Experiences Of A New Student Interview
When asked to conduct an interview with a new student about their experiences so far at West Cheshire College, we used the pre-production techniques learned so far to enable us to plan our interview efficiently.
Firstly, I came up with possible ideas and scenarios in which to base it upon. Below are a selection I came up with:
- Interview two people who are good friends at WCC.
- Interview a games student about why/how they are liking their course so far.
- Interview student from each course with set of questions.
- Go on a tour with me and one new student around the college and ask them questions along the way (equivalent to a F1 ‘Track Guide’…but in the college.)
After much deliberation, I chose to interview a games student. This was based on my liking for video games and believed it would be something I would be interested to report- which would hopefully show in my final article.
Next, I had to write out questions that could be asked to the student. With the purpose of the piece revolving around college, I wanted the questions to be relevant to their course, their choice in choosing the college and a description in what they were doing at the present time to give those reading a clear understanding of what it was like to be a new games student. I tried to make the questions as open as possible so the interviewee could express their views in-depth. Below are the questions in which I decided to ask:
- Why they chose the college?
- Why they chose the course?
- What are the tutors and other students like?
- What’s the most interesting thing they’ve done in their course so far?
- What do you plan on doing after your course?
- (Personal) What is their favourite game?*
- (Personal) First game?*
- Why should people choose West Cheshire College?
* Asking these two question, in my opinion, would lighten the tone of the interview.
My next step would be to plan and gather all the equipment I would be needing for my interview. At the most basic level I would need my lanyard, a pen and my notebook; useful for writing my notes and transcribing my interview later on. Secondly, I would need a computer with internet connection to upload my work and a USB memory stick to store images/sound clips etc. In terms of the actual interview I would need a dictaphone which I can attain from the college and a still image camera to take images of the college and also the person I am going to interview to give the reader a face to add to the person’s experiences they are reading about. Lastly I would need to sign up to a website called ‘Soundcloud’ which I could use to upload my interview on so that it could be accessed on my WordPress site.
When it came to time and planning it out effectively I used Google calender, which helped give me a visual aide to what I would be doing at any certain time or place. Helpful, too, as it was easily accessible and could be updated in terms of any new developments which arose. Below is a screenshot of my calendar and all the various stages laid out:
As you can see above, I have colour-coded all the various projects to make it more easier to manage. My system is; YELLOW= Unrelated, BLUE= Syria, RED= Lucy, GREEN= Craig, ORANGE= Urban Reporting.
Early on I knew I would use images to incorporate into my interview, and wanted to use first-hand pictures taken by myself. I scouted around the college, looking at possible shots that would suit my article. These are all the images I took:
After looking through the images I picked out the best ones to use in my final piece…some were great images yet poor lighting/blurred effect spoiled the shot.
On my day off I decided to conduct my interview. After obtaining all the equipment I would need (dictaphone and camera), I went into the games studio and asked Paul Browne if I could have permission to take some photos of a lesson in progress and also whether their was a student willing to be interviewed. Paul suggested Xavien, who was happy to take part and help me out. A stumbling block I did encounter was the fact that I did not produce written permission slips in terms of taking images with the students in them; especially so if they are under the age of 18 as parental consent is needed. Due to time constraints this was easily resolved as I would use an image of a student working from behind whilst at his computer. Before making these images public on my WordPress site I will get the necessary consent from those photographed. The final stages were to arrange a time between the both of us to meet and conduct the interview; we settled on 11am in the classroom which he studied in. Before commencing the interview I took a picture of him in front of a quote painted on the walls just outside the games studio which I would use for my main photograph. Also, I asked for his consent to be photographed and recorded on dictaphone.
Once the interview was over and recorded I transcribed it into my notebook and then uploaded the 3 minutes 34 seconds of material onto Soundcloud. This is available to listen to underneath:
The following is my final article, written in a Q&A style that I admired when looking at how other websites/magazines present a written form of interview whilst researching beforehand. Examples include formula1.com and NME.
At West Cheshire College, one of the most popular courses which students decide to take is Games Development. With cutting-edge equipment, recognized industry software and professional tutors, it gives those the necessary skills and knowledge to be able to pursue a dream job in the ever-evolving games sector.
I caught up with Xavian who recently joined West Cheshire College this year and spoke about his experiences so far.
Q: Why did you choose to study at West Cheshire College?
Xavian: Mostly because it was the only college in the local, travelable area which did the course which I wanted to do; Games Development- and looking on the website and stuff like that ad doing research it was what I wanted to do, so I thought I might as well give it a shot.
Q: What made you choose the Games course?
Xavian: Well, I’ve always been interested in games…sort of been raised by them and they’ve always been a big part of my life. The past couple of years I’ve been getting into 3D modelling and I thought I’d try and take that to a new level and actually felt I’d find a practical use for it.
Q: What are the tutors like?
Xavian: The tutors are great. I did sixth form for two years- with sixth form, and the college, they always say that they treat you more as an adult and I’ve found in the college it is a lot better- a lot more like they’re your friends- someone you can actually talk to instead of ‘a teacher.’
Q: Tell me about the most interesting thing you’ve done so far in your course?
Xavian: We’re moving on to character design and character modelling this year which I’ve found really interesting- really taken a liking to that. Overall though, it’d have to be learning to properly use software like I’ve used before, but learning it to a new degree which I’ve found to be a great thing.
Q: What are your plans after finishing your course?
Xavian: Preferably, hopefully going to Uni to study this at a further level.
Q: I have to ask you a couple of important questions now…What is your favourite game?
Xavian: Ooh, that’s a tough one! I’d probably have to say Batman: Arkham City.
Q: What was the first game that you played?
Xavian: It would have to of been Pokemon Blue- the first game I properly got into.
Q: And lastly, why do you think people should come and learn at West Cheshire College?
Xavian: Great atmosphere from what I’ve experienced. Great way of learning, great building, great campus…It’s just a great place to be honest! The people are fantastic; in most places you’ll get nice guys and then the other half of that…whereas I’ve not experienced the other side to that at West Cheshire College. It’s been all good.
We wish Xavian all the best for the future and want to thank him for taking the time to speak to us.
If you are interested in joining West Cheshire College, or want more information, please go to our website: www.west-cheshire.ac.uk