HI6031 - Recording the Past: Making Your Own History Documentary

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What will I learn on this module?

This module will appeal to anyone interested in telling stories. It will help you think about how your existing historical skills can be applied beyond university, while equipping you with experience of project management, team building, and working with a range of non-university stakeholders. This module gives students the opportunity to make their own short audio documentary. Students pitch, script, record, and edit their own documentaries using audio equipment and free, open-source, cross-platform audio software. Students will be given a broad theme (such as the 1970s and the Northeast of England) and will then generate a proposal and ‘pitch’ this to the class. Following selection, groups will then work on developing a script and identifying interviewees. Teams will produce their documentaries by dividing up the production responsibilities, so that students gain not only experience of teamwork but also of making a specific contribution to the project. Across the semester, the class will progress through the stages of pre- and post-production together week-by-week. Portable recording equipment will be made available and students will be (i) instructed on using industry-standard audio equipment; (ii) classes on ethics and oral history techniques; (ii) training on how to use editing software. At the same time, the class will both engage with relevant literature and listen to a range of audio documentary in order to better understand creative and production issues. The emphasis in this module will be both on the finished documentary but also on the process involved and the skills acquired along the way.

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How will I learn on this module?

The module is taught using five, complementary approaches:

(i) Direct instruction: this approach will be used for the more technical aspects of the class, such as instruction in using editing software, recording equipment, ethical issues, health and safety regulations, and so on;
(ii) Coaching and Mentoring: this approach will be used to support students in developing their ideas and managing their projects across the duration of the module;
(iii) Peer-to-peer learning: this approach is key to the student experience of the module, as the production of the documentary requires students to work with one another and to negotiate their relationships;
(iv) Learning by doing: this approach reflects the importance of students learning through their own experiences (especially during the post-production phase of the module);
(v) Reflective learning: this approach will be built into the module in order to ensure that students can improve their in-module, as well as future, performance.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The academic tutor for this module works in a collaborative and supportive way to help students develop, manage, and deliver their documentary projects. As well as classes timetabled in IT labs, students will experience team project sessions using the collaborative spaces in the Library with the academic tutor, as well as one-to-one tutorials via staff office hours.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Acquire in-depth knowledge of a particular historical event, figure or phenomenon
2. Place a particular historical event, figure or phenomenon within its wider scholarly context

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Communicate the findings from both primary research and secondary reading, both in writing and in the shape of an audio documentary
4. Acquire an understanding of media production processes and of public history more widely

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Work within a team and demonstrate an ability to reflect upon your contribution to its work

How will I be assessed?

1. 1,750-word literature review (30%) – MLO 1, 3
2. Ten-minute group audio documentary (50%) – MLO 3, 4, 5
3. 1,250-word reflective essay (20%) – MLO 5

Pre-requisite(s)

NA

Co-requisite(s)

NA

Module abstract

Have you ever wanted to make your own history documentary? This module gives you the chance to do just that. You will pitch, script, record and edit your own short history documentary using audio equipment and free, open-source, cross-platform audio software. You start with a broad theme (e.g. the 1970s and the Northeast) and will then ‘pitch’ your idea this to the class. Following selection, your group will work on developing a script and identifying interviewees. Teams will make their documentaries by dividing up the production responsibilities, so that you gain not only experience of teamworking but also of a particular set of project skills. Across the semester, the class will progress through the stages of pre- and post-production together week-by-week. This module will equip you with the kinds of skills and experiences directly relevant to translating your history degree into the world of professional employment.

Course info

UCAS Code LV21

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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