4992 Course Assignments and Grading
Course Assignments and Grading
Capstone students work in teams to conduct and evaluate research and create content and strategies for client-based projects in this course. The teams also present recommendations to the client and other interested journalists based on their work. The research may take several forms, including but not limited to:
- Conducting and/or analyzing the findings of a focus group of target audiences
- Analyzing user data captured by client web sites or mobile apps
- Conducting and/or analyzing the findings of online surveys
- Systematically evaluating the convergence efforts of traditional and non-traditional news operations across the country
- Conducting in-depth interviews with publishers, managing editors, station managers, news directors, promotion managers, web directors, engagement managers and others to learn what does and doesn’t work for them
- Reading and evaluating the latest writings on convergence from scholarly and popular sources
- Drawing on the theories and ideas presented in other classes you’ve taken at the university in areas such as economics, politics, sociology, ethics and art.
The capstone teams will make detailed oral and written presentations of their work to the Convergence faculty and Futures Lab staff, other interested Reynolds Journalism Institute personnel and the appropriate managers of external clients they work with.
Grades are based on professional standards. Your grade will be based on improvement and consistent effort. It will reflect the following percentages:
- Class participation, includes class discussion, written weekly team updates and “News of the Week” discussion – 25%
- Initial research and second project presentations — 10%
- Journalistic production – 25%
- Final capstone research/evaluation/presentation of findings – 30% (grad students will receive 20% for the final report and 10% for a one-page proposal to an academic or trade publication for an article about your project)
- Satisfactory completion of your e-portfolio — 10%
Class participation will include a 20-25 minute oral presentation and discussion of the week’s top developments in digital media and journalism that each of you will be responsible for once during the semester. This portion of your grade will also depend on your contributions to the weekly written project updates and your general participation in class discussions. See the course schedule. Look for extra credit opportunities to improve this portion of your grade.
If your work on a project is turned in after deadline, you will receive a 10% per day grade reduction. Failure to complete your part of an assignment will lead to a failing grade in the course.
In addition, if we must issue a correction in a story for which you were editor/producer, your grade for that assignment will be dropped by one letter. Additional action may be taken if you fail to properly perform an accuracy check. If you plagiarize any portion of a story, you will fail the course.
You will be graded on the plus/minus scale.
Once you have completed the project, your team will present a summary of its findings in four formats:
- A brief reflection (no more than the equivalent of two written pages) to the instructor(s) summarizing your personal assessment of the effectiveness of the project. Each team member is expected to write one of these.
- A PowerPoint (or Keynote, or Google doc or Prezzi or pdf) presentation with visuals to support an oral report of your team’s findings to the Convergence Faculty, RJI staff and other appropriate stakeholders. The presentation should be no longer than 40 minutes to allow at least 20 minutes for Q&A.
- A multimedia post for the RJI website that provides an overview and recommendations targeted at media professionals who might be interested in applying lessons learned to their own newsrooms.
- A formal, written research report presented electronically (Word doc, Google doc, pdf or web page) that includes:
- a one-two page Executive Summary of the most significant research findings and the challenges or opportunities those findings present for future convergence journalism projects
- effective use of tables, infographics, audio, video and/or animations
- citations, where appropriate, from class readings and other relevant works you have discovered in the course of your research.
- written summaries and multimedia samples of your story projects.
Total length: approx. 12-20 pages including graphs, charts, embedded media, etc.
July 27, 2017 by