National Teaching Fellowship discussion paper – Update

The Australian National Learning and Teaching Fellowship validation paper and final report on Journalism Capstone units in Australian Universities will be ready for circulation in December 2016.

It will include the findings from face-to-face interviews with more than 30 Journalism academics at 16 universities in Australia. Journalism educators will be encouraged to comment on the list of principles, standards and examples of best-practice.

For background information on Capstone units – please view the links under the “Key Capstone Documents” menu.
The aim of this OLT National Teaching Fellowship is to produce agreed graduate outcomes, principles and best practice to inform the development of journalism capstone units for use among Australian universities that offer undergraduate journalism degrees and majors.

Currently, 30 universities in Australia teach journalism, and roughly one-third of them officially use at least one journalism capstone unit in their undergraduate program. From September 2015 to June 2016, I conducted face-to-face interviews with journalism educators at 16 universities in 5 States to discover what they understood by the term “capstone”, the type of capstone(s) they used and the skills they wanted their students to demonstrate.

A key aim of the Fellowship is to identify common principles and standards for them, and for the other tertiary journalism programs in Australia that want to introduce journalism capstones into their course, even though some run units that could already be identified as capstone units.

Discussion Paper

The first draft of a discussion paper on Journalism Capstone units in Australian Universities will be circulated for feedback in late June.

It will include feedback and examples of best-practice based on face-to-face interviews with Journalism educators at 16 universities in Australia.

Latest News update

The aim of this OLT National Teaching Fellowship is to produce agreed graduate outcomes, principles and best practice to inform the development of journalism capstone units for use among Australian universities that offer undergraduate journalism degrees and majors.

Currently, 30 universities in Australia teach journalism, and one-third of them (10 universities) officially use at least one journalism capstone unit in their undergraduate programs. From September 2015 to February 2016, I conducted face-to-face interviews with journalism educators at these 10 universities to discover what they understand by the term “capstone”, the type of capstone(s) they use and what skills the students have to demonstrate.

A key aim is to identify common principles and standards for them and the other 20 tertiary journalism programs in Australia that want to introduce journalism capstones into their course, even though some run units that could be easily identified as capstone units.

I organised a one-day workshop in February 2016 on journalism capstone units with journalism educators at four universities in Perth, Western Australia. These included Edith Cowan, Murdoch, Curtin and Notre Dame universities. None of these universities used the term “capstone” in their journalism courses.

From March to December 2016, I aim to gain a consensus from journalism educators in Australia on standards, principles and best practice and then an agreement to create and apply these in their journalism courses.

For essential background information on capstones – please view the links under the “Key Capstone Documents” menu, taken from http://www.capstonecurriculum.com.au.

Key aim of the ALTF

Australian Learning and Teaching Fellows logo
Key aim of the ALTF programme

The aim of this Fellowship programme is to produce agreed graduate outcomes and standards to inform the development of a journalism capstone unit for use among Australian universities offering undergraduate journalism degrees and majors.

It will facilitate improved collaboration with industry to ensure universities fully understand the needs of industry through close interactions with news editors.

Abstract

Journalism capstone units for journalism programmes to facilitate the demonstration of graduate skills and capabilities

1. The aim of this Fellowship programme is to produce agreed graduate outcomes and standards to inform the development of a journalism capstone unit for use among Australian universities offering undergraduate Journalism degrees and majors.

2. It will also facilitate improved collaboration with industry to ensure universities fully understand the needs of industry through close interactions with news editors. The programme will also seek to address the considerable differences in the structure, content and delivery of tertiary journalism degrees as identified in previous OLT projects. This variability in courses has contributed to significant differences in standards and difficulties in measuring graduate capabilities.

3. This Fellowship will work towards providing, for the first time, a series of agreed criteria and standards to guide teachers in the design and implementation of journalism courses and the implementation of a final-year journalism capstone unit which effectively demonstrates and measures agreed graduate capabilities.