All your Mediactive questions answered
The second session of the News Co/Lab’s media literacy course kicks off Sept. 13. Unsure if the free, three-week course is for you? The News Co/Lab team answers your questions about technology, time commitment, grading and more in this FAQ. Learn more about Mediactive: How to participate in our digital world.
Q: Why did you create this course?
A: For some years now, we’ve been teaching digital media literacy at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. We believe all adults should have the opportunity to better understand and participate in our information ecosystem.
Q: Who should take this course?
A: Anyone who has an interest in improving his or her ability to handle our increasingly complex media ecosystem. But we’re focusing on adults here, especially people in three major demographic groups: first-time voters, Gen-Xers and senior citizens.
Q: Do I have to pay anything to take the course?
A: The course is free.
Q: What kind of time commitment is required for this course?
A: Approximately 6 hours total, between the self-paced learning activities and the weekly live events, but users may spend more or less time in the course depending on their learning speed.
Q: What do you mean by “live”? Can I enroll at any time?
A: “Live” sessions of the course are supported by the instructors. During these sessions, many people will be completing the course at the same pace and will have the opportunity to interact with each other and the instructors with more immediacy. These sessions will also feature live interviews, including Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales. Following the live sessions, the enrollment will be open on a rolling basis. Our next live session starts Sept. 13.
Q: How do I sign up?
A: You can enroll through ASU Continuing and Professional Education. All you need is an email address.
Q: Do I need a Facebook account?
A: A Facebook account is recommended but not required. We will be hosting moderated conversations in a Facebook group created for course participants, but this is an optional experience.
Q: Do the instructors grade my work? Do we get any kind of recognition for completion?
A: We won’t give you grades the way we do in the college-level courses we teach. We will ask you if you understand the material, and offer supplemental help if you aren’t sure. When you complete the course, we’ll send you a PDF certificate that says you did it.
Q: You say the course is “adaptive.” What does that mean?
A: Unlike some courses you might have taken in the past, this course has different “paths” that adapt the material to your learning style and interests. You can think of it sort of like how Netflix suggests movies to you based on what you’ve previously watched, but in this case it’s based on how well you’ve understood the content to that point.
Q: Can I share the material in my own class, with my friends, etc.?
A: We’d be grateful if you would share the course widely!
Got a Mediactive question? Post it as a comment or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quinlyn Shaughnessy is a Mediactive teaching assistant with a love for all things media-related. She holds a BA in Mass Communication & Media Studies from ASU’s Cronkite School and can usually be found typing, reading or watching.