Bruce Gillespie is an associate professor and program coordinator in Digital Media and Journalism at Laurier’s Brantford campus and is an award-winning writer, editor and journalist. For his fellowship research project, Gillespie explored how the use of storytelling and elements of game design increase engagement and help students better understand the connections between theory and practice.
“My digital reporting classes are designed as workshops in which we all have a chance to play and experiment with new tools and determine how they could be used in real-world situations. As students discover, it can be a challenging and frustrating experience, which is why I think it is worthwhile to offer them the chance to practise these skills in the safer environment of the classroom before they enter the workplace,” says Gillespie.
The foundation of my teaching philosophy is a belief in the power of storytelling as a means of knowledge acquisition and sense-making. This is as true for what I teach as how I conceptualize my own teaching practice. Although a great deal of my teaching involves skills training, I am also committed to engaging students in thinking critically about the journalism they consume, as well as the journalism they produce, by introducing them to evidence-based critiques of journalism from the academic literature.
“Reporting and Writing for News.” First-year students in this class have a lot of energy and curiosity, which makes for an active, engaging experience—for me and for them. It’s always interesting to talk about how journalism is created with first-year students, who are mostly used to being audiences as opposed to creators, and then guide them through the process of becoming reporters: learning how to research news stories, identify and interview sources and then write up what they’ve discovered in a clear, engaging way.
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