Grant helps students edit, write in more inclusive ways

· 3 min read

Grant helps students edit, write in more inclusive ways

Jessica Fargen Walsh
Jessica Fargen Walsh is an assistant professor in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, where she teaches editing and reporting classes.

The demonstrated success from Center for Transformational Teaching grant winner Jessica Fargen Walsh shows that embedded videos in Canvas could be a helpful addition for instructors teaching Associated Press style or journalistic writing and editing to expand the perspectives of students. This could also help instructors keep up with the ever-changing nature of editing.

In alignment with the N2025 strategy, the Center for Transformative Teaching awards CTT Teaching grants to Husker faculty. During the 2021-2022 academic year, Jessica Fargen Walsh, an assistant professor in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, used her CTT grant to have Buoy, a student-run advertising and branding agency within the college, produce a series of videos featuring diverse journalists talking about inclusive language. The videos for Walsh’s project, "Language Choices in the Media: Editing and Writing for Inclusion and Equity," were designed to be embedded in the Canvas course for JOUR 200A. The course is part of the core classes in the journalism college, required for all majors. After watching the videos, students took quizzes and wrote reflection papers on each video’s editing topic.

“I intentionally recruited and represented diverse voices so students of all abilities, races and genders could see themselves being editors," Walsh said. "The journalists discussed editing content while being inclusive and consistent when it comes to passive voice, race, personal pronouns, ethnic groups and disabilities.”

Evidence of how the project impacted Husker student learning was evaluated through open-ended quiz questions. For many of the topics, students had never heard of or thought about the issues.

“One editing goal in JOUR 200A is for students to think critically about language choices," Walsh said. "These videos helped reach that goal.”

Students aren’t the only ones who learned from this project.

“I learned a lot about how I can be a more inclusive editor, particularly around issues of personal pronoun use," Walsh said. "My interview with Sara Ziegler helped me see how editors are addressing and editing for this issue and what their thought process is.”

Sara Ziegler is a sports podcaster and editor formerly at and now at The New York Times.

Pedagogic Intervention grants support faculty in exploring learning experiences that promote experiential, interdisciplinary or active approaches, whether teaching face-to-face, hybrid or online courses. CTT is committed to student success through inclusive, innovative, research-informed teaching. Faculty use grant funds to create transformative learning experiences that engage students in co-creating knowledge, increasing interdisciplinary inquiry, demonstrating achievement and preparing for their futures.

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