Using Media to Document Public Attitudes on Waste
In this project, students work in small groups to document public attitudes on waste. Students use media tools to record "person on the street" interviews with members of the local community on various types of waste. Students then edit shorter videos into a larger film that incorporates student commentary on waste in our society, drawing on material from a course on the 'Ethics of Consumption and Waste'. Students then host a community screening of the film, getting feedback on their project.
Context for Use
Description and Teaching Materials
Students would gather into groups of 3-4 people and each group selects a type of waste to examine. Possible topics include e-waste, solid (human) waste, food waste, wastewater, hazardous or industrial waste. Students develop a research project examining public attitudes, opinions, and values associated with their waste topic, including a short list of survey questions. Using media technologies, student groups conduct and record surveys, conducted as "person on the street" interviews during public events, and then edit the video into a short film that presents student findings, and provides a synthesis or analysis of local public opinion on their waste topic. The class then edits together the shorter videos into a larger film that would incorporate student commentary on waste in our society, drawing on lessons from the larger course.
The final product is a film on 'Waste in our Community', which would be screened at either the university's annual environmental conference or one of the college's community film viewings. The screening brings local experts, scholars, and activists to campus in order to hold a dialogue with the student filmmakers and members of the broader community on how our community understands and engages with waste, especially as a by-product of our habits of consumption. The project introduces students to the use of media technologies as a tool for community engagement.