ENGL 491 C: Internship

Meeting Time: 
to be arranged
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C. R. Grimmer

Syllabus Description:

Internship Practicum: Teaching, YouTubing, and Podcasting Social Commentary in a Pandemic



COVID-19 has not just seen the rapid development of online coursework and workplaces, but also the need to rely ever more on web-based media for effective communication and teaching. This practicum course has been designed in response to and uniquely for students teaching, learning, and working during COVID-19 -- from creating work relevant to a “COVID-19 world” to supporting assignments that ensure the students’ own success in a remote learning environment.

Students will work in small teams to learn the theory and practice of video and podcast work in teaching contexts. This practicum work will explicitly emphasize producing digital teaching materials during COVID-19 and developing essential remote workplace skills. To this end, students who enroll are encouraged to frame the course in resume and C. V. materials to support workplace, graduate school, and grant applications.

Students are not only welcome to learn and develop the skills below under Course Outcomes but will produce their own video and podcast episodes for two projects: “Language, Literature, Culture: A Dialogue Series,” and “The Poetry Vlog.” Both of these projects are used in both informal and formal education settings but do so through open access, free, publicly available mediums and platforms. These spaces -- YouTube, Podcasting, and Social Media -- have different genre conventions than a traditional classroom, and yet also overlap with teaching practices in formal education settings. This practicum course teaches students how to create digital media that reflects their education background, but extends to settings not traditionally defined as the classroom.

In addition to developing basic audio and video editing, students will have a clear and persuasive voice in both projects, learn the rhetorical strategies essential to web-based communication (Twitter, website maintenance, Instagram, etc.), and contribute to the projects’ larger presence in the community. 


*NOTE: students do not need to enter with any experience in video, audio, or web-based editing. All experience levels are welcome. Each student will work closely with the instructor to develop these skills.



This course is designed for practicum experience. While suggested readings, videos, and audio files will be included, the assignments will focus on learning how to produce video, podcasts, and web-based communication. Students will work in teams to produce one cohesive episode that has been pre-recorded, as well as its related web-based communication pieces for distribution and promotion. The mid-terms and finals will be short reflections on what the student is learning in the context of their major or potential career plans.


Course Requirements:

      • A desire to learn effective team communication on Public Scholarship work.
      • A willingness to produce and publish material that asks questions relevant to current events, including politicized commentary on race, gender, sex, sexuality, and class.
      • The ability to work remotely for the full quarter.
      • Availability for a 1-hour Zoom class meeting every 2 weeks and for a 30-minute Zoom meeting one-on-one with the instructor each week. The dates and times will be determined by the students during the first week of the quarter based on schedules and availability.


Course Technology and Text Requirements:

      • Access to a laptop and external, portable hard drive. This access includes, if needed, renting a laptop for the quarter through the UW Student Technology Loan Program.


***What students often think they need before taking the course (but do not):

      • You do not need to already have familiarity with Adobe or related audio-video editing software.
      • You do not have to know how to edit a website and social media content on Wix or social media platforms.
      • You do not already need to own Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Suite, or other (expensive) software.
      • You do not have to have previous teaching experience.


Course Outcomes:

      • Learn basic video, audio, and social media editing skills in Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premier Pro, Adobe Spark, Instagram, Twitter, Wix, and more in the context of project design.
      • Develop skills associated with Humanities majors -- communication, analysis, writing/rhetoric -- to produce cohesive audio-visual content available to broad public audiences.
      • Develop meaningful team communication and project management skills essential to collaborative, multimedia projects.
      • Gain an understanding of project management and remote workplace strategies in the context of COVID-19 and digital learning.


Summary of Projects Students Will Support:

“Literature, Language, Culture: A Dialogue Series”:

Literature, Language, Culture: A Dialogue Series, is a video and podcast series from The Department of English. Began in Spring 2020 as responding to COVID-19, this project shares the Departments innovative work in fostering intellectual vitality, inspiring enthusiasm for literature, honing critical insight into the ethical and creative uses of the English language, preparing future teachers, and crafting the stories that animate our world. This series is for anyone seeking short-form discussions from experts in literature, language, teaching, and cultural studies, or for those who are simply curious about the department’s community.


“The Poetry Vlog (TPV)”:

The Poetry Vlog (thepoetryvlog.com), also know as TPV, t is a YouTube and Podcast Teaching Channel supported by The Simpson Center, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Jack Straw Cultural Center. TPV is dedicated to building social justice coalitions through higher education, cultural studies, arts, and activism dialogues. Episodes feature students, award-winning authors, scholars, and activists. These episodes are paired with course texts in UW classrooms, providing a community-based research platform that doubles as public, accessible, free digital pedagogical tool available to instructors and students alike. Since it is not "owned" by a university, this project is a free, open access option to make the work accessible beyond the university, but also supportive as promotional materials for the largely marginalized guests featured therein.


Outline of Course Schedule:


Weeks 1 - 3: 

Learn introductory audio, video, website, and social media editing. Select preferred project, episode, and first remote work partner. Create a workflow for the episode you will edit and produce. Meet as a class for an hour Weeks 1 and 3. Meet with instructor over Zoom for 30 minutes Weeks 1 - 3.


Weeks 4 - 8: 

Edit and produce episodes. Learn and support social media, website, and other web-based communication strategies around the episodes. This includes learning the basic design techniques used by each of the two projects. Meet as a class for an hour Weeks 5 and 7. Meet with instructor over Zoom for 30 minutes Weeks 4 - 8.

(Week 5: first reflection due. Graded complete/incomplete. Informal.) 


Weeks 9 - 11: 

Write final, informal reflections on the practicum experience in relationship to potential career pathways and/or COVID-19. Learn basic resume/C.V./cover letter strategies for showcasing the work from the quarter in graduate school, job, or other application settings. Finalize publishing and promoting the quarter’s episodes from both projects. Meet as a class for an hour Week 9. Class will vote on meeting once in finals week (Week 11) to celebrate or wrap up loose ends. Meet with instructor over Zoom for 30 minutes Weeks 9 - 10.

(Week 11: final reflection due. Graded complete/incomplete. Informal.)


Still have questions? 

Reach out to the instructor: cgrimmer@uw.edu. This course especially encourages students from non-traditional and/or marginalized communities. The goal is to think about, learn on, and practice socially aware accessible materials. To support your decision on if this space is right for you, you are welcome to also email cgrimmer@uw.edu and ask to be put in touch with prior interns the instructor has supported.

(Note: please email from your UW NetID email. Other email addresses or even direct Canvas messages might end up in the Spam or "Promotions" folder.)


Canvas Course Cover Attribution:

<a href="/%3Ca%20href%3D"https://stories.freepik.com/internet">https://stories.freepik.com/internet">Illustration by Freepik Stories</a>

Catalog Description: 
Supervised experience in local businesses and other agencies. Open only to upper-division English majors. Credit/no-credit only.
Other Requirements Met: 
Service Learning
1.0 - 6.0
Last updated: 
September 15, 2020 - 2:58pm