Find Ways to Orient Students to the Format.
The novelty of recording and performing were challenging to those who are more familiar with writing a paper. I therefore strongly recommend that students be required to listen to archived shows on their own outside of class and then to generate a set of evaluation criteria as part of a collaborative in-class activity. Student-generated criteria will be more authentic and the exercise will increase their familiarity with the format and genre. Faculty can use those criteria for later evaluation of the student-produced show.
Build Technology into Early Semester Activities.
I chose audio technology partly because it is a low threshold technology with low equipments costs, ease of use, and access to free audio editing software. However, many students have no experience with it, which makes it important to familiarize students with the tools early. Therefore, I suggest integrating it into other class activities like weekly audio letters, mini-podcasts on course topics, or peer-review activities.
Emphasize and Allow Time for Revision.
Initial practice with the technology would also empower students to make more use of editing tools. Because the Justice Talking format is a composition more than a live show, I encourage professors to allow a minimum of 3-4 weeks for the project and to require revision from students so that they integrate each segment into a coherent whole. Younger students with frequent access to audio technology are entering our courses as well, so we are likely to encounter students already familiar with recording and editing.
Consider Options for Requirements, Scope, and Grouping.
Composing a Justice Talking episode qualifies as a major course assignment, and even though I tend to lower the stakes when experimenting with a new assignment, I believe that treating it as a major assignment will likely increase student perception of its value and produce more serious engagement. Because of its scope and the level of collaboration it requires, it will likely gain fuller engagement as a culminating semester assignment than it does as an icebreaker activity, and will likely need more time in proportion to the size of collaborative groups. Finally, though I recommend that the final composition be in audio format, I strongly recommend that writing remain a significant part of the assignment, both in preparation, written composition, and later reflection.