How to Create Online Journalism Courses with Instant Adjustments

In a perfect world, journalism education would be fully responsive to a learner’s individual needs. Whether teaching Introduction to Reporting or Advanced Data Visualization, instructors could ascertain students’ exact understanding and then support them to their next level. Of course, like any utopian narrative, differentiated instruction is constrained because there will always be a range of skill levels in any class. It is even more complex when the course is online. Yet in online journalism education, and particularly with college-level or adult learners who know their capabilities and goals, there is a real opportunity for highly responsive learning. In my experience teaching online journalism courses, I’ve forged a path into individualized learning through repetitive needs assessment, and although it’s time consuming, I think it’s worth a look for journalism educators as more coursework moves online.

What is Needs Assessment?

As part of most instructional design models, needs assessment (sometimes
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#EdShift Chat: How to Discuss, Teach Journalism Students to Report on Sexual Abuse

There is perhaps no more visible and complex topic right now than sexual assault and harassment. Sparked by the #MeToo movement, conversations about gender and sexual abuse are commonplace as media headlines continually bring awareness to these issues.

For journalism educators, discussions in classrooms have become more pointed, while courses that teach reporting see the need to address questions of coverage about such intense issues.

In recent EducationShift articles by Tracy Everbach and Candi Carter Olson, the journalism educators and researchers shared thoughts about how to engage in meaningful discussions about sexual violence and harassment in journalism courses, as well as presented a four-step guide to helping students learn to report on sexual abuse as professional journalists. “Journalists reporting on these types of stories need to know some of the basics about sexual abuse and violence, as well as myths that continue to be perpetuated,” Olson and Everbach said. “Accurate Continue reading "#EdShift Chat: How to Discuss, Teach Journalism Students to Report on Sexual Abuse"

#EdShift Chat: Solutions Journalism in the Classroom

It’s an age-old criticism of the press: it only reports on the problems; it only covers “bad news.” Sometimes, it comes in the form of parachuting into disastrous events and leaving when the rebuilding or healing begins. Other times, it is the reporting on a crime rate or environmental disaster or social ill that can leave readers without a sense of options or potential fixes. A response to this criticism is solutions journalism, which, as defined by the Solutions Journalism Network is “rigorous reporting on responses to social problems.” “We seek to rebalance the news, so that every day people are exposed to stories that help them understand problems and challenges, and stories that show potential ways to respond,” according to the SJN website. In this #EdShift Twitter chat, we will explore how the theory and practice of Solutions Journalism can be implemented into the J-School classroom, Continue reading "#EdShift Chat: Solutions Journalism in the Classroom"

EducationShift20: Honoring Innovative Journalism Educators

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Between institutional limitations, financial constraints and ever-changing technology, innovating in journalism education is a challenge. Those who lead the way are doing so through extensive investment – both in time and resources. After receiving numerous nominations from our audience and voting as a MediaShift staff, EducationShift is thrilled to honor the inaugural EducationShift20 with a list that includes journalism faculty at college and high school levels, as well as educators affiliated with various organizations. These educators have made a significant mark on the discipline, with their colleagues, and of course, with students. Find out more about the work and passion of the EdShift20 below. We encourage you to reach out and learn from or collaborate with these educators to move journalism education forward in 2018.

1. Amara Aguilar, USC Annenberg

Amara Aguilar is an associate professor of professional practice in digital journalism
Continue reading "EducationShift20: Honoring Innovative Journalism Educators"

EducationShift20: Honoring Innovative Journalism Educators

Click the image to read our entire series.

Between institutional limitations, financial constraints and ever-changing technology, innovating in journalism education is a challenge. Those who lead the way are doing so through extensive investment – both in time and resources. After receiving numerous nominations from our audience and voting as a MediaShift staff, EducationShift is thrilled to honor the inaugural EducationShift20 with a list that includes journalism faculty at college and high school levels, as well as educators affiliated with various organizations. These educators have made a significant mark on the discipline, with their colleagues, and of course, with students. Find out more about the work and passion of the EdShift20 below. We encourage you to reach out and learn from or collaborate with these educators to move journalism education forward in 2018.

1. Amara Aguilar, USC Annenberg

Amara Aguilar is an associate professor of professional practice in digital journalism
Continue reading "EducationShift20: Honoring Innovative Journalism Educators"

EdShift 2017 in Review: Educators Focus on Social Media, Digital-First Newsrooms and ‘Fake News’

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The most prevalent trends in journalism education for 2017 are far from monolithic. Social media’s uses and limitations. Digital media’s prominence in student newsrooms and J-School curricula. News literacy, or “fake news,” that warrants transparency and strengthened ethics. Innovation in technology but also mindset. Data analytics for increased visibility and audience engagement. However, the most written-about issues this year were also subtly interrelated; journalism educators are focused on how to move forward while still maintaining the foundations of good storytelling. What’s clear from this list, as well as the other topics journalism educators engaged with in 2017, is that J-Schools, although once accused of a deep-seated reluctance to change, are not standing still any longer. There is great interest in what’s next.

Integrating Social Media in the Classroom

For anyone who thought social media was a 2016 fad, 2017 dispelled that notion.
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How OZY is Equipping Educators for Changing Media Audiences

Carlos Watson, host of PBS’ “Third Rail with OZY” and founder of the daily digital news and culture magazine OZY.com, has a theory to address the transformations in both journalism and education. His ideas are rooted in his father’s “aspirational relationship to the news.” Watson said his dad, a teacher like many in his family, believed media should be more than information passively consumed by an audience – it should help set a course for the future. “News and culture and information can actually broaden you, and motivate you, and provoke you and really encourage you to try things you otherwise may not think about doing,” Watson said.
As Watson visits campuses on the OZY EDU College Tour, the journalist and entrepreneur is bringing into classrooms both conversations and tools for educators to employ his father’s understanding of audience as empowered partner. Although technology and multiple
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