Debriefing session - 1C






Brendan:  I mentioned to you all that umm, that last year I did the same project but the difference was I didn’t get the information along the way. I just got the final animation, right?  Two things about the comparison between them and you: 

Firstly, I told you that there were 18 of those children. 

Molly:  And I was one of them.

Brendan:  And you were one of them.  Do you have any comment before I say another word?

Molly:  I like it with eight people because it’s more…

Maria:  Individual.

Molly:  You get to go, you get to learn more and you’re more…

Sunny:  Focused.

Molly:  You’re more in it and get to know people better.

Brendan:  There were a few times like with Grade 5 camp that only half of us were here and I think that was even better.

Molly:  Yeah.

Brendan:  If I had to do it again, which I don’t, I think it should be four people.

Maria:  I think it should be one person.

Magnus:  What did he do?

Ryan:  Do it again.

Brendan:  There was a session with "Solar cell efficiency" where it was just one person because he missed a few and it was just you and I.  That was almost a little strange, just one person.  Not a little strange but it was…

Molly:  It was awkward.

Sunny:  Didn’t we have two of those sessions?

Brendan:  We had two of those sessions.  Often I didn’t give you time to just think.  I think it’s…a small group’s perfect ‘cause then I can give you attention and then leave you alone for a bit to, to think.  So my question now is…

Magnus:  Without people interrupting you.

Brendan:  Do you think that umm, four is an ideal number or what number would you suggest?  Let’s just quickly just choose a number.

Magnus:  Umm, what?

Brendan:  What do you think? What do you think the ideal number would be if I was to do this again, the number of students involved?

Magnus:  Eight, ah, between like oh, on different times.

Brendan:  Oh okay.  So two groups of four?  No, well you say a…you said eight.  At different times?

Magnus:  Eight.  Three groups of two.

Brendan:  That’s actually six.

Ryan:  You’re an idiot.

Magnus:  Four groups of two!

Brendan:  There were two comparisons.  One was the size of the group which we’ve talked about.  The second one is this:

Funnily enough, even though you’re a smaller group, none of you got to be there when I finished off the, the editing process, which I did at home late at night, every night this week finishing, finishing last night.

Maria:  Well I could come to your home really late at night.

Magnus:  Well what about the program?

Brendan:  What I did…what I did last year...basically I played "The Sound of Music" to the grades and I worked up the back here with whoever it was and we finished it off.

Molly:  Oh remember me when I came and did, when I did my song?

Brendan:  Yeah.  And that way the children were actually with me right to the end. So my question is…the reason we did it this way is we had to get it done and it’s the only way, but my question is:

Do you feel that not being there right to the end, like some of your footage, some of the imagery you actually hadn’t made.  I had to make it to fill in the gaps.

Magnus:  Oh yeah.

Brendan:  How did you feel about that?  Happy that you had help or a little bit like it wasn’t your work any more?

Magnus:  Happy happy.

Brendan:  Okay.

Ryan:  I felt that maybe I, I would have liked to finish because now it sort of feels like it’s Brendan and my work so it’s not really my work anymore.  And it becomes most, I had done most of the imagery, but then…

Magnus:  You’d done most of it.

Ryan:  Then just before when we saw it makes me think; "I didn’t even do that" so it feels a bit weird.

Brendan:  No I agree.  That would, that’s what I wanted.  It’s just a case of we didn’t get, umm…we had to get it done.  We had to get it finished.

Molly:  What were we doing, umm, at?

Magnus:  But what if you want to watch it?

Molly:  What were we doing, umm, like all those weeks like doing those "Today I did such and such?"

Brendan:  You’re wondering what that was about?

Molly:  No what, what were they called?

Brendan:  Directors' commentaries.

Molly:  But what’s this called?

Brendan:  Okay, this is a director’s commentary.  That’s a good question. [Due to this discussion, the weekly director's commentaries have now been renamed student reflections.  The only data sources still called director's commentaries are the final director's commentaries where the completed explanatory animations have different audio tracks recorded by the children who worked on the animations].

Sunny:  Debriefing commentary.

Brendan:  This is a, this is the one big director’s commentary that goes with your video, with your imagery.  In other words, people are going to see the exact same thing that your final animation has but they’re going to hear you giving a behind the scenes insight into what went on.  Is that clear to you all?

Sunny:  Mmm.

Ryan:  Yeah.

Brendan:  The director’s commentary, this one, you don’t say anything like "Today I did this".  It’s a summary of the whole process.  Yeah?

Do you have any comments about animation compared to doing a more traditional type of project?

Magnus:  Animation was so much funner [sic].

Ingrid:  Yeah.

Molly:  Yeah.

Magnus:  More fun.

Brendan:  What?  Just in general? You just think it was more fun because it was on a computer or because it was movement?

Magnus:  Because it was movement.

Sunny:  Because it was moving.

Molly:  I like animation.

Sunny:  Well I find bits of paper just sitting there like…I couldn’t be bothered reading this.

Magnus:  A bit more like…

Ingrid:  I couldn’t be bothered looking at that.

Magnus:  And also.

Ingrid:  It’s Evel Knievel.

Molly:  People are falling asleep.

Sunny:  I was about to fall asleep.

Magnus:  I like doing books where you draw things at the bottom.

Maria:  It’s like fling books.

Magnus:  Yeah whatever they’re called.  And then, and then you go like this and then you see it moving.

Ingrid:  This is my final product.
Molly:  I like animations because they’re pretty cool to watch.


Researcher reflection: Ryan was quite articulate about his preference for completing his animation on his own. Two further points about that:

  1. On one hand, I take his criticism very seriously and have concluded that any instances of my direct involvement must be carefully documented.  This is addressed in more detail under "Integrity of the Research methodology" in Chapter 3.
  2. On the other hand, it should have come as no surprise to this student that I generated some of the final imagery as he delegated this task to me in the previous session when he said; "I’ve told Brendan what I need to be done, so the finishing touches, and he’s going to kindly help me with that."

The children appeared to be unanimous in their preference for the screen over paper as a medium for projects. It was interesting for me to hear that children still use and enjoy the old animation technique of drawing in the corners of pages and then flicking through them to create the illusion of movement. We used to call these "flick books" instead of "fling books".


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