Since one of the main objectives behind this course was to contextualize an English 102’s outcomes within journalism, here’s a list of areas we focused on:
- Facts vs Opinions
- The 5 W’s
- Contextual Representation/Accuracy in Presentation
- Primary Sources vs Secondary Sources
- Ethics in presentation as well as interviewing
- [LOTS MORE TO DO WITH THIS SECTION]
Things to think about for Next Time
I borrowed material heavily from the college’s newspaper production course’s textbook [REMEMBER TO GET NAME OF BOOK] While the materials were excellent, I simply assigned too much reading in clumps and not enough discussion (a few minutes of class). I ultimately would reference the materials as Call Backs in later class discussions, but without more focused time, students forgot or even didn’t read the materials carefully. I need to distill it into a small guide or overview. I would like next time to try using case studies highlighting different ethical situations and responsibilities for writeup assignments or in-class discussions. However, there is always so little time to spend in class on this. I do not like the discussion boards within content management systems–sure; they’re convenient for teachers, but as I’ve talked with students over a number of quarters, most students admitted that their responses were based on word count and really didn’t pay much attention to what their classmates were saying. That is, they were not really having a discussion. But enough about that (one day I will find a more effective way to recreate in-class discussions digitally without creating a pile of work for myself).
As this last four years have shown us, we need more discussions on how to know the veracity of whom students are interviewing. That we need to be rigorous enough not to accidentally pass along misinformation or unresearched information as factual. This helped a lot when we were trying to narrow down the specific focus for their projects.
Part of the “too much” of my reading assignments is that I was trying to front-load the quarter with all the journalistic information–almost as if trying to do an entire course in first few weeks. I did not integrate it enough throughout the entire quarter. Next time, I will build questions about ethics, presentation, details/objectivity into our class discussions about the podcasts themselves. In fact, I think I will add a section to the rubric for grading their final podcasts.