Action needed — but what action?

Members of the Journalism Department met — about half the department. We discussed some of the 14 proposals that the curriculum review committee has set forth. Three of us made presentations about the technology activities/projects we are incorporating into our classes.

Q1: Do we need to require students to purchase their own equipment to move us into technology change in the curriculum?

Yes: Students will be able to work on multimedia projects outside of the college’s labs, and we won’t be limited by the limitations of those labs (i.e., number of labs, software, etc.)

No: The proposed package for the equipment is about $2,000 — Mac laptop, H2 Zoom audio recorder, and a camera that shoots 7 megapixel still and video. Right now, that’s not covered by financial aid. Such a cost would eliminate some students from the program. We shouldn’t make such a requirement unless we know that the students will need and use all of that equipment.

Q2: Do we need a specific course to teach multimedia skills — and make it a requirement?

Yes: If we have such a course, then we can know that all of the students have had this technology training. By requiring it at a certain point in the curriculum — toward the beginning or middle — then the faculty in upper division classes can expect the students to create multimedia assignments as part of their classes.

No: If we have such a course, then most faculty will not feel that it is their responsibility to be teaching multimedia in their own courses, thinking that “It’s covered in THE multimedia course.”

Q3: Can’t we do something now without the students having equipment or without a multimedia course?

Yes: Some faculty already are incorporating technology into their courses — blogging, Excel spreadsheets and database searching, Soundslides, audio editing, video, etc. But that’s not systematic.

No: Our classes have so much to cover now that including yet more content and skills means that the students will time to work on individual skill/concept development.

Stay tuned for continued discussion. The meeting for voting on the proposals is Friday the 13th.

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