Emergent media prepares students for media-centric world

Emergent Media Program

“I like this class a lot, because it’s not just all technical skills,” said Raijene Dreuitt, mass communications major. “We’re getting to learn how to work with other people, developing professional skills in working with a client. This is the first time I’ve gotten to work with a client, so this class has prepared on that level.”

It’s no secret technology is constantly changing and often at a rapid pace. So is the world of mass communications, particularly media.

And now Bloomsburg University’s mass communications program is set up to align students with both through its new emergent media track, which also includes an option for a minor.

“We want (students) to have experiences that simulate working in the mass communications industry,” said David Magolis, associate professor of mass communications, who designed the emergent media program. “These hands-on experiences teach students invaluable skills such as face-to-face and mediated communications, teamwork, website and graphic design, and how to be a leader. These are skills hiring managers expect from our graduates, and are skills we incorporate into the curriculum so our students are prepared for internships and jobs.”

This fall, students studying multimedia are not only getting their feet wet in emergent media but are getting real-world experience in the process. Through BU’s Center for Community Research and Consulting, the class partnered with the Berwick United Way in identifying local non-profit organizations in need of a new website.

According to Magolis, students are learning all facets of web design starting with the foundational concepts of internet networks and quickly advancing to learning how to create, design, and implement a fully functioning website.

“Halfway through the semester, the course progresses to the web design application portion of the curriculum where the students partner with local non-profit organizations to help develop their web presence,” said Magolis, adding the process started with a student-client website interview. “Students and clients shared their ideas for the website, talked about the website design, and the students gathered content for the website.

“Throughout the website development process, students maintain open communication with the client, demonstrate good web design principles, and facilitate a balance between the client’s ideas and good web design practice.”

Magolis said upon completion of the websites, a debriefing meeting between the students and clients is held during which students present their final websites to the class and show the clients how to maintain their website.

“It grounds us as students, enabling us to work with people who are already professionals,” said Andrew Turnure, mass communications major. “Since it’s something already intensive, such as website design, you’re going to be working with a lot of people in the future.”