Assessment: More than just a dirty word

By Kay L. Colley

Texas Wesleyan University

College Media Review - 3 Advisors V3


Assessment: Just the mere mention of the word can send chills up and down the spine of any new or seasoned student media adviser. Whispered in hushed tones or thrown around as an expletive, this 10-letter word connotes educational balderdash, busywork and just plain wrong-headedness to many in the ranks of college media. But much like student media advisers are misunderstood by administrators, assessment is misunderstood by many student media advisers.

According to the National Academy for Academic Leadership, assessment is a process that describes the current situation of a person, program or unit providing evidence of this analysis. Assessment involves goals or outcomes, processes and inputs. Some assessment methods can include surveys, focus groups, portfolios and direct observation with multiple assessment methods being the preferred way to demonstrate meeting goals or outcomes. Continue reading

Blogs as varied as bloggers themselves

‘You just never know what is going to grab interest’

By Pat Winters Lauro
Kean University


Drake University student Rachel Weeks was midway through spring semester when a blog post she wrote for a magazine writing course about turning a T-shirt into a tank top hit Internet gold – 60,000 hits.

MugLogo_Lauro“She posted a picture to Pinterest and it just exploded,” said Jill Van Wyke, assistant professor at Drake’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Des Moines.  “It was eye-opening.  You just never know what is going to grab interest.”

Now that even the Pulitzer Prize has been bestowed on a blog — The Huffington Post for investigative journalism — it begs the question:  what makes a good blog?

First, blogging is not journalism; it’s a delivery system. Many blogs are promotional in nature or advocacy blogs, an important distinction for students.  But within the profession, what makes a good journalistic blog depends on the type of blog it is, which can be as different as the sports page is from the op-ed page in a newspaper.  Still, Weeks’ post, the blog equivalent of a service feature, possessed common blog elements that resonated with its audience: it was concise, targeted a specific audience and it was interactive.

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