Roots with Wings, a Floyd County Place-Based Education Project:: Intergenerational Connections

Floyd Story Center

Since 1998, a community oral history collection partnership of the Old Church Gallery, Ltd., Radford University’s Center for Social and Cultural Research, Honors Program, Scholar-Citizen Initiative, Appalachian Regional and Rural Studies Center, and Floyd County High School. Our archives now hold over 100 interviews.

In our Roots with Wings project, college mentors, high school staff, and community volunteers meet weekly during the school year to teach the discipline of oral history collection to Floyd County High School students.


Students learn ethical, methodologically sound interview techniques, practice and complete several interviews, transcribe the audiotapes, create searchable content logs, archive interviewee resources and period photographs, learn the technology of audio and video recording, research historical backgrounds, acquire proficiency in iMovie and storytelling, and finally extract a theme from an hour long interview to create a seven minute movie production.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Practice Interviews

Getting Closer to "The Real Deal"


Listing the best interview techniques

February 9th, the third meeting of RU mentors and FCHS students, we have gotten to know each other better--it was fun to greet familiar faces. We divided into eight groups and watched a mock interview by Chelsey Mathis, Dr. Wagner, and Sam Montana. Both entertaining and informative, the role play interviews showcased a "bad" interview and a "good" interview. The students' job afterwards was to essentially decide upon the interviewing “Dos and Don’ts.” Each group got to share--we compiled a long list, big in quantity and quality.


Following examples given by RU mentors, the students set up the recording and video equipment for interviewing, using the list of good things that we saw in the mock interview.  Eileen encouraged the students to think about interviewing in a way that makes the interviewee comfortable, putting his or herself in the other’s shoes.  


We determined that a good interview should include a proper introduction, asking “how” questions instead of “why” questions, especially being a good listener among other things. Today we established the foundation to build our good interviews on, and we look forward to even more chances to practice before we get to the real deal!

Blogpost:  Cara Myrtle

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