Title

What We Observed and Learned from New Media Education Approaches in Leading American Universities: Chinese Visiting Scholars’ Perspective

Poster Number

2

Lead Author Affiliation

University of the Pacific, Department of Communication

Lead Author Status

Faculty

Second Author Affiliation

School of Media Arts

Second Author Status

Faculty

Third Author Affiliation

School of Broadcasting and Communication

Third Author Status

Doctoral Student

Fourth Author Affiliation

Department of Journalism and Mass Communication

Fourth Author Status

Faculty

Fifth Author Affiliation

School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Fifth Author Status

Doctoral Student

Sixth Author Affiliation

Research Institute of Cultures

Sixth Author Status

Faculty

Additional Authors

Gong JIe, Communication University of China, Doctoral candidate

Introduction

This research, which is being conducted by six visiting scholars from five Chinese universities, will discuss the legacy that leading universities in the United States can offer to peers in China in education and curriculum innovations. These scholars spent one year in the United States conducting research, employed various methodologies including focus group, field observation, textual analysis and personal interviews to investigate how key American concepts and principles of new media education in those can be adopted for Chinese educators. The five American universities included Columbia University, UC Berkeley, University of Southern California, University of Missouri and University of the Pacific. The scholars mainly focused on journalism and communication schools for their curriculum designs and curriculum innovations for research purposes. The scholars found that the legacy in these American schools were consistent across all the institutions included. They found that curriculum focused on general education and fundamental skills development, experiential learning, professional orientation, research and innovation, and new concepts adoption and technology integration. The research explores the mechanism in the schools’ new media education innovation and creativity as well as examine how they integrate new media teaching and learning into the traditional core curriculums of journalism and mass communication. The visiting scholars’ research also offered critical perspectives on how to analyze and adopt the practical and application values of these concepts and principles in a Chinese educational context.

Purpose

The visiting scholars' research will focus on the curriculum innovations they observed while exploring new media programs. They will also discuss their observation of the challenges and opportunities in these new curriculums in adopting them for programs in China.

Method

This is a qualitative research which was conducted through a diverse methods including textual analysis, personal interviews, field observation and focus group. Researchers have done an extensive study of all the five American leading schools in journalism and mass communication to learn how these schools are using innovative methods in offering new media curriculums. This mixed method is expected to capture a comprehensive view of these school in new media course design, course offering and course development.

Results

The results are being developed and will be completed by April 25, 2017. Here are some highlights of what these visiting professors found: Hui Zhao, who has been conducting research at University of Southern California (USC) for a year, takes a field research approach to investigate how USC is leading in curriculum advancements in digital media education, new media integration, and new technology application. With an intercultural communication perspective, Jia Li examines how professors of USC Annenberg School of Communication combine theoretical concepts with professional training and practice in and out of campus. Her research is to compare the American and Chinese new media research and development and investigate how American professors turn research products into teaching materials. Through a textual analysis, Wei Bing explores Columbia School of Journalism’s legacy in offering the latest trends to train the world first-class professional journalists. Her research will examine how Pulitzer’s legacy is passed on to today’s educational orientation when media educators across the world are embracing new technology challenges in journalism education. By using a personal interview approach, Zhuo Chen examines the legacy of Berkeley teaching methods in teaching new media related courses. In particular, his research will be focusing on how those teaching methods are adjusted to cope with the changes of the American media market and how Berkeley students are cultivated to be market ready after graduation and responsive to emerging trends. Guang Xu takes a mixed methodological approach to look into the legacy of the first journalism school in the world, the School of Journalism at University of Missouri-Columbia (Mizzou). He found that the “Missouri Method” is known for its hands-on, experienced-based instruction, cultivating competitive journalism students for American media organizations. His paper revealed that the Columbian newspaper and TV Channel 8 - both run by the school - frequently beat the local newspaper and the television station in news and analysis. His research shows that Mizzou’s hands on approach in teaching journalism is a critical way to go. Jie Gong employs a focus group and personal interview methods to explore the successful experience and lessons learned in establishing Media X program, a New Media program at University of the Pacific. Her research focuses on how the Pacific curriculums are developed for the program, and possible adaptation of these curriculums for Chinese educators. Through her direct and personal contact, she observed lots of challenges and opportunities for Chinese counterparts to learn about. In short, this research project is designed to take an intercultural communication perspective in examining how we can meet challenges and embrace the opportunities created by these American leading universities, to find the relevant areas for adoption and implementation of those key concepts and principles in new media education, and adopt them to other cultural frameworks.

Significance

Journalism and communication education faces huge challenges in both the US and China with fast development of new technology and rapidly evolving media consumption habits by consumers. These changes are having adverse impacts on media around the world, prompting Chinese journalism and communication scholars to look outside their country for effective ways of teaching their students. The six Chinese visiting professors shared the same mission during their one-year stay in America, as they compared and contrasted different practices in teaching journalism and communication, particularly in new media curriculum innovation and development. Based on a study of American journalism and communication schools, the researchers selected the following schools for their focus in this project including Journalism School in Columbia University, UC Berkeley Journalism School, University of Southern California School of Communication and Various New Media research centers and programs, Journalism School in University of Missouri-Columbia, and University of Pacific. This study is designed to offer direct observation and analysis of how these leading universities’ legacy can be adopted for their Chinese counterparts. The researchers will share their thoughts with Pacific research community and solicit feedback about the challenges and opportunities in teaching new media and related curriculums across cultures. This research sharing is expected to generate some excitements from both Chinese and American teachers and scholars in terms of looking for best practices in teaching new media and communication technology to our students here and beyond.

Location

DUC Ballroom A&B

Format

Poster Presentation

Poster Session

Afternoon

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Apr 29th, 1:00 PM Apr 29th, 3:00 PM

What We Observed and Learned from New Media Education Approaches in Leading American Universities: Chinese Visiting Scholars’ Perspective

DUC Ballroom A&B

This research, which is being conducted by six visiting scholars from five Chinese universities, will discuss the legacy that leading universities in the United States can offer to peers in China in education and curriculum innovations. These scholars spent one year in the United States conducting research, employed various methodologies including focus group, field observation, textual analysis and personal interviews to investigate how key American concepts and principles of new media education in those can be adopted for Chinese educators. The five American universities included Columbia University, UC Berkeley, University of Southern California, University of Missouri and University of the Pacific. The scholars mainly focused on journalism and communication schools for their curriculum designs and curriculum innovations for research purposes. The scholars found that the legacy in these American schools were consistent across all the institutions included. They found that curriculum focused on general education and fundamental skills development, experiential learning, professional orientation, research and innovation, and new concepts adoption and technology integration. The research explores the mechanism in the schools’ new media education innovation and creativity as well as examine how they integrate new media teaching and learning into the traditional core curriculums of journalism and mass communication. The visiting scholars’ research also offered critical perspectives on how to analyze and adopt the practical and application values of these concepts and principles in a Chinese educational context.