Thursday, April 10, 2003

Strategies and realities
Developing a structure is a very different thing from studying or critizising it, which is why we have so many critics of everything, and so few real artists. These days I am struggling to develop a structure. And in this post I'll do what I claim in the title of this blog, I'll think with my fingers.

The Information Study at Volda college is being altered from a two-year study in a four-year cand.mag degree to a three-year bachelor study. Once upon a time I implemented the plans for the two-year study, and I now am leading education again, through the changes towards the bachelors degree. This is a unique chance to get rid of quite a few frustrating gridlocks.

The two years were split in four semesters, and the students had journalism, media theory and information/public relations theory and practice. Today there are still four semesters of required courses - or 130 points (1 full semester is 30 points), but they are scattered over the three years. This has disrupted the flow of the study, and worst of all, disrupted the experience of identity for the information students. In the third semester, for instance, I won't see the students at all, exept when I run into them in the hallway. This is not a good thing for the study, it breaks down the strong profile which we have in the business, and it limits the opportunities for the students when they leave the college. I need to rebuild a structure which takes care of the students, offers them good and relevant options in the semesters when they don't have required subjects, and still takes care of their right to not be here, if they choose to spend two out of six semesters elsewhere. I need to develop good optional courses, as well as change the required ones.

The most radical change of the required courses will be to take the students out of the journalism course and create a journalism course developed particularly for the information education. It's a half-semester course at beginners level for the journalists, and used to be one of the first things the information students did, but now they have to go through this course in the third semester, and will in certain aspects be a lot more advanced than their fellow students. I fear this will underline the already exisiting touch of antagonism between information and journalism students.

A more moderate change is to start an optional course in web editing. Inspired by Jill, I have an idea which I am trying to give enough substance that we can start it with a few students this semester. If it is a success, we will open it up for more students next fall, and establish it as a fairly advanced course in practical multilinear editing. I am writing the model now - had a three hour meeting between the start of this post and the end of it, during which I was trying to give the study form and content. As we know, they are interdependent...

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