Disruption and innovation: Online learning and degrees at accredited journalism schools and programs
Laura Castaneda, University of Southern California, United States
University of Southern California . Awarded
Compared to many other disciplines, the online degree phenomenon is rare at the 113 journalism schools accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC) in 2008-09. Although some type of online learning is taking place at accredited programs, just 13 percent now offer or plan to offer online degrees. Their reasons for doing so include administrative and student interest, technological support to faculty and students, and enrollment concerns, according to semi-structured interviews with faculty and administrators, and a survey that garnered a response rate of almost 72 percent. Factors that help with the development of online certificate and degree programs are faculty commitment, administrative support, and technological resources such as infrastructure, as well as training and support for faculty and students. Factors that hinder the development of online certificate and degree programs are skepticism about the ability to teach skills online; keeping up with the media industry’s constantly evolving technology, and the lack of technological support for faculty and students. The reasons schools do not offer online degrees nor have plans to do so include the lack of faculty incentives or rewards for teaching online courses, the lack of time given to faculty to develop online courses, little faculty interest in online courses, and the belief that online courses are not as effective as traditional courses. In addition, just 21 percent of schools that offer or plan to offer online certificates or degrees reported using computer games or simulations, and no school is using or planning to use a 3-D virtual world community. Viewed through the lens of innovation theories by Rogers (2003) and Christensen (2006), this study indicates that journalism schools and programs may see a surge of online programs in the near future, and early innovators may be carving out new markets by targeting clients who have no other alternative (i.e., non-traditional students).
Castaneda, L. Disruption and innovation: Online learning and degrees at accredited journalism schools and programs. Ph.D. thesis, University of Southern California.
Citation reproduced with permission of ProQuest LLC.
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