- Math for Journalists: Help With Numbers
- Self-Directed Course
- Time Estimate:
- This course takes about three hours to complete.
About Self-Directed Courses
In a self-directed course, you can start and stop whenever you like, progressing entirely at your own pace and going back as many times as you want to review the material.
Explore more than half a dozen of the most important math tools that journalists encounter — and have fun doing it.
This course covers everything from reducing fractions and other math essentials to topics specifically for journalists, such as calculating costs of living and estimating crowd sizes. The goal is to make routine math routine.
Along the way, you’ll find a range of resources to give you additional learning support. Quizzes, activities, interactive activities and games — complete with high-score boards — offer fun ways to learn the math basics that every journalist needs to know.
What Will I Learn:
Upon completing this course, you will be able to:
- List the terms, syntax and rules for performing calculations necessary for math proficiency
- Work with fractions
- Perform arithmetic more accurately and efficiently
- Find help – both on and off the Web
- Calculate a percentage and recognize the subtle differences between percent change, percent of total and percentage points vs. percent
- Calculate means, medians and modes, and know when it’s best to use each as a measure of "average"
- Compare numbers more meaningfully by creating ratios, ranks and rates
- Understand the basic approaches to and pitfalls of calculating cost of living, weighted averages and crowd estimates
Who should take this course:
Anyone who wants to get better at the routine math every journalist needs when writing or editing a story, covering an event or creating infographics. If you don't know how to calculate a crowd estimate or don't know the difference between percentage points and percents, this course is for you.
Debbie Wolfe is CEO at Debbie Wolfe Consulting, adjunct professor of journalism at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, and former technology training editor at the St. Petersburg Times.
For this course you will need to have at least version 7.0 of the Flash plugin installed. For the best experience, we suggest that:
- PC users use Internet Explorer or Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox
- Mac users use Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox or Safari
- You set your monitor resolution to 1024 x 768 or higher
- You use a high-speed connection