Podcast Practicum | NJIT | Fall 2021

Prof. Chris Funkhouser / funkhous@njit.edu / Cullimore 425 / (973) 596-6335
COM 325 ST / office hours: 3:30-5 Wednesday and by appointment

Experimental. Creative. Technical. Demanding.

Course description: In recent years, podcasting has become an extremely popular medium. The primary objective of this course is to introduce and usher students through the process(es) of creating elementary podcasts based on their own personal interests. This course guides students through the processes of conceiving, cultivating content for, refining, and producing their own basic podcast. Students in the course are introduced to the fundamental aspects of podcasting, and will produce a series of unified, thematic podcasts of their own design.

This is a hybrid course. In-person meeting dates will be noted on the syllabus. Campus meetings will happen as announced in CKB 341 on Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m.

Course materials, assignments, and information will be exchanged via Canvas (https://canvas.njit.edu/), which will include topical discussion forums and work submission portals.

Course textbook: Everybody Has a Podcast (except you) [Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy, ISBN 978-0-06-297480-8]. Book may be available at NJIT Bookstore, and there are other options [here's the amazon link].

Other course materials, prepared by the professor, will be posted on Canvas.

The primary activity in this Practicum course is for students to independently prepare and produce a series of four 15-20 minute thematically-oriented podcasts. Possibilities include doing a “talk” show, a program focusing on a particular subject/topic, or other student-invented concepts. Students choose the topic of their podcast based on their own interests, and are welcome to work in pairs. Podcast proposals will be due in mid-September; during the semester, everyone will focus on preparing their podcasts.

In addition to preparing, producing, and uploading each podcast, students are also required to submit, via Canvas, file a Podcast Practicum Episode Report Form for each of them (a template will be posted on Canvas). Students are also required to keep a Podcast Journal (in Google Docs), and will also submit a Podcast Evaluations for classmates' podcasts, as well as prepare a Term Report.

This course is relatively new to NJIT, and is a type of experiment. The course should be fun, as well as challenging, and will require a certain amount of time commitment. Professor Funkhouser will be available for individual appointments (office hours, on campus) on Wednesday afternoons, and by appointment.

Note: Syllabus is subject to change; any major amendments will be announced on Canvas.

General Coursework Outline / Grading Policy

Monthly Course Schedule

Note to students: The syllabus for this course is incrementally presented, on a monthly basis, in order to keep you focused on work required at the time. If for some reason you need to see details of the entire semester, please let me know. —cf

September / campus meetings September 1, 15, 29

Wednesday 9/1, 11:30 a.m.: on-campus meeting CKB 341. Attendance is mandatory. We will also meet at the same place/time on 9/15 and 9/29.

Now is the time to develop and declare your idea for a Podcast, using a Podcast Practicum Program Proposal template, posted in the Assignments section of Canvas. Program Proposals are due by 9/12 (preferably asap); submit as .doc or .pdf via Canvas. Note: Be sure your filename contains your name in it (e.g., studentname-podcast-proposal.pdf). Once your podcast is approved, you are required to produce a poster for your show (Submit via Canvas for review/discussion). Examples of previous student productions as well as professional productions will be posted on Canvas.

Begin composing your Podcast Journal (via Google Docs). Podcast Journals should consist of a FULL activity log for coursework: chronicle, with notes on process, everything you do—and think about—with regards to this class/your podcast. Journal entries focus on your research, process, and thoughts about preparing and producing your podcast. Links to your Journals will be registered on Canvas, and will be evaluated on 9/15/21, 10/15/21, 11/15/21, 12/10/21. Again: all notes related to your research in the course and production of podcasts should be included. Each evaluation is worth 2.5 points.

9/15/21, 11:30 a.m.: on-campus meeting CKB 341. Software and editing instruction.

9/22/21: informal (ungraded) .mp3 submission of vocal recording on Canvas Discussions

9/29: Class meeting on campus. Discussion will include podcast hosting, Pilot preparation, and follow-up to recording/editing class (and your subsequent experiments).

Create a graphical icon for your show, which will be posted as part of your podcast page. This graphic should be square (dimensions variable), and legibly include the name of your podcast as well as any other imagery you wish to include.

October / campus meetings October 13, 27

This month you begin to develop and produce podcast content. This is a process. Begin collecting, organizing, and preparing material (including musical accompaniment), contacting people who may be guests, and creating outlines for programs. Determine where your podcast will be hosted. Begin intensive practice with audio software, recording techniques. These matters will be discussed during class meetings, as well as on Canvas. You also continue composing your Podcast Journal (regular entries).

10/6: Pilot episode for your podcast is due (5-10 mins., as discussed in class); post Pilot to your podcast site (the Pilot episode can be removed at a later date). Draft of your podcast icon is due (post as part of your podcast site).

Mid-October assignment, graded as part of your Podcast journal (due 10/15): a detailed outline of the 4 programs you plan to produce throughout the rest of the semester.

One or two episodes of your podcast should be completed by month's end.

You will evaluate a classmate's podcast (first 3 episodes only) using the Podcast Evaluation Form posted on Canvas.

November / class meetings: November 10 and t.b.a.

Continue composing weekly (or more) entries in your Podcast Journal. Your third Podcast Journal submission is due on 11/15.

By the end of the month, you should have prepared, produced, and posted at least three episodes of your podcast. Complete and submit a report for each show (templates are posted on Canvas Announcements section). You are also required to finish your Evaluations (3 in all episodes) using the Podcast Evaluation Form posted on Canvas.

December / class meetings December 1 & December 8

Continue composing weekly (or more) entries in your Podcast Journal. Your fourth Podcast Journal submission is due on 12/10.

By 12/10, you should have prepared, produced, and every episode of your podcast. Complete a report for each show. You are also required to evaluate one of your classmate's podcasts using a Podcast Evaluation Form (posted on Canvas).

Term Report: 1000 word (4-5 pages) reflection on the experience of learning how to produce a podcast. What were biggest challenges and frustrations? What interested/stimulated you the most about the process? Write about any aspect of the experience. In addition to (possibly) discussing these questions, feel free to write about any aspect of the experience.

Creating a single "aggregate" site that contains links to all of your podcast is required. If you are working with a site such as anchor.fm, this is already built in to the mechanism. If you do not provide a link to such a site, 5 points will be deducted from your final grade.





This course is designed to ensure NJIT’s Communication and Media program successfully provides its students with a foundation in a range of forms of communication. The course’s overall objectives are designed to promote each student’s competence or mastery of multi-media communications, using a podcast media as an expressive tool. Through project development and completion, students build practical skills and processes in developing audio and writing projects using online networks competently and artistically. In addition to preparing personal narratives, interviews, and long-term journals, students will acquire the ability to effectively produce and edit podcasts. The course will improve a student’s flexibility in communication by using a contemporary media format, thus advancing their general skillset and delivering content via a popular media format.

Students in this course will: 1.) Gain firsthand understanding of a communicative genre; 2.) Explore the practical and creative implementation of podcasting tools and applications; 3.) Develop individual technical (audio) and written creative practices using broadcast (podcast) media; 4.) Use peers to develop ideas, and cultivate production of original work; and 5.) Foster audio artifacts for publication.

Learning outcome 1: Engage in critical thinking and reflection regarding use of language and communication strategies.

Learning Outcome 2: Gain a practice-based introduction to understanding processes and tools of verbal communication across networks.

Learning Outcome 3: Gain a practice-based introduction to methods for speaking effectively and making decisions that enable efficient communication with others.

Learning Outcome 4: The course will expand a student’s conceptual perspective of communication, thus improving his or her skills in both quantitative and qualitative reasoning, critical thinking, information literacy, and project management.

Core competencies addressed by the course include: Student awareness of, and engagement with, communications strategies; building perception of contemporary communication(s) environments; performative practice with communication tools; critical thinking on the subject matter; cultivation of communication literacy.

Instructional objectives / evaluation:

Students will be evaluated on the basis of their production’s:

(1) Real-world relevance; design qualities

(2) Sustained investigation; development of materials (process over time)

(3) Use of multiple sources and perspectives; originality

(4) Creating polished products; aesthetic products

Integrated assessment (feedback from multiple sources) will be used in evaluating works (podcasts) produced in the course.

Scale converting number to letter grade

A = 90 - 100

B+ = 85 - 89

B = 80 - 84

C+ = 75 - 79

C = 70 - 74

D = 60 - 69

F = 59 or less

“Academic Integrity is the cornerstone of higher education and is central to the ideals of this course and the university. Cheating is strictly prohibited and devalues the degree that you are working on. As a member of the NJIT community, it is your responsibility to protect your educational investment by knowing and following the academic code of integrity policy that is found at: http://www5.njit.edu/policies/sites/policies/files/academic-integrity-code.pdf.   

Please note that it is my professional obligation and responsibility to report any academic misconduct to the Dean of Students Office. Any student found in violation of the code by cheating, plagiarizing or using any online software inappropriately will result in disciplinary action. This may include a failing grade of F, and/or suspension or dismissal from the university. If you have any questions about the code of Academic Integrity, please contact the Dean of Students Office at dos@njit.edu"

Course Prerequisites: HUM 102 with a grade of C or higher, and one History and Humanities GER 200 level course with a grade of C or higher.