Creative courses: Can you top these?

Interesting new courses can come from any direction. Ronald Yaros of the University of Maryland runs the Information Lab 3.0 and implements the newest digital media in his courses. The classes encourage students to use the latest devices to become technologically literate and collaborate in virtual environment. Winners of the Teaching News Terrifically in the 21st Century contest have a variety of creative ideas. Here are a few more innovative courses:

As a class exercise, choose a level, review the items and answer the questions:

Flashlight: Check out two of the newer classes: the Knight Center at the University of Texas’  Mobile Reporting Course, taught by Nebraska professor Gary Kebbel, whose teaching materials are here;  and Understanding Media by Understanding Google by Owen Youngman of Northwestern University. Do you cover these subjects in your school?

Spotlight: Media Bistro offers courses for the general public on journalism, marketing, public relations and other media based fields. Compare the courses offered there to the webinars at and to general classes on Coursera.  Are there classes you wish you were taking but you aren’t? Do you think you could take everything online and still receive a well-rounded education? Report your findings to your school’s department head.

Searchlight: As a class project, play the Be a Reporter game at News University, but give it a twist: recreate it as a live event on campus. Use older students as the game’s sources. Assign each one of them a character. Give them either electronic or index card versions of the game’s “answers.” Have them spread out around campus. The class would follow a map to find the sources at their mock locations (students health center for hospital, etc.) In this version, students can ask whatever questions they want. The “sources” then decide if the questions are close enough to deserve giving out the clues or whether they should provide irrelevant responses. Over time, evolve your own version of the game. Write back to NewsU sharing your version.

Extra credit: Develop your own teaching game using a tool like Kodu Game Lab.