Best Teaching Practices

Best Teaching Practices

If your skills need a makeover...

Many journalism educators and mid-career journalists are anxious these days about the aging state of their skills. They want to know more about audio, video and interactive tools, social networking and managing "citizen journalists", etc. But there are no weekend spas for such makeovers. In this piece, Steve Buttry, director of tailored programming at the America Press Insitute, offers practical advice for people who want to update their skills on their own. It's followed by lots of additional advice from other mid-career journalists and trainers, including Bill Dunphy of Toronto's Metroland newspapers.

Teaching j-students to be "Citizen Journalists"

The University of Missouri's School of Journalism is experimenting with a new course in citizen journalism. Clyde Bently, an associate professor there, says its an attempt to get students to learn new skills and explore the community beyond the campus. They are required to take and share photos online using photo sharing sites; cover beats by finding contributors in the community to submit stories for them to edit; find and develop bloggers and write a blog themselves. As Bently says "we need to develop a journalism curriculum that focuses on delivering the story with the soft touch of a symphony conductor rather than the loud improvisation of a soloist."

What to do with students who cheat

They are a challenge every journalism educator faces at some point -- students who cut and paste material from stories on the Internet; fabricate quotes; or pad bibliographies and source lists. In this thoughtful piece, Alex Gillis, a journalism instructor at Ryerson, describes his first experience with cheating students and what he learned from it. He outlines some of the surprising things he found out about why students cheat (it's often the best students who cheat in an effort to get an A) and what can be done to try to stop them. The article includes links to resources from Canadian universities that may be helpful to any educator determined to stop their students from cheating.

A reflective model for teaching journalism

This is a conference paper prepared for the first JourNet international conference on Professional Education for the Media that took place in Newcastle, Australia, in 2004. The paper outlines a model that uses critical reflection as a bridge between journalism theory and professional practice.

Teaching journalism via computer games

Two university professors in Minnesota are using a graphically-sophisticated computer game, produced by a Canadian gaming company, in which the students transform the medieval wizards and rogues into news editors, reporters, and other modern characters. They roleplay their way through a major news event.




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