Sunday, October 26, 2008

PR Pedagogy

PRSA Detroit—This conference is always a nice blend of academics and professionals. Professionals add validity by talking about full time experience in the field. Academics add scientific rigor by sharing research involving large samples from which generalizations can be made.

But I also like getting together with other academics to learn from their ideas for pedagogy, or ways to teach PR. It’s affirming, in that we at GVSU are already doing things most others are doing, and its innovative, in that there are always new ways to approach teaching, and new things to teach. My students, in talking to lots of other students, concur that GVSU's PR program is where it should be.

Among the ideas here that resonate with what we’ve been talking about at GVSU:
  • Using portfolios to assess students, possibly as a major-specific capstone course;
  • Using current events in the fundamentals course to get students to be news consumers and thinking broadly and critically about PR, incorporating the RACE process into current events assessment;
  • Integrating IMC (Integrated Marketing Communications) into the classroom;
  • Discussing how professionals use ethics to guide their decisions, and teaching students to make ethical decisions as professionals; possibly replacing the philosophy course on ethics with a PR specific ethics course;
  • Using professional case studies to teach new media technologies.

    More faculty and new classroom technology would help with all of the above.
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