My experience developing and teaching online courses was one of the reasons I got my current job, teaching journalism at Indiana State University. The online courses are expanding here, and I have already been asked to look into developing an online media-law course.

But navigating the years ahead should include frank discussions about how to give online students the flexibility and the access without sacrificing the relationships, the spontaneity, the adventures. Journalism programs, in addition to creating online courses, could do more community outreach to demystify the field for those who feel disconnected from The Media. Conventional programs should attempt to include online students in campus events and involve them in student media. Enrichment experiences, such as conferences and workshops, should include online students.

Stephanie’s weekend in New York was the first of many new experiences journalism has brought her. She has contributed stories to small newspapers in the Indianapolis region while working her way through school. This fall, she will begin her senior year in the online journalism program at St. Mary-of-the-Woods. We need more students like her.

 

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Lori Henson , PhD, is a journalism lecturer at Indiana State University. She previously taught campus and online courses at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.