn't want to be taped.

SueP: It depends on the term. In spring I'll have low-advanced.

RogerD: same here...even japanese!....but I could well imagine a more
reserved attitude among students in Japan

SueP: and I want to do the news broadcast

SergioMa: My students in Japan accepted being taped but did not want
their video on the web

RogerD: i ask because it hadn't occured to me to give them the
scaffolding of expressions...that's a really good idea, esp for lower and
intermediate kids

RogerD: mine are advanced

SueP: I've tried a similar exercise and they do an on the spot segment,

RogerD: IC, Sergio...i'm not completely surprised by that

RyanDe: Sergio, would your students be interested in seeing some of
Roger's student's work?

RogerD: I find many students are more shy about their language
abilities in their own countries than when they are overseas

RogerD: and the act of going overseas, of course, is a kind of filter

RyanDe: Would that influence their decision about posting to the web?

SergioMa: Well, I plan on showing it to them next April

SergioMa: I hope it will help

RogerD: you'll have to tell us how it goes, sergio

SueP: I've found students have really needed the scaffolding and the
results are much better too. Then the components you've worked into the
exercise can be included in a rubric.

SergioMa: I there is a way to keep in touch after the seminar is over

RogerD: i can recommend a couple as examples, and you can give them
options about how do their ads

SergioMa: I would be happy to

RyanDe: Yes

RogerD: I very much agree, Sue...and the lower the level, the more

RogerD: I think one of our lower intermediate teachers did ads with her
class, and they LOVED it!

RyanDe: Roger, would your students be interested in seeing work
produced by Sergio's class, Sue's class, and others? If so, would they be
willing to offer feedback?

RogerD: Mine would definitely be interested...i can hardly keep them
off utube

SergioMa: Grat. I will work on nmine!

RogerD: feedback would be trickier because of the timing issues....I'm
in an IEP with two-month terms

SueP: yes. Do you ever use the CNN education site with the daily news
and questions. It could be a springboard for the newscast activity.

RogerD: Sergio was talking about models for the ads and news...CNN
would be great for that

RogerD: while I can use local news

RogerD: he could use cnn online

SergioMa: I am thinking of letting my students do mini documentaries
about their hometown

SueP: fun

SergioMa: Perhaps initially using voiceover

RogerD: I think we're on the wavelength, sergio

SergioMa: Instead of appearing on camera

RogerD: i want to teach overseas

RogerD: and part of what i want to do is multi-part documentary

RogerD: on the city

RogerD: exactly what you're thinking

SergioMa: Perfect

RogerD: multi-segment...NOT multi part

SergioMa: I see

RogerD: how would you organize the doc?

SergioMa: Well, I posted the plan on my wiki

SergioMa: But basixcally they would take pictures

SergioMa: Of places they think significant

SergioMa: They would also journal on why these piplaces are significant

SergioMa: to them. And they would discuss each other's work as well

RogerD: ic...would they read the journal over the photos

SergioMa: before "releasing it"

SergioMa: No. They would later think what to say based ion what they

SergioMa: and their friends' reaction to it

RogerD: That's a really good the documentary would be an
assembly of each individual student's film

SergioMa: Something like that

SergioMa: I will have to see the composition of the class

RogerD: nice...i'd like to get your wiki address so i can look at it
more! Ryan added me to the EVO, so i can get it there

RogerD: of course...the composition of the class is important

RogerD: esp with respect to video

SergioMa: Thanks, Roger. Of course, it ios work in progress

RyanDe: Sergio, are you open to the idea of having the students read a
script or otherwise talk about the pictures in the docs?

RogerD: I think everything we're all doing is work in progress

SergioMa: Yes, but I would not want it to sound like they are reading,
if you see what I mean

RyanDe: I do. Good point.

RogerD: I've wondered about that for my Cherokee doc, too

SergioMa: True, Roger. But I am just beginning

RyanDe: Roger, will your students be interviewing people?

RogerD: Of course...but beginning rather strongly, I think

RogerD: fact, I've already started that

JuanlusGst6 left the room (signed off).

RogerD: for the first part of the doc, we're asking a series of people
what their idea of the Cherokee is

RogerD: so I sent them in pairs to the library

RogerD: athletic complex

RogerD: cafeteria

RogerD: and i had them ask 5-6 students for their impressions

RogerD: we practiced questions, rhythm, stress before

RogerD: they LOVED it!

RogerD: this week, we practice content questions for the guides at the
state park

JuanlusGst6 joined the room.

RogerD: (there are cherokee places here that are state parks)

RogerD: welcome back Juan

JuanlusGst6: ups, dont know what happened

RogerD:'s still unpredictable

SueP: This sounds like a great project, Roger.

RyanDe: Cathlene, are you there?

RogerD: I think interview (in the US) is good practice

RyanDe: it really does, Roger!

SueP: a kind of roving reporter thing

RogerD: yes...and not everyone agrees to comment

RogerD: and that's fine, too

RogerD: good experience also

JuanlusGst6: I sent a message about my video project, dit it appear?

RogerD: on here?

RyanDe: Do the interviewees sign release forms?

JuanlusGst6: yes, before I "left"

RyanDe: no.. I don't think so Juan

JuanlusGst6: ok

SueP: we've done this for a newsletter written by our students. I'd
love to have them video it now.

RyanDe: can you post it again?

RogerD: another good idea, Sue!

RogerD: how would you distribute it?

SueP: over our program's site?

RogerD: OK! would file size be an issue, or is there a streaming

SueP: ideally I'd love to have a student show on our school's site

RogerD: i've seen pages that somehow link to files in Utube

SueP: the tech is beyond me. i don't know

SueP: hmm

RogerD: i'm afraid it's beyond me, too....but I have someone to dump it
on here!

JuanlusGst6: I'd like to create a video: adults, over 25, final year in
a period of five learning portuguese. I told them they have to narrate
in one minute something about their time in the school, half true, half
comic. All that will be scrambled. any suggestion or advice?

SueP: me too

SueP: i'd take it to media services

JuanlusGst6: thanks

JuanlusGst6: 15 students in all

SueP: oh, juan, sorry. I'm reading yours now

JuanlusGst6: ok, no problem

RogerD: and I'm get the parameters!

RogerD: I'd try to make it fun, Juan....i'm guessing they might be a
little self-conscious

JuanlusGst6: a funny narrative related to learning

RogerD: sure...where are your students?

RyanDe: Juan, will they be creating a slide show with pictures that
they've taken over the course of the five years?

SueP: or maybe a funny moment connected to a misunderstanding with

JuanlusGst6: in Mérida, Spain

RogerD: sounds good, Juan....and they're a pretty fun group?

JuanlusGst6: no, its them talking and being recorded by me

RyanDe: Just audio? No video?

JuanlusGst6: that may be the rub, motivation and uploading the product

JuanlusGst6: video

RogerD: you might put them in 3-5 together so they can
laugh at and assure each other...even lapse into Spanish if that happens

JuanlusGst6: fine

RogerD: I think they'd need to feel the whole thing is

JuanlusGst6: i agree: filming one after the other may be boring, no?

RyanDe: might also invite them to bring props.. a picture or object
that they could show and talk about

JuanlusGst6: fine too, yes

RogerD: great idea...a prop

SueP: how about a renactment?

RogerD: if you're alone in front of the camera, it's much more
threatening than if there's a group

CathleneB left the room (signed off).

RogerD: could they film each other?

JuanlusGst6: i guess they could

RogerD: that would add more spontenaity

RyanDe: who will edit the work?

JuanlusGst6: and there will be rehearsals too

JuanlusGst6: me

RogerD: fun...and good pronunciation work

SueP: I hate to leave but I must.

RogerD: Hate to say, but I do, too

SergioMa: Bye, Sue!

RyanDe: Thanks for coming Sue!

SueP: it's been great talking to you Roger and eveyone.

RogerD: bye sue

SueP: bye and have a good weekend

JuanlusGst6: me too, here its too late. Thanks a lot and "see you" soon

RyanDe waves

JuanlusGst6: its been great

RyanDe: Thanks for coming Juan.

SergioMa: Thanks, everyone

RogerD: will catch you all in the EVO discussion

JuanlusGst6: thank you all

SergioMa: I am interested in the level of correction and coaching to
offer. It is important not to be too fussy. However, their work has to be
on the web for all to see after all.

RogerD: Depends on the project for me....for short script, I mark it
pretty tightly

RogerD: and they want me to because they want to look good

RogerD: and even longer scripts i let them read through with me 2-3

RogerD: I posture it as me doing a favor for them

RogerD: that seems to motivate them more!