Lecture or Presentation
In this presentation we summarize the lessons learnt through this experience of including live radio programming activities in the context of Macaulay Honors College Seminar III on Science and Technology in New York City. Our presentation falls under the innovation theme and specifically the blended learning opportunities track. The overall goal of the Macaulay Honors College Seminar III is to offer students fundamental scientific and technological knowledge. An essential aspect of our approach was to afford Honors students a real opportunity to interface directly with the actual people involved in science and technology. We arranged for live radio interviews, as well as for pre-recorded ones with -among others- Nobel Laureates, innovators, entrepreneurs, technology-transfer officers from major Universities, and science and technology commentators from the mass media. During the first year of this project, Honors students were assigned pre-existing audio archives of interviews. Students produced a report of 1000-1500 words describing the scientific concepts behind the work of each interviewee. In the second year the class experience was upgraded to live radio programming. Honors students were situated in a “green room” with laptops and blogged questions in real time to the interviewees. A student representative was the instructor’s co-host of the radio program. This programming was realized in the studios of WHCR 90.3 FM, a community radio station broadcasting from the campus of the City College of New York. During the third year of the project the same facilities were used for video-taping interviews among students. We focused on Nobel Laureates who claim City College of New York as their alma mater. We conclude that our approach is sustainable since the available technology allows most students to capture as an audio file or a video file the topic in consideration. Preparing a broadcast entails unique challenges not common in traditional class settings. We also concluded that our approach is measurable since students responsible for a variety of topics were able to follow-up with several interviewees. In some instances students were awarded an internship through the interviewees. This was measurable in that most of this material was archived on respective course websites complete with public commenting and indications for “number of hits” or “number of views.” We consider our approach scalable due to the ever expanding on-line platforms of most CUNY campuses.