Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Since 1991 I've taught some version of UGA's introductory newswriting class (once called jour341, then jour3410 as we decided an extra digit was cool). That's 24 or so years teaching the class, especially the mass lecture and, usually, at least one of the writing labs.
Moments ago I gave the last exam of the last class of 3410. Why? Because we've rewritten our curriculum -- in a good way -- and we even killed all the old numbers so everything starts fresh in Spring 2016. We have a few students in the old curriculum and we'll finish them up in the old classes, but for the most part a new cohort starts in January.
But (you sputter) what about an intro to newswriting class? It still exists, but it's called Writing Across Platforms (TV, online, print, social media, etc.). Instead of lecture-lab format, students will work with a faculty member in smaller groups of 20 -- what we in the biz sometimes called "intact groups." Much better, in my mind, and the entire curriculum follows this "across platforms" mentality.
There's still a big lecture but that's a completely different class called Information Gathering, a fact-finding lecture that will focus on public meetings, public records, finding stuff out, verifying info such as photos and social media rumors, and a whole lot more. And yeah, I'm the first person teaching it this Spring. I think I've got it worked out. I'll write more about that class over break.