New Media -‐ the challenge for traditional media, advertisers and communicators -‐ Erasmus Course Evaluation Lecturer: Ana ADI Session 2011/2012 Semester 2 – May 2012
At the end of the New Media course, the 25 participating students were asked to take a survey in order to evaluate the New Media course together with the lecturer’s method, approach and enthusiasm. The evaluation survey was accessible online leaving students with the option of taking it at their own pace and in the absence of the lecturer. To avoid bias, students were asked to submit their answers before their final grades were delivered. 15 out of the total of 25 participating students in the course took the survey, offering responses from 60% of the course participants. The survey’s structure of the previous semesters has been maintained. Overall, 66.6% of the responding students (10 out of the 15 respondents) found the course, the overall content and the overall teaching effectives as “excellent”. All other answers recorded rated the course as “very good” or “good”. 1. Overall course evaluation results Asked to evaluate specific aspects of the course or the teaching process, the students responses confirm the high evaluations of the overall course as most of their answers provide “excellent” or “very good” ratings. The lecturer’s enthusiasm was rated by the majority of students as “excellent” followed by equal evaluations of “the lecturer’s use of technology”, “the lecturer’s availability to offer extra help when asked” (80%, 12 out of 15), “the lecturer’s use of examples and illustrations” and “the lecturer’s ability to present alternative explanations” (73.3%, 11 out of 15). This indicates that the lecturer’s support is not only needed but also very appreciated when the course is problem-‐based and the students’ learning is the result of an exploratory yet applied process.
2. Specific course elements evaluation Among other aspects of the course evaluated were the relevance and usefulness of the course content (60% excellent, 9 out of 15), the balance between theory and practice (46.6% excellent – 7 out of 15 -‐ and 53.3 very good – 8 out of 15) and the use of class time (40% excellent, 40% very good – 6 out of 15). 3. Other course dimensions evaluated
Three qualitative questions were part of the survey as well. They aimed to determine the areas that students most liked or disliked as well as identify elements that students would have wanted the course to cover. Even with the course covering 7 sessions at a total of 24 hours of contact, some students still suggested the course to take even longer or to be scheduled in such a way as to provide them with some decompression and/or reflection time. With regards to the content covered, the students answering the qualitative questions indicated a desire to generate marketing/advertising campaigns. With more students coming from a business background, this suggestion is not surprising. Two students suggested that the impact of new media on journalism practice assignment would be replaced with something else, another writing for the web activity being suggested as an alternative. 4. Suggested improvements One the changes suggested makes reference to the new media impact on journalism day and practice. Taking into account that most students in this semester had a background in business and/or business administration, their suggestion reflects
their different subject interests as well as their contact with journalism. However, discussing about creative industries and new media production and influence without making reference to journalism, citizen journalism would depict an incomplete picture. Finally, among the things the students liked the most were the interactivity of the course, the social media audit exercise and the perceived expertise of the lecturer. 5. “What did you like more about this course” answers Observations and Conclusions: All the answers given to the questions asked are in the higher positive range with the majority being in the range of very good and excellent. The areas marked the students as being excellent (obtaining also the majority vote) were: • The relevance and usefulness of the course content (60%) • The lecturer’s interest in whether they learned (53.3%) • The lecturer’s enthusiasm (86.6%) • The lecturer’s use of technology (80%)
• the lecturers encouragement given to you to express yourself (66.6%) The practical aspects of the course were mentioned as strong points of the course and good learning experiences. It should be noted that this semester featured two individual assignments and one teamwork project. To showcase the student’s assignments the students chose wordpress as their showcase platform: http://kathonewmedia.wordpress.com The students final projects will also be shown on in this space. It is notable that many of the students indicate as an important factor the lecturer’s enthusiasm and support. As with previous semesters, this shows reiterates the potential, if not the need, for courses to be delivered in a more interactive way where students are constantly given challenges to solve together with the lecturer. Having a problem-‐based learning approach in this case is perhaps the best solution, ensuring the students apply and/or discover the content they need in order to fulfil their tasks. Recommendations and suggestions: Taking into account the students’ observations and in an attempt to make a link to the areas determined in the course evaluation as having a potential for improvement it is suggested: • Extended encouragement to use alternative platforms • Extend the discussion to hardware changes and impact • Present the journalism day in a different light to make it relevant to business students.