Faculty-led Inquiry into Reflective and Scholarly Teaching (FIRST)


Date of this Version


Document Type



Walsh, Jessica Fargen. "Measuring Student Success in JOUR200A: Fundamentals of Editing & Reporting I: A Beginning Writing, Editing and Reporting Class" (2021). UNL Faculty Portfolios, 183. https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/prtunl/183


A grammar error or typo on a resume can mean the difference between getting the job or having your resume deleted. Factual errors and inconsistencies can also affect a writer’s credibility. Accuracy, style, word choice and consistency matter for these reasons and more. Journalism students in particular should come to internships, classes and jobs with the skills they need to succeed. The course Jour200A: The Fundamentals of Reporting & Editing I attempts to meet this demand by providing all majors in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications with a strong foundation in editing and writing. This project sought to develop and deploy learning outcome measures to better understand the course’s weaknesses and strengths by examining student work and test scores from select students and a class of 19 students. Assessment tools were created and deployed in one section of Jour200A taught in spring 2021 and showed that student test scores improved from the first to the last week of the semester. Student writing success as assessed via rubric improved in all categories including writing, style and organization, but the rubrics and tests also provided guidance on areas of improvement. The learning assessment tools provide a baseline of knowledge about one cohort of Jour200A students that can be used to better understand how to assess learning outcomes in Jour200A going forward.