Annual Symposium - Scholarship for Teaching and Learning (SoTL)

Session I Gustafson

Experientially Linking Journalism and Community Newspapers

Kristin L. Gustafson, Ph.D. (Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences / Center for University Studies and Programs / Husky Herald co-adviser)

Student misconceptions about journalism and gaps in their preparedness hinder Introduction to Journalism student learning. But when students link their journalism practice and their community newspapers, these concerns can be overcome. This poster addresses two conference themes—integrated learning and university/community experiential learning—as it demonstrates how to engage students with new information related to journalism practice and community newspapers. In doing so, Introduction to Journalism students learned about news writing and reporting, blogging, news organizations, media critique, and they gained important skills in information literacy. Their experiential learning effectively addressed the misconceptions they brought into the classroom. It put students on common ground as they researched local newspaper organizations, conducted interviews in newsrooms, reported findings via student news blogs, and produced news articles for a community newspaper. By scaffolding the assignments, students learned journalism practices such as identifying W’s and preparing interview questions at the same time as learning about community newspapers. This immersion into their learning allowed students an opportunity to reflect individually and collectively about how journalism gets produced and what role they might play in producing it themselves. The poster will represent visually the overlapping process students engaged in throughout a quarter in the University of Washington Bothell’s Introduction to Journalism course taught to first-year to senior undergraduate students. Additionally, the poster will include a discussion of best practices learned through student blogs, student reflection essays, and instructor observations during the three most recent times the course was offered.