Thursday, April 28, 2016

Husker Help

Final Project Portfolio

Nam Tran, Seyler Monroe, Jon Kroft, Brandon Knopp


Our group gathered on multiple occasions in order to brainstorm ideas on what we should do our commons campaign project on. We thought about a variety of topics like ways to help students that weren’t being discussed already. Things like how to identify the most popular parking spaces, when they would be open or when they would be the most active. We also thought about recommending study areas, classes that we thought were interesting, and possible housing options. Basically, things that students were able to give their opinions on based on past experiences.
We noticed that some of this stuff was already being covered on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s website, but we felt that it lacked a student voice. There isn’t anything like a Yelp for student services. Eventually, we asked our friends and family what they think would be the most interesting, what other students were doing and what might be the most helpful to other students around campus. From most of the feedback we got back, people told us that they liked our initial ideas. So we thought about ways of incorporating all of these topics into one format.
What was something we could do to cover all of these topics and deliver it in a way that was interesting and would compel students to care? We wanted to do something that was accessible to anyone on campus, not just a small group. Something tangible that could be used right away. Building an app was out of the question but concepting one would be a possibility. Although the university already has a couple of apps that you could download to your phone. Eventually we came up with the idea of doing podcasts. Many of us had already listened to podcasts and thought they would give the student voice that we wanted.

Rhetorical Situation:

  1. Exigence:
    1. We saw that the exigence, the demand was that there be a place for students to see reviews and recommendations by students for students. We noticed that there was a lack of student voice and opinion when it came to options and resources on campus. We wanted to do something that could give students an idea of what other students thought because those opinions would be the most helpful overall.

  1. Audience:
    1. College Students: We asked around our group of friends, classmates and other colleagues and found that many people wanted more knowledge of the campus or things to do around campus and the city of Lincoln in general. Many students already listen to the radio or spend hours listening to podcasts from topics ranging from sports, video games, news and comedy.

  1. Fitting Response:
    1. We felt that while building an app was already an option we thought podcasts would be much more interesting and really give that “student voice” that we wanted to our project. Podcasts can be more personal and entertaining than just tapping through an app.

  1. Constraints/Affordances
    1. Podcasts while popular might not be interesting to some students. Podcasts require a certain amount of participation from their users and really demands attention.  The medium itself is still growing and people are constantly doing different things with podcasts. But, we think our proposal fits because it’s what many students are already doing in some way, whether it’s the radio or a talk show many students are listening to similar things. Also, many people listen to podcasts while commuting, exercising and more. These forms of media are very popular among college students.

Rhetorical Canon:

1. Invention:
  • Informing college students about opportunities to know more about Lincoln, Nebraska. Such things as restaurants, best entertainment, bike trails and how to encourage students to take this class or how to approach this class.
2.   Arrangement:
  • As a group we made a Tumblr account that is called Husker Help that shows podcasts to help college students be more aware what they have here in Lincoln, Nebraska and on campus.
3. Style:
  • Our element of this project is more non direct to the college student but to g give students a resource to know that there thing to do in Lincoln and what are hot spots here in lincoln and at the University of Nebraska Lincoln.

4. Memory:
  • Implementing these podcast could help college students to be more aware of their surrounding they have here in Lincoln. Are able to see where to go in Lincoln and help students to be more aware. This could be long- lasting positive impact to new incoming students or students who are not aware of Lincoln that well.
5. Delivery:
  • We used Tumblr, podcast, video as references to show college students some the places and activities they could take advantage of on campus and around Lincoln. In the podcast we used unscripted conversation to talk about campus life. To review the trails we used a first person cycling view to show our audience what they could expect on a particular trail and wrote how we felt about those trails.

Steps 1:
March 1st: Set up blog on tumblr
  • Maintain content
  • Comments
Step 2:
March 5th-6th: Study Areas
  • Best places on campus / off campus
    • Experience
    • Food, coffee areas
    • Internet
    • Quiet, loud areas
      • Noise level
    • Best group meeting areas
Step 3:
March 12th-13th: Entertainment
  • Places for students to catch some discounted entertainment
    • Movies
      • (Ross, Grand)
    • Plays
      • (Lied Center)
    • Concerts
      • (The Bourbon)
  • Student events
Step 4:
April 2nd-3rd: Food
  • Best places near campus, haymarket area
  • Favorite place
    • Pricing
    • Type of food
    • Distance
Step 5:
  • April 9th-10th: COMM 250
    • How to pass the class
      • Assignments
      • Projects
      • Professors
Step 6:
  • April 23-24th: Hiking, Biking trails, outdoor activities, rec center (exercising)
    • Best hiking, biking trails in Lincoln
      • Distance from campus
      • Tips and details
      • Bike shop on campus
Step 7:
  • April 26-28th
    • Editing and posting podcasts

Media Produced:

We decided to split up the work and make at least five podcasts ranging from 10 minutes to 15 minutes. We came up with a variety of topics to cover but ultimately decided on five, which were study areas, entertainment, local foods, COMM 250 and bike trials. Everything we thought would be really fun to talk about and would make the podcast last the desired amount of time. Talking about COMM 250 was a fun last minute decision that might not be helpful to everyone but we thought would be interesting to talk about. 

There are plenty of classes where the professor requires you to do a sort of "what I should know about this class" or just tips about the class after you pass it so you can let other students know about certain aspects of the class that some might find difficult.

Our first podcast was about study areas around campus so two of us got together and talked about some of study areas we thought were most useful, whether they were quiet, loud or what sort of resources would be available. We also talked about places near campus, like coffee shops or the libraries. 

Our second podcast we talked about local entertainment or just places you can hang out with your friends. We covered things like movie theaters, plays, music and concert venues. We wanted to encompass what many of places near campus had to offer but also talk about what discounts would be available to students so they can take advantage of them.

Our third podcast we talked about food. Basically cool restaurants around Lincoln that you could spend your time. It ranged from discounts on fast food, local places that you can only find in Lincoln and some of our own favorite eateries. We wanted to cover as much as we could in a span of 15 minutes but there's so many places just around campus alone that would take hours to cover. 

Our fourth podcast we came up with the idea of talking about how to do well in COMM 250. We talked about this project, pop quizzes and the two tests that you are required to take. We also talked about Dr. Pfister and some of his policies in class. We gave some tips we thought would help future students of COMM 250 and ways you can succeed. Things like reading the material, not being late and preparing ahead of time.

For our last podcast we decided to do something different. One of our group members wanted to do one one cool biking trails around Lincoln, which was a great idea but we thought it would be cooler to get video. We were able to use a GoPro and record clips of his favorite bike trails and so instead of doing a podcast we just had our group member write about some of his favorite trails and his experiences. 

Check out the blog with all the podcasts and videos here:


I feel like this project was a good idea but there were better ways of executing the idea. There were a lot of things that I would’ve done differently had our group had more time. Podcasts aren’t as easy as they look, they really require time and dedication. If we had more time I wish we could’ve done some practice episodes or possibly written a better script or had at least a rehearsal. Podcasts are entertaining because they essentially are a conversation, it’s real and  

This project went well once we got started. We had a lot of good ideas, but could have expanded on them more and added more content to our blog had we started sooner. I thought our Tumblr page looked nice and the podcasts turned out better than I thought they would. In hindsight, I would have reviewed the bike trails differently. I would have given myself more time to get footage from more trails so I would have more opportunities when unexpected events like a flat tire and rain occur. I also was not aware that videos on Tumblr could only be one minute so I would have chosen a different medium to post the footage of the bike trails.

This project was fun idea. As group we had good ideas. I think if we all more time to work on it I believe we could done really well or if we started earlier. I feel overall we did well. Myself I could put more time and effort on the Tumblr website that was Jon and my job to work on that. I think also if we started the project earlier I think we wouldn’t been so stressed.

This project was a good idea to get the community aware of everything that goes on. I think we could've got started on the project a little sooner, as we procrastinated due to having so much time to complete the final project. I think the completed project is good, however more effort could've been put forward to make the project as the best it can be.

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