Last semester (Nov 2007), as part of a module I teach called Magazine Design, I asked students to contribute to a wiki looking at magazines’ new media ventures. Each student was assigned a particular magazine sector (e.g. B2B or computing) and had to explore the websites, find information etc.
Some will think me cruel for making students look at the websites of the likes of Uniforms Magazine and Mailing Systems Technology.
If you’re a journalism educator and like the idea, I’d be hugely happy if you wanted to use the same wiki and allow students to build on and update the existing content. The password is ‘nmm‘. The original assignment brief, if it helps, is here.
And regardless of whether you’re an educator or not, if you want to contribute to it anyway, that would be great too.
PS: Some interesting notes from the process:
- The wiki was split by magazine genre; students were given broad instructions on what to cover, but the form was up to them. Despite that, they seem to have converged on a ‘format’ – introduction; site-by-site overview; concluding analysis. Was this because they copied what each other was doing?
- Students found the wiki process productive – the ability to see how other students were approaching the task was helpful, while a competitive element emerged, too.
- This obviously creates legacy material for future students to build on, while the public nature of it (and the fact I told students I would publish the address on my blog) helped with motivation.
If you have your own experiences with wikis in education or journalism, I’d love to hear them.