Project Example: Producing Field Studies with Students

As a media educator, I am always looking for project examples to share with teachers and students.  The larger the database educators have of projects to pull from, the more this type of work will continue to be implemented in classrooms.

For an example, conducting a Field Study with students is a great way to introduce the theme of "deep hanging out."   The idea is simple, send students to a place of their choice, and have them just sit and observe.  The time can vary, but obviously, the longer the better.  During this time, the participants will start to pay attention to every detail and eventually write some field notes.  From these notes, the participant can also capture some specific aspects of the place they have now spent some time in, and produce a short "sense of place" audio piece or even video.

Here is a quick rundown of how the project can be introduced to students:




  1. Pick the place.  It can be a place you frequent or not.

  2. Think through the FORM, what types of shots and sounds?  BE SPECIFIC and create a STORYBOARD (Pictured right).

  3. Create Shot List including sounds.

  4. Go to the place, Take notes/video/pictures/sound.

  5. Although you have a shot list, feel free to explore and go off script.

  6. Upload to Google Drive.

  7. Import into Editing Software such as WeVideo.

  8. Edit Piece by dragging clips into a sequence and cutting out extra material.  

  9. As for a point of introduction, notice the difference in Myles’ piece vs. the storyboard.

  10. To that point, allow for process of discovery in the making.



To conclude with an anecdote, the piece you see above differs from the storyboard so significantly because my phone ended up dying once I started the filming and I was out on a bike path.  I did, however, come up with these images beforehand, and decided to explore what I had and still try and edit something together similar.  In the end, it goes to show that allowing for the process of discovery, helped me still create something despite technical hiccups.