A Capstone Unit for Tertiary Journalism Programs That Aims to Facilitate the Demonstration of Graduate Capabilities

December 17, 2015

Background to the Abstract

There is still a lack of agreement about what skills journalism graduates need for employment in the industry and how these can be demonstrated and assured. The variability in courses has contributed to significant differences in standards and difficulties in measuring graduate capabilities. In response to this situation, this article outlines the case for the development of a new journalism capstone unit for journalism educators that demonstrates graduate capabilities more accurately and consistently. This final-year capstone unit aims to provide, for the first time, a series of agreed criteria and standards to guide journalism educators in the design and implementation of a unit that effectively demonstrates and measures the required graduate capabilities. While no one is proposing a unified tertiary journalism curriculum, there must be a way to identify the minimum standards and test capabilities to be met by a graduate from a bachelor-level degree or enrolled in a major in the field of journalism. There is much to be gained from collaboration to develop consistent assessment criteria and standards.

About the Author

Dr Trevor Cullen (PhD) is Professor of Journalism at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia. Trevor is recognised as a national and international leader in the field of HIV/health Journalism and Journalism education. He has received several University and national teaching and research awards. These include two Australian Government awards – A National Teaching and Learning Fellowship (NTF) and the Australian Award for University Teaching. (AAUT).

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