Posted on April 9, 2008
Testable, measurable skills we should teach in j-school
Like a lot of j-schools, mine has been discussing updates to the curriculum. Much of that discussion concerns skills. So we ended up saying we need a list of skills. Then someone said, yeah, I’ve seen that kind of list, and I don’t know what some of that stuff means. If you say the students “need to know digital audio” — what is that, really?
Earlier today, Amy Gahran wrote:
It’s such a shame that most j-schools still are not teaching new journalists crucial skills they’ll need to act entrepreneurially in media: content management systems (including blogging tools), mobile tools and mobile media strategies, social media, business skills, management skills, economics and business models, marketing, SEO, community management, etc.
That’s the kind of list we’ve seen before. In contrast, my faculty has been working on a list of measurable results, and I’ll give you three concrete examples of what we think the students should be able to do:
- Audio: Produce a 2-minute clip with clear nat sound, narration, and interview material, edited digitally and compressed for the Web.
- Online ethics: Answer questions about five case studies concerning: advertising interference in editorial; hidden bias or manipulation by the journalist; sock puppetry or fakery; image and audio manipulation; staged or posed events (video, audio, photo); influence by fear or favor.
- XHTML and CSS: Demonstrate knowledge of how to use 10 basic XHTML tags and basic CSS (body, font, color, margin, padding, div); test this knowledge with a set of multiple-choice questions.
Now it’s your turn.
Quit saying, “They need to learn how to be entrepreneurial,” and give me a measurable result. Then I can teach them — not to do only that one thing, but to employ the skills it requires.