Teaching design to journalists

Following the success of our first attempt of teaming up journalism and interaction design students last year, Dan Angus and I are doing it again. Classes began at the University of Queensland this week and, between us, we have a new cohort of 150 students who will work together to come up with innovate ways to practice journalism.

The course last  year was great: the students really got involved; we had some exciting projects; and the journalism cohort, in particular, began to see how technology and design impact the media industry. But it was not plain sailing and for the journalism students getting their heads around design thinking and methods was a leap. I’ve moved to address that this year and structured the theoretical components of the course more clearly around technology and design and made stronger links back to journalism.

There are now four core modules in the course. Below is an outline of each module and links to some of the resources I use.

1. Introduction

This module introduces the course and examines some of the challenges the media industry is facing. It introduces interaction design and explains why are exploring design approaches. Resources include:

2. The technological landscape

This module maps the technological landscape and suggests that there is plenty of opportunity for journalism to exploit new technologies. We cover hypertext, multimedia and interactivity and also look at gaming, ubiquitous computing and augmented reality. Resources include:

3. Design thinking and methods

In this module we tackle design methods, a bit of theory and what design is good for. Resources include:

4. Reflection

This module focuses on evaluating the design process and outcomes and evidencing the knowledge gained as result. Resources include: