Some years I have 30 students in my broadcast journalism class. Some years I have a dozen. No matter the number, I prepare a production cycle with two goals in mind:
1. each student gets a shot at doing a job that interests him/her
2. the skilled, hard-workers are rewarded with the top jobs.
I typically end up with 3 to 5 rotation weeks, giving students multiple jobs over the course of the cycle, since we produce a daily, live show. I run the class like a TV newsroom and their roles reflect those found in a professional environment:
- Student Producer
- On-air talent
- Technical director
- Floor manager
- Teleprompter operator
- Field reporters
Jobs rotate based on the week. This year, I have a five-week rotation schedule. (You can download a PDF of the schedule here.) I ask the students in the spring to let me know their preferences for the following school year, and then I start filling in the chart.
Absences can be problematic, so students are responsible for letting their classmates know when they will be out by posting on the class’s Facebook group. When the students realize that they have to depend upon each other in order for the show to work (and to hit air), they tend to take their responsibilities seriously.