The StMU History Media Project
The StMU History Media Project is conceived as an independent organization that gives students at St. Mary’s University a real-world experience working to edit and publish articles and showcase edition magazines while planning for the biannual Award Ceremony and participating in decision making for growth and outreach. The WordPress web-site purposefully gives students the experience of working in a real-world publishing environment. The products of the website are a variety of narrative non-fiction articles based on the historical research and writing of students at St. Mary’s University. Students are “hired” with a starting job title of “Writer.” As they engage in the job, they develop their research skills, analytical skills, citation skills, media skills, and writing skills. Their “work assignments” follow the same kind of workflow that they would encounter in a real publication firm. They submit their articles to a workflow, where it is reviewed by an editor, who often sends their articles back for revisions before finally pushing the articles up for publication on the website.
Successfully published Writers can then apply for a promotion to “Senior Writer,” where their status is enhanced by receiving a “raise” in the form of receiving more points for the same kinds of article-products as they produced as Writers. And they receive an expanded range of article-products they can produce at their new level. Successfully published Senior Writers can then apply for a promotion to “Editor,” where they can take on additional levels of responsibility, as well as receiving an additional raise.
The organization began in August 2016. It currently has produced over 700 articles that have received over 34,000 comments. It has established a Facebook presence and a Twitter feed. The project began with Dr Brad Whitener and his four classes. It has expanded to five professors and eight classes. The project is scalable to include professors from multiple disciplines, and it is malleable to accommodate a variety of curricular objectives and teaching styles.