Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Slouching Toward a Curriculum

The UGA journalism department, now made up of the old j-dept. and broadcast news, voted earlier today on its new curriculum. I wrote about it some time ago and the latest version looks close enough to it to let earlier version be your guide. Basically it's heavy on skills classes, heavy on newsroom work, heavy on students getting exposure to lots of different skills, such as work in video. The old 3410 lecture-lab class, for example, will go away. Students will do capstone classes tied either to the broadcast of NewsSource or work to put stuff on its web site (plus, of course, still doing stuff for R&B, etc.). Specialties include investigative reporting and there are classes in data and coding.

There were two votes against it, perhaps due to the overly undergrad aspect to the curriculum and its lack of flexibility, both reasonable arguments. One of the negative voters asked three or four questions, but never offered explicit criticisms. The other "no" vote didn't say a thing. In full disclosure, I'm not as happy about the new curriculum as others are, but I think it's an interesting approach and worth a try. I worry we may be creating generalists, not specialists. But I may be wrong (words, by the way, you'd never hear uttered by our two "no" vote faculty who, best I can tell after all these years, are never wrong about anything. Nor do they ever laugh at funny stuff in meetings. Sheesh.).

Okay, so what's next? The package of classes is sent later today to the Grady College curriculum committee. Assuming no problems there, it'll go to the Dec. 10 meeting of the entire Grady faculty. Assuming no problems there (yeah, yeah, lots of assuming), it'll head "up the hill" to the university curriculum process.

We hope to have a new and improved curriculum in place by Spring 2015 2016. Nothing happens fast at a big university, unless of course the president or provost or athletic department really want it, then stuff happens really really fast. Funny how that works.

No comments: