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Missouri State University’s Media, Journalism, and Film department has announced a new Introduction to Journalism class for the fall, but this class will be taught by an outside party. KSMU’s Mike Donnelly reports.
The class will be listed as an online class. Andy Cline is an associate professor of journalism at Missouri State University.
“It’s being developed in cooperation with the Poynter Institute as part of a grant that they received from the Carnegie Foundation to investigate developing classes online for colleges and universities,” he says.
According to its website, The Poynter Institute is an organization that trains journalists and journalism educators.
It’s an experiment that’s being closely monitored by both institutions, and Cline says it benefits MSU specifically because of faculty restructuring and other factors in the fall.
Cline says that while the class will be taken mainly online, the lead instructor will meet with students on several occasions. He or she will also bring in professionals for the students to interact with.
“It can’t be the exact same class that you have in a seated section, but there are big similarities,” he says.
While some department faculty members have expressed concern over outsourcing the class’s curriculum, Cline says that those concerns are misguided.
“This is not outsourcing. This is a one semester experiment, using our curriculum, and we are in total control. To outsource something would mean we [would] go to the ABC university company and say ‘oh you have a journalism 101 course, we’ll buy this off the shelf.’ That would be outsourcing,” he says.
Cline says that MSU is one of two universities participating in this semester-long experiment to see if it might be worthwhile long-term.
For KSMU News, I’m Mike Donnelly.