What my multimedia journalism students will learn this semester

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Our classroom at Temple University's Center City Campus

Our classroom at Temple University’s Center City Campus

The Spring 2014 semester at Temple University starts today (we’re delayed a week because of snow and ice), and as of 5:30 p.m., I’ll be back in the classroom with junior and senior journalism undergrads. We’ve got 15 weeks to explore multimedia storytelling. Here’s some of what we’ll do:

Websites: The first and ongoing assignment is for each student to create or upgrade an existing WordPress site. Over the course of the semester, they’ll post their assignments, create pages, add widgets and learn some HTML.

Discussions: What does “multimedia” mean, anyway? How can social media be an effective reporting tool? Who makes a good source? There’s a lot more to talk about, but in teaching this course last semester, but these were the recurring questions students had last semester.

Workshops: This is something I wish we’d done more of last semester. In addition to the introductory class workshop we do, students will be workshopping every assignment this semester. This will hopefully help them better flesh out their pitches and come up fresh ideas.

Resumes: Last semester’s students had to create resume pages on their website and add their current resume. But not every student had a resume or knew how to format one. This semester, we’re doing a resume workshop for a more in-depth look at what needs to go into a resume. What’s a good website without a summary of what’s on it?

Other assignments: Written stories, videos, live-tweeting, multi-component stories — all thoroughly developed, properly sourced and nicely presented on those shiny new websites.

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