Becoming blog savvy
By: Ariel Hooper
At the beginning of the Spring 2011 term, students in Dr. John A. McArthur's Comm306: Integrated Strategic Communication class were assigned the opportunity to embark on a semester-long blogging journey. The intentions behind the assignment were to help the students explore the world of social media through learning how to actively engage in blog writing. Educating students to capture ideas, thoughts, facts, and opinions in a blog format will help them enter the work-force with tools that communication students in the past may not have had the experience to gain.
By assigning this blogging experience, Dr. McArthur is providing his class with first-hand knowledge and practice in this particular aspect of online news writing that is flourishing in the communication field. In a time when social media is constantly changing and is at its height of popularity, companies are beginning to hire employees whose main duty is to blog for their organization and maintain their online presence. What could possibly be a better way for a student to create a professional portfolio to bring to a job interview for a position in the PR industry than to actively partake in this kind of classroom assignment?
Students participate in-class lab sessions during which their writing is edited by their peers and by Dr. McArthur. Allowing for this type of peer-editing is not only helping the students in the class to perfect their own personal style of online blog-writing, but it will help them to establish a foundation for their potential identity in the professional side of the online universe.
Tess Olander, an active blogger in Dr. McArthur's class, says, "I definitely see the importance of this assignment and how it provides leverage for me when I enter the work force. It is not only helping me to learn how to blog about newsworthy events, but it is teaching me how to properly structure my blog posts and include important pieces of information that the audience will want to read about." She also said she appreciates the portfolio that she will have created at the end of the semester and says that she is excited to bring with her to future job interviews.
Ariel Hooper, class of 2011, is a relational communication major and member of Lambda Pi Eta National Honor Society in the Knight School of Communication.