Archive for January 21st, 2014

This continues my series of posts on advice for a new journalism professor. This is a guest post by Pam Fine, Knight Chair for News, Leadership and Community at the University of Kansas.

Pam Fine

Pam Fine

It’s not unusual to hear professors moan about grading, not just because it can consume entire weekends — which it often does — but because of the tension over how much and what kind of feedback on assignments is actually helpful.

Many professors I know, including myself, continually experiment with ways to provide comments that are constructive and instructive.

As some educational experts say, today’s college kids were “not allowed to skin their knees.”  So, it’s important to provide honest feedback in a way that’s effective for a generation used to getting positive reinforcement.

My advice is to be as clear as possible about your expectations, and self-edit so your key points stand out. (more…)


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Chris Snider, photo linked from Twitter avatar

Thanks to Chris Snider for his blog post responding to my call for advice for a new adjunct journalism professor.

Chris, who teaches at Drake University, offers 11 tips on teaching journalism, including this one:

Presentations are better than papers. When a students writes a paper, the only one who gets to share in that knowledge is me. When students give a presentation to the class, we all can learn something new.

If you teach journalism, especially if you’re new, I encourage you to read Chris’ post.

I welcome guest posts for this series from other journalism faculty — adjunct or full-time. You can post to your own blog, as Chris did here, and I’ll link to you. Or email me at stephenbuttry (at) gmail (dot) com and I’ll post your guest post here.

Or if you’re a current or recent journalism graduate, I’d be interested in your observations about what your professors did that was most effective and what didn’t work as well. Please name any professors you’re praising, but I’m not interested in giving you a chance to publicly bash professors you didn’t like.

Earlier advice for a new journalism professor

Advice for a new journalism prof: Teach lessons a variety of ways

7 types of content to include in journalism classes

Curt Chandler’s advice to a new J-prof: Don’t assume, show examples

J-prof’s challenge: Use experience to teach specific lessons, not to bore

Teaching advice from Kathleen Woodruff Wickham: Learn how academia works

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