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We love Leap Day. (Yes, we even have a pogo stick in the NewsU labs today.)
And we want to share the fun with you. So on this special day, we've got a special discount on our training.
Black Friday. Gone.
Cyber Monday. History.
Today, Nov. 29, 2011 is Training Tuesday. This is the day where you give yourself the gift of training. And Poynter NewsU is here to help by offering you a great, one-day only, opportunity to save big on all of your training purchases.
You get half off all of our Webinars, video tutorials and self-directed courses that have a fee. (This offer doesn't include seminars or packages for which we already offer discounts, such as training packages and the 2012 Social Media series or book packages.) You can purchase as many items as your shopping cart will hold. The more you buy, the more you save.
To take advantage of this limited-time offer, enter the promo code 2011BTUESDAY when you check out. It's good until 11:59 p.m. Eastern time Nov. 29. After that, the Training Tuesday savings are gone until next year.
Take care of yourself. Give yourself some Poynter NewsU training. What better way is there to celebrate the power of learning.
Inspired by holiday shopping traditions such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Poynter's News University introduced Training Tuesday last year, giving the NewsU community an opportunity to stock up and save on great journalism training offerings. The tradition continues this year, but with one key difference: it's one day only.
So, check your email early on Tuesday, Nov. 29, and look for the email with your promo code. Use it to get 50 percent off all of our Webinars, video tutorials and self-directed courses that have a fee.
We have just crossed the halfway mark for our Introduction to Journalism e-learning class. We've done eight Live Lectures and will have our eighth Live Chat later this week.
As part of NewsU's Introduction to Journalism (J101) pilot program, more than 240 students from our partner schools, Missouri State University, Florida Atlantic University and Cal State, Fullerton, are leveraging the expertise of Poynter as part of a 16-week, college-credit course. The students are learning the basic skills and values of journalism through the use of live video teaching by Poynter faculty and adjuncts, as well as lessons drawn from more than two dozen self-directed modules on NewsU.
Now, our efforts turn to finding the next group of pioneering schools for this innovative journalism education program.
We've learned a great deal about how to conduct this form of education, and I believe we have done a good job giving students a positive experience. Here's what one student had to say:
On Saturday, Oct. 15, NPPA/NPPF teams us with Poynter NewsU for our third all-day video workshop, Video Storytelling with the Pros. It’s a Webinar. It’s a Webinar with a studio audience. It’s great teaching from four great teachers:
As we finish the first third of our semester, it seems like a good time to look at how the Live Lectures are working.
Good news: The Live Lecture from Poynter faculty has been outstanding. The teaching has been consistent, engaging and to the point of helping students understand journalism. The less than happy news: Students have decided they prefer the "anytime" approach to viewing. While the folks at Poynter NewsU think this is fine, I can't help but be a bit wistful for the missed opportunity for students to engage with the Poynter lecturer.
However, we wanted to learn and adjust. So, we dropped the second lecture,
We just got closer to our 200,000 user milestone/celebration with the registration of our 195,000 user today, Sept. 22, 2011. This note is just a handy way to ask you, all users, to tell NewsU has we've helped. Did you teach you something? Did we help you get a better job? Or even just a job? Did we make it easier for you to get an "A" in class? Share your stories at our Share Your Stories page. We have prizes to give away, such as training passes, free Webinars and more. Top prize: an iPad. Share and win.
As we work with our academic partners, we find new ways to help teachers in the classroom. And that means we also help students with their journalism education.
Our latest tool is something we are calling a "Digital Course Pack." Working with University of South Florida journalism professor Wayne Garcia, we created an assessment package for a series of self-directed courses. Garcia is using three different Digital Course Packs in three different classes this semester. The course packs are assigned, much like a textbook, and they count for 15 percent of a student's grade.
We see Digital Course Packs as an online supplement to in-class meetings and traditional texts. And while educators have always had the ability to use our self-directed modules as part of their teaching, Digital Course Packs provide additional critical features: tracking and assessments.
We assess the student's learning via multiple-choice quizzes and track other information such as time spent and number of log-ons. To keep track of all of this information we created a new feature on NewsU, the Instructor Dashboard. Here's a view of a student's activity on the dashboard.
We kicked off the J101 / Introduction to Journalism course this week. No major issues. Most of the students got into their virtual seats without any human intervention. (A few got sidetrack because of some coding, but we moved them into the right sections.)
So, did NewsU learn anything yet? Coming off summer into an e-learning module, especially for those who are new to online learning, can be a challenge. Perhaps next semester, we'll push back our opening lecture to later in the week. (Next post will share some thoughts about our first Live Lecture, which was terrific.)
The coordinator instructor at Poynter for this project is Aly Colon.To help students ease into the new instructional method, we produced a short (3 minute) video. It welcomes students outlines the overall themes of the course. I thought it was worth sharing so we made it available here.
On Friday, Aug. 19, 2011, we turned on our first 16-week e-learning module for university students. As you know, we'll be teaching across multiple campuses and with different tools from our online training kit. Of course we don't know whether these students have had much experience with online education. All the research indicates they might taken an online class, especially if they have been in college for a couple of years. Even our own NewsU evaluations surveys have shown a big jump in the number of participants who have had e-learning experience. In 2005, 48 percent said "yes." In 2011, that number was 70 percent.
We have spent lots of time thinking about the student experience as we designed both the content and the interface for this course. Given our different methods of online teaching -- synchronous and asynchronous -- we recognize that more content could cause confusion and hinder effective learning.
Our solutions took two approaches.
First, make sure the online navigation was clear and with specific instructions to the students. In other words, it wasn't going to be enough just to say "go learn from this module." It was more important to say "go to this module, read this section and look these elements."
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