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Teaching Tools for Journalism Educators

Ten tips on how to be a good journalism student

Instead of the usual tips for writing a great lead or landing a great interview, a British journalism professor has come up with rules for how to be journalism students. He tells his students, for example, to learn to use the phone, rather than depend on e-mail. He encourages them to develop interests in things other than music. Paul Bradshaw is a senior lecturer in online journalism and magazines at the University of Central England in Birmingham and his tips are universal. They are posted at his blog, the Online Journalism Blog.

Tip sheets and online courses

The Canadian Association of Newspaper Editors has produced a substantial list of tip sheets on a variety of writing, reporting and editing challenges which Canadian journalism educators may find very helpful in the classroom.

News University courses

For a long list of interactive, self-directed online courses you can visit News University. It's a project of The Poynter Institute for Media Studies. You will find courses on such things as writing headlines, editing copy, math for journalists and much more.

No Train No Gain

No Train, No Gain is a website initiated by a Freedom Forum report in 1993 in which newsroom trainers provide a huge range of resources for newsroom trainers which could be useful to journalism educators. The site offers training tips and handouts on everything from writing and editing, to numeracy and newsroom management.

An archive of journalism lesson plans

The American Society of Newspaper Editors asked high school journalism instructors from around the country to prepare lesson plans for a variety of topics suitable for journalism classes -- from news writing and editing to journalistic ethics and bias. The lessons are clearly designed for classes of American teens, but some of the ideas and classroom activities could be adapted for older Canadian students.

A great tool for getting feedback on courses

If you want feedback from students about your teaching or find out whether they understood aspects of a lesson or lessons and you don't want to wait for the formal course evaluations at the end of the term, you might want to consider using The Free Assessment Summary Tool or FAST. FAST is an anonymous online survey tool that automatically summarizes students' impressions of a course and/or teacher and supplies the data directly to the teacher. It allows a teacher to develop an online survey that students can complete 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The software automatically summarizes and consolidates the students' comments, in real-time, on the web or into a downloadable customized Excel spreadsheet. The software was developed at Mount Royal College in Calgary.



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