Some Distance Learning Project Options for Broadcast Journalism Classes

As with most schools, we were able to get third quarter in this spring and in my introductory Broadcast Journalism class, that meant we were able to get down the basics of video storytelling, video composition techniques and video editing.

Fourth quarter is there chance to take the pieces they have learned and put the knowledge together into some larger projects.

While we won’t be meeting together for the foreseeable future since the district is shut down for Covid-19, I do want to give the students some opportunities to continue the path they were on.

I will be rolling out this assignment sheet for them on Monday. Here are a few things I considered when making it:

  • I wanted to be flexible and give them options. There are so many variables out there right now with students and learning that I didn’t not want to be too rigid.
  • I wanted to give them some choice in what sounded fun.
  • I wanted to make sure they could do some projects with limited options for technology — limited either in what they had available to use or how long each day they had to use it if they were sharing with siblings.
  • I wanted to try and keep building on what they had been learning and what we planned to still get to.

On Monday, students will get this sheet and have until Wednesday to tell me what they would like to work on for the following three weeks. As you can see on the sheet, that includes things ranging from making a video to creating a podcast. I also gave them some options to take advantage of some online learning resources like Lynda and they could even pitch me an idea on something relevant that they’d like to do.

This is a time to be flexible, friends.

They can message me Monday through Wednesday to talk through potential ideas before they fill out the form if they’d like. On Thursday morning, I will go through the forms and see who wants to do what and see if there’s anyone I need to reach out to because they missed the deadline.

After that, I will take the students who chose “Make a Podcast,” for instance, and send them a packet to work through where they listen to some podcast, think through and pitch an idea for their own podcast and then make one of their own.

I will make myself available to answer student questions and give them feedback on their work throughout the week and I will have a weekly Google Form for checkin so I hear from everyone at least once each week. They will be able to update me on progress there and let me know what I can do to help.

Here’s the handout I’ll be using. I’ve also included .indd files below if you’d like to modify the handout for your own classroom.

If you have questions about this project or other ideas, I’d prefer you ask them in the comments below. I will answer them and I think the conversation there could benefit others as well. Having said that, feel free to email and reach out if you’d prefer. I’m happy to help.


Aaron Manfull

Aaron is in his 26th year of advising student media. He is currently the Director of Student Media at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Missouri. He is the Journalism Education Association Digital Media Chair and co-Director of Media Now. He is the 2023 JEA Teacher Inspiration Award Winner and is a former Dow Jones News Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year. He is one of the authors of the textbook "Student Journalism and Media Literacy." You can find him on X and Instagram @manfull. He's a proud father. A transplanted Iowan. And an avid Hawkeye Fan.

Aaron Manfull has 865 posts and counting. See all posts by Aaron Manfull

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.