‘What The Best College Teachers Do’

Book Review and interview with author Ken Bain

By Carolyn Schurr Levin

Sometimes a book comes along that justifies repeated exploration years, even decades, after it was written.

“What The Best College Teachers Do,” by Ken Bain, is such a book.

What The Best College Teachers Do by Ken Bain

Although it was published in 2004, its insights are uniquely applicable to journalism professors and college media advisers in 2017.

The book, which has become a top selling book on higher education, has been translated into 12 languages and was the subject of a television documentary series in 2007. It captures the collective scholarship of some of the best teachers in the United States by not just recording how they think but also conceptualizing their practices.

Bain’s premise is simple. During 15 years of study, he looked at what the best educators do to help and encourage students to achieve remarkable learning results.

Of course, that is what we all want – remarkable learning results. We strive, every week, to guide out students to achieve those remarkable results. Sometimes we succeed. Sometimes we don’t. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a roadmap toward that success? That is where Bain’s book comes in.

“I centrally focus on how people learn and how best to foster that learning,” Bain said in a recent telephone interview from his office at the Best Teachers Institute in New Jersey. The institute, according to its website, “collaborates with faculty and administrators to transform their curricula, courses, and even individual class sessions into powerful new learning experiences for their students.”

Continue reading ‘What The Best College Teachers Do’

Research (Vol. 55) — Street Smarts

Using Narrative Media Instruction and Experiential Learning to build Cultural Competency in Future Journalists

By Michael Longinow
and Tamara J. Welter

Introduction — Few lessons are more vivid from the presidential election of 2016 than the awareness that many of those most prominent in U.S news media do not know the real people that comprise audiences they claim to be serving[1]. Linked to this lesson is the attention given, since before that election, to the growing effects of “fake news” that uses stereotype and false perceptions of cultural reality to promote stories about marginalized people groups.[2]

Student journalism stands as a key resource for reform of these problems. As tools for guiding a grasp of critical thinking through investigation, narrative discovery and understanding of audience, the campus newsroom and classrooms of student media advisers have the potential to equip future leaders in American journalism with a deeper grasp of, and respect for, cross-cultural encounter, making students aware of the ways that audience can inform their approach to those far different from themselves.

Few research studies have brought learning theory to an examination of cross-cultural encounter as a teaching tool for guiding Millennials toward excellence in long-form journalistic storytelling in the 21st century.[3]  This paper will use experiential learning theory to show the ways that a cross-cultural pedagogy can have lasting effects on students’ approach to understanding themselves as journalists and their readers and viewers as a globally interactive audience. It will highlight ways in which experiential learning serves as an important pedagogical tool to bring Millennials from cross-cultural awareness to cross-cultural competency through encounter in pursuing long-form journalistic storytelling. It will suggest experiential learning as an antidote to cynicism among this age group about the role of fact-based journalism in 21st century media cultures.[4]

Continue reading Research (Vol. 55) — Street Smarts

News literacy

It’s an important topic for class and newsroom staff development

By Pat Winters Lauro

CBS President Leslie Moonves scandalously said during the run-up to the 2016 GOP primary that Donald Trump is “bad for America, but he’s damn good for CBS.”

Moonves was talking about TV ratings, but the same could be said about news literacy, which includes the development of skills to discern fact, opinion, bias and hidden agendas.

While news literacy has been discussed for years, new such discussions are burgeoning, thanks to Trump’s dismissing news stories critical of him, his family, or administration as “fake news” and calling the press “the enemy.”  These discussions are beacons for all who view journalism as essential to a free society.

News literacy is a topic for classrooms and college media newsrooms.

Continue reading News literacy

A Cautionary Web Tale

Cyber security issues hit too close to home

By Carolyn Levin 

As anyone who has advised a college newspaper knows, you never really get a vacation, even during the summer months when you publish less and may not be paid. Which is why, when I returned from a week away in early August (during which I really, truly tried to disconnect), I was not altogether surprised to discover that our newspaper website had been infected with a virus.

And, not just any little virus. When I opened the site on my first day back, just to take a look while starting to plan for the fall semester, the entire screen went red, with a warning notice, “ZEUS VIRUS DETECTED.”

Nothing subtle about that.

Continue reading A Cautionary Web Tale

Self-care and peer support

Dart Center provides sort of support important to journalists

The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, a project of the Columbia Journalism School,  has posted a series of links on how  journalists can promote and practice self-care and peer support.

Doing so, the center notes, helps protect journalists’ health and well-being and assists them in “staying resilient” in the face of pressures that may arise from reporting on difficult topics.

The resources are applicable to professional and college media.

The introduction by the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma and the links to myriad resources follow.

Like emergency workers and first responders, journalists have begun to recognize the need for safeguards and increased peer support to ensure their health, well-being and ability to do their jobs effectively. Continue reading Self-care and peer support

Assignment solar eclipse

College journalists provide multi-media coverage 

By Debra Chandler Landis
Editor, College Media Review
 
Fall classes at SIU weren’t even under way, and the Daily Egyptian student newspaper had a largely new staff.
But the student journalists, like their peers on other campuses covering the Aug. 21 solar eclipse, hit the ground running.
Below you’ll see examples of some of their work, as well as links to other collegiate coverage.
“Covering the eclipse was on-the-job training and a huge learning experience. We covered a variety of things,” said Athena Chrysanthou, editor-in-chief of the Daily Egyptian student newspaper at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. NASA scientists, broadcast and print journalists, residents of Illinois and other states were among several thousand people descending on the SIU campus to view the eclipse .

Continue reading Assignment solar eclipse

CMR’s Research Annual 2017 available for download

College Media focus of research activities

College Media Review’s Research Annual is now available for download from this site.

Click to Download

Volume 54 for CMR contains peer-reviewed research relating to college media and its practitioners that was published by the College Media Review (CMReview.org) during the 2016-2017 Academic Year.

To download a copy of this volume, CLICK HERE. Non-member downloads here will be available for a limited time. Members can access past CMR material inboxed the members only section of there CMA website.

For previous editions of the Research Annual, see the “Archive” link on the left column of the home page.

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Advising world full of surprises…

Adviser reflects on 23 years in the game

By Debra Chandler Landis
Editor

Students can surprise us for the good and the bad.

As is inevitable in college media advising, I experienced both.
And sometimes, we may forget that students arrive with life experiences, and as a result, may handle changes and challenges more readily than we might expect.
For example, this past spring, I dreaded, for whatever reason, telling the editor-in-chief and assistant editors of The Journal, the University of Illinois Springfield student newspaper, that i was retiring after 23 years on the job and that the university seemed to be moving at a snail’s pace to hire my successor. I wanted to tell then first before telling the entire Journal staff.
When I told  the editor-in-chief about my upcoming retirement and plans to develop a home-based  free-lance writing and editing business, she said something to the effect of, “Retirement isn’t a time for sadness. It’s a time to celebrate the person, recognize accomplishments, and consider opportunities ahead. We will have a party for you.”

Continue reading Advising world full of surprises…

Research (Vol. 54) — Joining a conversation at private schools

Lighting it up — Journalism as a conversation at the private university

By Matthew Salzano
and Joanne Lisosky
Pacific Lutheran University


Figure 1

Abstract — Student journalists at private universities do the hard work of turning the lights on in the darkened, pseudo-public spheres on their campus. Without a clear idea of who is obligated to be the teller of unsavory truths on the private university’s campus, student media must often take up the torch. Building on Jurgen Habermas’s and Alexander Kluge’s work on the “public sphere” and Doreen Marchionni’s “journalism as a conversation,” student media publications can be examined for their coorientation, informality, and interactivity. Using two stories from the student media of Pacific Lutheran University as a case study illustrates how a robust student journalism outlet is a vital component of initiating important conversations in the public sphere of the private university. This investigation includes suggestions for implementing these strategies at other private universities. Continue reading Research (Vol. 54) — Joining a conversation at private schools