Putting theory to practice : a quasi-experimental test of a new model for experiential teaching and a case study in broadcast journalism education
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] How journalism is taught matters to society, as the work journalists produce can shape publics' understanding of information. A debate between academics and practitioners has emerged over the future of journalism education, with many in the industry saying it's too theory focused, and many in the academy arguing it's too practice based (Deuze, 2006; de Burgh, 2003; Skinner, Gasher, & Compton, 2001). This study proposed and tested a new model for teaching journalism that is grounded in experiential learning and reinforcement. The goal of this Experiential Teaching Model is twofold. First, it aims to provide a theory-based framework for teaching journalism that articulates a step-by-step process for producing learning. Second, it aims to incorporate journalism theories and research into skills-based courses, to offer a solution to the debate over journalism education. The proposed model was tested through a quasi-experiment of an introductory broadcast journalism course, using a pretest-posttest control group design. Findings suggest the new model provides a more effective way of teaching broadcast journalism skills and theory than a traditional lecture format. Case study findings support and explain the quantitative results, and reveal this was the first time theory was taught in the course's history at the Missouri School of Journalism.
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