JanineRudnickJanine Rudnick is a professor at El Paso Community College, in El Paso, Texas, with a background in Speech Communication. This semester she’ll be using ACCLAIM in her undergraduate Speech Communication (Public Speaking) and English as a Second Language (Grammar and Speaking and Listening) classes.

ACCLAIM: Tell us about the curriculum in your classes?

JR: In the Public Speaking class, students give speeches in class. For assignments, they do both a self-critique and a critique of another classmate. In the ESL class, I help students prepare for college-level classes. All of my students are Spanish speakers living in El Paso (83% Hispanic with Spanish as the preferred language, in many cases), or in Juarez, Mexico (a stone’s throw away). Because their communities are primarily Spanish speaking, it is difficult for students to practice their English. In class, we focus on giving academic speeches, but also on phrasing, pronunciation, fluency, and grammar. We also teach note-taking skills.

ACCLAIM: What kinds of videos (webcam upload, YouTube embedding) are you planning on including in your classes? How do they correlate with your curriculum?

JR: In my ESL classes, we teach note-taking skills and listening practice using videos of academic lectures provided by publishers. We also include quite a few YouTube videos to help the students with grammar and pronunciation.

ACCLAIM: What aspects of using video are helpful to your teaching? How does it expand your capabilities to provide students with guidance, or to foster discussion?

JR: The other day in my Public Speaking class, I showed a video from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. In the segment, Oliver questioned if the Miss America Pageant was in fact, the world’s largest provider of scholarships for women. However, after the show, the Miss America Organization released a statement thIat explained Oliver’s doubts were unfounded. This video generated discussion amongst my students about the importances of looking deeper when researching your topic, especially when it seems that a large statistic could be wrong.

ACCLAIM: What are your ideas for using Acclaim?

JR: I have had many ideas! A few are as follows:

ESL classes:
1. Traditional use — record students giving speeches, and then have them critique either their own speech or a classmate’s speech.
2. Record students in a role-play situation. Students must watch the video afterwards, and then correct their grammar in the commenting sidebar when they’ve made a mistake.
4. Show an academic video and have students use the comments as their note-taking device, annotating as they watch
5. Upload a video without sound. Students may then create a monologue or dialogue using the comment section.


[PHOTO: Janine’s first assignment on Acclaim. In the assignment, Janine practices the differentiation of “must,” “should,” and “supposed to,” with her ESL students while recording them. Students in the class peer-reviewed each others’ videos, making suggestions on proper grammar in the commenting sidebar.]

Public Speaking classes:

1. Traditional use — record students giving speeches, and then have them critique either their own speech or a classmate’s speech
2. Have students present just the body of the persuasive speech. Each student would ask critical questions to make sure the point is explained well, and is thoroughly documented.
3. Upload a speech from YouTube and have students comment about ethos, pathos, and logos.

ACCLAIM: How does commenting allow students to better understand class ideas/ improve their work?

JR: In a speech class, the students commenting may be able to focus more on giving pointed feedback to speakers than on their own writing, as they might do with an essay. When students view themselves on screen, we force them to face the music. I have used audio recordings in the past, and had students listen to themselves, but a video may have a greater impact.