Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Using Posterous as a first-year student journalism teaching tool

It may be only July, but online journalism lecturers are eagerly preparing for the next intake of wide-eyed undergraduates in October. There has been a lot of change on the online journalism course at UCA in Farnham. For example, we’ve started using a group news site based on WordPress for first year students in semester […]

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Planning a live, multimedia newsday for journalism students

Today sees an experiment in both teaching and accreditation for the journalism courses at UCA Farnham. Rather than treat the scheduled accreditation visit from the Broadcast Journalism Training Council as a kind of external examiners visit, showing BJTC members boxes of completed student work, UCA aims to demonstrate student skills in action. The five visiting […]

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Four rules for online journalism student success

As online journalism student assessment looms once again, here’s a handy guide for J-students on how not to mess up their web site assignment. This is aimed at students who create in WordPress, but can equally apply to other platforms. Or, probably, almost any similar student assignment. In brief: Start early Do it for real […]

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

My first OU science project

My bid for scientific credibility has finally got off the ground with my very first Open University science experiment. You can see the high-precision, high-tech equipment I’ve been devising to help me undertake Activity 2.1: Measuring Precipitation – part 1. It’s all a bit primary school – but actually quite instructive. After cutting down the water […]

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Are undergraduate drop-outs voting with their feet?

This week’s HE news is that graduation rates have slumped, pushing us to 15th place in the OECD rankings. It’s a disaster that is threatening our economic recovery, warn university vice-chancellors (no special interest there, then) and university unions (likewise). It’s an odd counterpoint to the summer’s news that unemployment among graduates has risen a […]

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Ladybird Junior Science: ideal grounding for the Open University

Further exploration of my exciting new Open University Exploring Science course material reveals its true pedigree. Its progenitor is the wonderful Ladybird Junior Science series, which used to edify and entertain the youth of yesteryear, before they discovered Miaow Miaow and Asbos. The pack contains an intriguing box of small rocks and a magnifying glass, which […]

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

The appliance of science

Regular readers will be aware that Freelance Unbound has a habit of taking the modern media to task for being, basically, scientifically and statistically illiterate. Clearly though, the blog risks ending up a hostage to fortune, as I inevitably make the same mathematical and scientific errors that I castigate others for. For this reason, I […]

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Online journalism by the book

I’ve been rewriting some undergraduate course descriptions for online journalism and I’ve realised I have one big problem with them. I can’t think how to update the recommended student book lists. One problem is that whatever I choose has to have longevity. Every time a course is rewritten, it has to be validated by an […]

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

Interns and the plummeting value of a university degree

The BBC has caught up on the whole unpaid internship debate. The Your Money segment on BBC News 24 on Saturday March 13 featured a new web site set up by disgruntled former intern Alex Try. Interns Anonymous is quite well done, actually – with video documentary material, surveys and resources for interns. It’s also a […]

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

How to avoid paying for internships – be more valuable

There’s been a recent flurry of condemnation in the J-blogs over the question of whether employers should charge interns for work experience (“No!” is the answer). Emily Fraser Voigt [Update: original blog post deleted] asks “isn’t it hard enough already for new graduates?” and adds: It seems to me like a callous way to exploit young […]