Teaching

My teaching has focused on digital journalism, social media and media entrepreneurship, combining theory and practice to provide meaningful educational experiences and enrich the career-readiness of students.

As the first digital journalism faculty member hired at the UBC School of Journalism with a professional background in radio, television and online, I have sought to develop a model of professional journalism education based on knowledge-enhancement, new media and interdisciplinarity, rather than on static craft development based on industry-specific norms and structures. My approach seeks to engage students through scholarly work and professional practice by extending classroom learning into digital spaces through applied educational projects.

Imagine Journalism Studio

I led the renewal of the curriculum of the School’s first-year foundation courses in 2007-2008 to integrate emergent digital trends and approaches through experiential learning and a conceptual understanding of the affordances of new media forms. Skill development is grounded in learning activities that foster reflexivity into how media is changing due to the interplay between technologies, journalistic practices and society.

As part of my work on the societal impact of digital media, in 2008 I developed and taught the first undergraduate journalism course, New Media and Society.

Prof. Alfred Hermida (left) and marketing instructor Paul Cubbon brought together business and journalism (Mark Mushet Photograph).

In 2012, I co-developed and launched the School’s first dedicated course on social media, Decoding Social Media. The course examined the impact of social media technologies and practices on news and information flows, in collaboration with the Sauder School of Business, combining community-based research with practical experiences.

In 2018, I co-launched a donor-funded course with Mary Lynn Young to teach entrepreneurial and business skills to graduate students, to enhance the career-readiness of students. The course, Imagine Journalism Studio, is taught in collaboration with entrepreneurship@UBC.

As the School’s fifth Director, my approach was to develop the School’s curriculum to combine theory and practice to graduate students ready for media-related careers. I led the expansion of the curriculum at the graduate and undergraduate level, during a time of transformation in both the practice and teaching of journalism.

At the graduate level, I led the introduction of modular teaching to offer targeted, self-contained learning experiences to create a more responsive and structured student experience that addressed emergent needs of professional journalism education.