Assignment: Oral History Interview

Purpose:
At the conclusion of this assignment, students will be able to:

Perform background research to develop open ended questions for an oral history interview.
Schedule and record an oral history interview with an interviewee at least 25 years older than the interviewer.
Determine how race or gender was socially constructed for the interviewee.
Transcribe 750 words of the interview in question and answer format.
Planning the Interview:
Choose your oral history interviewee, and ask the person if they would be willing to answer questions about when they were growing up and when they were a young adult. Your interviewee must be at least 25 years older than you. Your interviewee may:

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Be a family member, or could also be someone you don’t know very well.
Speak a language other than English during the interview, as long as you can translate their words into English when transcribing the interview.
Have been born somewhere other than the United States, although your interview MUST cover the interviewee’s experiences in the United States. (This is a U.S. History class, after all!)
Once you have decided who to interview, refer to the resources you located for the What is Oral History discussion. Consider the steps you will need to take to complete the interview:

Schedule the interview.
Find out when your interviewee was born, and where they grew up (you will need this information to conduct a little pre-interview research).
Do some research and find out what attitudes toward race or gender were typical for someone from the region and time period that relates to your interviewee.
Prepare sample questions to ask your interviewee to get the interview started, and in case you get stuck.
The interview MUST be conducted verbally, and MUST be recorded as an audio and/or video file, so decide how you will record it. Will you use an app on your phone? A video camera? Be sure to test your recording equipment well before the interview, and make sure your device is charged and you have a power cable with you on the day of the interview.
Conducting the Interview:
Meet with your interviewee on the day and time you have arranged with them, set up your recording device, and ask your interviewee questions designed to help you evaluate how race OR gender (choose one) was socially constructed in your interviewee’s lifetime. Essentially, you will be asking your interviewee to tell you about the messages they got about race OR gender, and who they got those messages from when they were growing up or when they were young adults. Here are some sample questions to get you started.

IMPORTANT! During the interview, you do not have to stick strictly to the questions you compose prior to the interview! They are just to get you started, or in case you get stuck. LISTEN to your interviewee and respond to what they are telling you – ask follow up questions and change direction if necessary to hear what they are trying to tell you! The interview should be a conversation!

After the Interview:
Transcribe 750 words of the interview by listening to the recording and typing exactly the questions you asked and exactly the answers the interviewee gave.
Please choose the parts of the interview that best reflect your interviewee’s experiences related to the topic you chose.
Include a Works Cited with MLA citations for the research you did before the interview, even though you will not be citing the articles in your transcript. Articles you looked at before the interview shaped the kinds of questions you asked, and were an important preparation step.
Save and upload this file as a PDF or Word file by the deadline.
Oral History Interview Grading Rubric:
50-45 points: The interview was completed with a subject on an aspect of the topic of race OR gender. Open ended questions were asked and the interviewee was given the opportunity to talk about their experiences. At least 750 words of the interview is transcribed, typed in question and answer format and is accurate for spelling and punctuation. Proper MLA citations are included for pre-interview research. The interview was uploaded on time in PDF or Word format.

44-40 points: The interview was completed on the subject of race OR gender. Mostly open ended questions were asked, and elicited several helpful responses. 750 words of the interview transcript is typed in question and answer format and is 80% accurate for spelling and punctuation. Proper MLA citations are included for pre-interview research.The interview was uploaded on time in PDF or Word format.

39-35 points: The interview was completed on the subject of race OR gender. A few open ended questions were asked and elicited a few helpful responses. Less than 750 words of the interview transcript is typed in question and answer format and is at least 70% accurate for spelling and punctuation. MLA citations are included for pre-interview research, though there may be formatting errors.The interview was uploaded on time in PDF or Word format.

34-30 points: The interview was completed on more than one topic and/or yes/no questions were asked that resulted in limited helpful responses. Less than 750 words from the interview is typed in question and answer format. The interview is at least 50% accurate for spelling and punctuation. MLA citations may be incorrect or missing. The interview was uploaded on time in PDF or Word format.

0 points: The interview was completed but not recorded. The topics discussed were described from the interviewer’s memory. The interview was uploaded on time in PDF or Word format.

Rubric
Oral History Interview
Oral History Interview
Criteria Ratings
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeMastery
50-45 points: The interview was completed with a subject on an aspect of the topic of race OR gender. Open ended questions were asked and the interviewee was given the opportunity to talk about their experiences. At least 750 words of the interview is transcribed, typed in question and answer format and is accurate for spelling and punctuation. Proper MLA citations are included for pre-interview research. The interview was uploaded on time in PDF or Word format.
Full Marks
No Marks
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeProficient
44-40 points: The interview was completed on the subject of race OR gender. Mostly open ended questions were asked, and elicited several helpful responses. 750 words of the interview transcript is typed in question and answer format and is 80% accurate for spelling and punctuation. Proper MLA citations are included for pre-interview research.The interview was uploaded on time in PDF or Word format.
Full Marks
No Marks
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeAdequate
39-35 points: The interview was completed on the subject of race OR gender. A few open ended questions were asked and elicited a few helpful responses. Less than 750 words of the interview transcript is typed in question and answer format and is at least 70% accurate for spelling and punctuation. MLA citations are included for pre-interview research, though there may be formatting errors.The interview was uploaded on time in PDF or Word format.
Full Marks
No Marks
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeAlmost there!
34-30 points: The interview was completed on more than one topic and/or yes/no questions were asked that resulted in limited helpful responses. Less than 750 words from the interview is typed in question and answer format. The interview is at least 50% accurate for spelling and punctuation. MLA citations may be incorrect or missing. The interview was uploaded on time in PDF or Word format.
Full Marks
No Marks
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeDeveloping
0 points: The interview was completed but not recorded. The topics discussed were described from the interviewer’s memory. The interview was uploaded on time in PDF or Word format.
Full Marks
No Marks

What is Oral History?
At the completion of this assignment, students will be able to:
Describe common definitions for the practice of “oral history.”
Identify and debate the advantages and disadvantages of oral history as a historical methodology.
Initial Post:
Using the skills you learned doing the PILOT Library Training, find at least one website acceptable for academic research (.gov, .edu, and some .org websites are fine for academic research) and at least one academic history article (use JSTOR, the SCC Library research database (Links to an external site.) that is best for academic history articles) to help you answer the following questions:

1. What is oral history?

2. What is an advantage of oral history?

3. What is a disadvantage of oral history?

4. How can the disadvantages of oral history be overcome or lessened?

Your initial post should:

Clearly define the term “oral history” – how is oral history different from other types of history?
Debate the advantages and disadvantages of oral history – how does oral history give us information we cannot get anywhere else? What are the drawbacks? Can the drawbacks be overcome?
Be at least 500 words in length, either typed in or copy and pasted into the field. Please do not link to a file. Other people should be able to see your post without clicking anything!
Use formal academic language, including MLA format citations- both parenthetical citations in your post, and full citations at the end. Please refer to the class Writing Guidelines and/or the MLA citation resources for a refresher.

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