This past spring semester, Patrick Schmiedt, assistant professor of communication, showcased his students’ work from an advanced media-writing course on a blog and Twitter page. The course ordinarily requires students to hand in hard copies of their work, but Schmiedt took the class in a new direction hoping other students and community members would see what NDSU students are writing about.
Schmiedt let his class pick an “umbrella” topic at the beginning of the semester, and they chose to tackle “growth at NDSU.” Students wrote about a topic of their choice. They completed interviews and took a photograph or video to accompany the story they chose to post. To format their stories, they used knowledge learned from other media writing courses, plus skills they learned in the course.
“Students were graded on adherence to Associated Press Style, conciseness, clarity, accuracy, balance, choice of sources, attribution, ability to hit deadlines … all the things that editors in a newsroom look for in a story,” says Schmiedt.
Shelby Deckert, senior in public relations and advertising and political science said, “I found the critiques I received to be very helpful, and because of this class, I now feel very comfortable writing news stories and writing in AP Style. This class has even inspired me to try and get involved with the Spectrum next year.”
Schmiedt hopes the project gets students interested in their school or community. He is continuing this project in his summer classes and will try to incorporate it in all sections of this course in the fall.
“One of my biggest frustrations as an undergraduate student was that my class work was always ‘class work.’ We never took our writing and put it anywhere where people might see it. Now that I’m on the other side as a teacher, I wanted to make sure that my students had the chance to see their work published. The best way to prepare students for that is to put their work out in public,” Schmiedt said.
NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.