Student Journalists and Digital Scientists Present Innovative Group Projects

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This semester, 14 students from the schools of Journalism and Mass Communication and Digital Sciences worked together in the collaborative course called Web Programming for Multimedia Journalism, led by JMC Associate Professor Jacqueline Marino and James Raber, instructor of Digital Sciences.

As a final presentation for the class, three student teams produced innovative digital projects, all of which address a social issue or problem faced by their Kent State student audiences.

The group projects were titled TechProtect, Know Harassment and 20 Minutes KSU.

TechProtect is a collaborative effort that focuses on how students can protect themselves in from cybercriminals in the massive digital landscape. The student team for TechProtect produced a source of easy-to-understand information that can help anyone be more safe online.

The student team for the web project, Know Harassment, created a survey to gather data about cyber harassment among Kent State students. In addition to revealing data on prevalence, the website is a place to share stories and inform students about how they can prevent and end cyber harassment. 

The third student team developed 20 Minutes KSU, a website that  helps students discover things to do within 20 minutes of Kent State University. The locations featured range from bars to canoe sites, from music venues to orchards. The website includes in-depth articles about each location and helps users decide which venue to visit based on their interests.

“When you put student journalists, designers, web developers and other digital scientists together in a classroom for 15 weeks, great things happen,” says Jacqueline Marino, JMC associate professor and co-instructor of the course. “The environment is more like a business startup than a classroom, more like what these students are going to face in the real world. It is absolutely thrilling to see how these projects emerge.” 

James Raber, the Digital Sciences instructor who co-taught the course, was impressed by how well the students got out of their comfort zones while creating their projects.

“Even more impressive is how well the teams shared information on various frameworks and design/coding approaches throughout the semester,” Raber said. “This level of collaboration among teams has benefited all involved and has lead to some really fantastic work." 

The projects were unveiled at a public presentation at 1 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 8 in the FirstEnergy Auditorium of Franklin Hall.