This paper is a case study of the multimedia/converged media newsroom at Abilene Christian University. The multimedia newsroom designer created a space in which students are able to apply to student media products the theories and praxes they are discussing in the traditional classroom. Just as many professional news organizations move toward more converged environments, media educators must provide opportunities for students to learn in such environments. Through an exploration of constructivist learning theory and professional industry standards, the designer of the multimedia newsroom at Abilene Christian University gained an understanding of cognitive development and how it relates to learning, as well as professional practices and expectations for graduates. The multimedia newsroom comprises the print, broadcast and online student media products. Each of the products is a part of the whole -- each providing its unique advantages to the coverage of a story.
Students produce media in an environment that cultivates collaboration between faculty and students and among peers in a technologically advanced facility. The goal of the multimedia newsroom is to provide student learning opportunities in a progressive media environment that is functional, attractive and supports the curriculum. In addition to fostering understanding and respect among the staffs of different students media outlets, the newsroom has created a synergistic learning environment by providing opportunities for students to observe and participate in each other’s processes since it opened in January 2008.
|Keywords:||Multimedia Newsroom, Journalism, Convergence, Situated Learning, constructivism|
Assistant Professor, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Abilene, Texas, USA
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