Seeking Organizational Advice

Next week, I plan to order 15 new podcasting mics for students in the podcasting course to use. This will address the biggest criticism of the course from last year: that I had way too few mics to accommodate the students who needed to use them. The new mics will bring the total available to 20.

What will be the best way to manage access to this equipment? The sign-out/sign-in system I’ve used has not been efficient. Imposing deadlines on groups so that other groups have access hasn’t worked, either. Your input here will shape how this gets done in the not-too-distant future.

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19 Responses to Seeking Organizational Advice

  1. Mira Patel says:

    The best way to manage access to the equipment might be to divide up the microphones evenly between all of the podcasting class periods according to the number of students in each period and however many groups there are. Then, you can use a random generator to see which groups will be able to use the microphones first. If any groups are left out, they should be able to get the microphones from any group that finish their podcast and you can adjust the deadline accordingly for them. However, I do not think that this extensive process will be necessary because maybe 20 microphones may be enough for all of your podcasting groups.

  2. Eddie Lai says:

    Each of the 3 University Composition classes should each have a pool of ~6-7 mics that they can borrow from. Podcast groups in each class should borrow the mics on a first come first serve basis for a set duration to record their audio. If there are groups that aren’t able to borrow a mic before they are all borrowed, they should be added to a queue list. You should also instate a weekly check-up with the podcast groups in which they report to you how they’re doing on the podcast for a weekly daily grade. This daily grade should also be affected by whether or not they have returned their borrowed mic in time.

    I believe the main part that helps this is the weekly grade that will be affected by if the students have/haven’t returned the mic. For students that have their production and mic use finished in a timely manner, this weekly grade should be an easy 100 in the grade book, and motivates students to return their mics on time.

  3. Gracyn Young says:

    The most efficient way of making sure that people get to use the microphones may be a “check-out” system. Where we could either sign up on some online forum, almost like creating a consular appointment or a physical sign-up sheet where you have to sign-up in person, this way, everyone can see when the microphones are available for use. Like Mira Patel said if you were to divide the sign-up sheets amongst the class periods if anyone were to be left out of the initial sign-up, you could adjust their deadlines as needed. For everyone else, once their sign-up slot is up, the way they used their time is on them, if they didn’t get all their work done (and have shown they’ve used their time wisely) then you could circle back to them once everyone else got an initial turn.

  4. Jacqueline Smith says:

    I think that students should finalize minute long sections of their podcast. They can test record on their phone or computer for timing and then when they are ready to record the first section, they can come ask to borrow the microphone for the next 2-4 school days (you decide). Basically, in order to check out a mic, they should have a rough draft on their phone, come to Dr. E and then check one out for a limited time.

    There could be a waiting/precedence list of who needs a mic more urgently (kind of like an organ list). If a team decides they can record the basics of their intro in one day, they can take the mic from a team that needs a day off. Or, if Dr. E wants less work there could be a “U Comp Mic” Remind group amongst students so that teams can communicate with each other to arrange the lending of a mic. This could be an issue if someone were to lend off a mic and it got lost or damaged so there should be a procedure for emailing Dr. E when a mic is loaned.

    Dr. E, you could also reserve a mic for yourself and students could come in and record in a quiet room during your tutorials or office hours, maybe that would help some groups work more efficiently because everything would already be set up.

  5. Bill Arnoldus says:

    Let microphones only be able to be used for a week at a time. Microphones can be given out on a first come first serve basis. Students should only borrow the microphone is they plan on recording with it. Students who haven’t gotten microphones should have first priority on the redistribution of them. This will put more weight on the responsibility of using the microphone and allow students to be more efficient when using them. When groups need to use a microphone for a second time they can wait until a microphone is available and plan on what they will use it for during the waiting period. Students can be encouraged to use the microphone as soon as they get it to prevent any idle microphones. The initial pool of microphones are to be split evenly among the class periods.

  6. Geethika Polepalli says:

    I think that the mics should be split up evenly between all of the University Composition classes. Then, there can be a sign-up within the class and it will be on a first come first serve basis. But, there should also be a limit for how long a student is allowed to use the mic. I think the students should be given a maximum of a week with the mic because that is more than enough time to record and re-record if needed. If there are problems with people procrastinating and not getting their recordings done, then they still have to give up the mic at the end of the designated period because that is their responsibility that they have to keep up with.

  7. James Talamo says:

    I think the best way for the system to work is to be strict with the deadlines. People shouldn’t check out a mic, not record anything for 2 weeks, and then say “I still need it”
    Limit the amount of time the mics can be signed out for (ex. periods of 3 days) and if they still need it after that they have to get back in line. This will encourage activeness towards getting stuff done.

  8. Ava Wilson says:

    I think that the past system of signing in and out should be fine because there are way more mics this year than last year. It also might benefit to have an online sheet to do this so that students can see when the next mic is available. Also stricter and shorter deadlines would be best in order to prevent students from having the mic for days before even using it. Maybe just a day or two would be best so that they don’t check out the mic until they know that they actually have time to use it.

    Another possible way could be to put everybody in line for each individual mic based on who first needs it so that way there are about three or four students using each individual mic and those students can work out amongst themselves who gets the mic when, but they still have to fill out a sheet so you know who has the mic at what time.

  9. Max Feng says:

    I think that setting strict deadlines will help students turn in their microphones on time. They are most likely returning their microphones late because of the lack of pacing on their end. To resolve this issue, I believe that the student should show a rough draft of the script before checking out the microphone to ensure that the student is ready to use the microphone. Having strict deadlines may also help too.

    A sign-out/sign-in system seems like the best available option. It might be helpful to allow other students to see who has all checked out microphones. This will add a sense of responsibility to the students who have a microphone to return the microphone on time.

  10. John Robert Walker says:

    Building off of what others have said, students should have to prove that they are prepared to record before checking out a mic. Also, students should only be allowed to check the mics out for short periods of time (3-5 days) to encourage time efficiency. I think the sign-in/sign-out system could work with the increased amount of mics and the aforementioned adjustments.

  11. Atticus Ross says:

    I believe the most efficient way to manage the mics is diving them evenly between Composition classes and it will be a first come first serve to whoever has finished their script. If students are fully done with their final draft of the script, they would just have to record their podcast and not waste too much time with the mic. I feel there are always going to be students that have to wait for a mic with any method, so maybe a time period that students are allowed to use a mic will be beneficial for those who have to wait.

  12. Laykin Dixon says:

    To manage the use of the mic everyone should only use the mic when they have everything ready. So then they won’t be taking the chance to use the mic from everyone else. Everyone could practice talking and get their pace together by just recording on their own phone or device and then when they think they have everything together they could record using the mic so there is never a hold up with the mics. It would be faster and beneficial to everyone.

  13. Nicolas Neal says:

    A group should submit a request for a mic, which can only be obliged if the group’s script is complete and the group provides an estimate of how long they’ll use the mic. The requests should then be processed on a first-come first-served basis. With 20 mics in circulation, the waiting list should refresh quickly enough.

  14. Elijah Camba says:

    I’d say that the best way to divide up the microphones is to allow certain groups to share a mic, or maybe buy more mics, or allow students to use any mics. I feel like any kind of mic would work and a professional mic might be too much to buy. Just let the students slide with messed up audio.

  15. Jacob Neal says:

    It’s best to only give students a few hours to use a microphone because if you can’t record an 8-minute podcast in that time it’s probably best to prioritize those who can. I’m assuming that the majority of the time last year, the microphones were not being used so you should give people the smallest amount of time possible.

  16. Jacob Neal says:

    It’s best to only give students a few hours to use a microphone because if you can’t record an 8-minute podcast in that time it’s probably best to prioritize those who can. I’m assuming that the majority of the time last year, the microphones were not being used so you should give people the smallest amount of time possible. I’m adding this sentence because it thought I already commented this.

  17. Kadie Van says:

    I think the best solution to this problem would be to give each of the university classes an equal number of mics. Within each class, assign one mic per group. Each group, however, should only have an allotted time to use the mic such as one day. After the mic is completed within that group, one person of another group should find a way to get the mic from that person. I believe a sign in and out sheet should still be used to keep up with the mic and its whereabouts. The sign-up sheet should only have the name of one person from that group, and they are responsible for it.

  18. Jenna De Ochoa says:

    I think the best course of action would be to evenly split the microphones among each of your class periods depending on the size of the class. Students should be given just enough time to use the microphones but they should also understand that their turn with the mic will end when it needs to regardless if they recorded their portion for the podcast or not. Additionally, it may be beneficial to encourage them not to try recording their whole podcast in one sitting. Groups do not necessarily have to have their whole podcast recorded by the time that their first turn with the mic is over. This said, mics should be assigned with enough time to give students at least two separate chances to use the mics. Students should also sign in and out and may need to be reminded to do so every week if need be.

  19. Gordon Welch says:

    The mics should be handed out on a first come=first served basis. However, students should have to request to keep to their mic each class period. For example, if I get a mic on Monday, don’t use it, and then need it on Wednesday. Then, someone else who didn’t get a mic Monday can gain control of the mic from Wednesday to Friday. This system will keep students from hogging mics, but also allow everyone to have time to record. Make sure do divide the number of mics per class evenly, or proportionately based on the number of students in each class.

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