Online journalism education in Rwanda: students find value in the Experiential Learning Approach
Keywords:Online journalism, Digital pedagogy, Journalism students, experiential learning, SOTL, Scholarship of teaching and learning, global south, social media, Rwanda, news
The digital age is reshaping media industries locally and globally, forcing media firms and media producers to master new media tools in order to remain competitive and employable. This technological revolution has had a marked impact on the structures and economic viability of media, necessitating media training institutions to rethink how they prepare future media professionals for work in the twenty-first century. In order to keep pace with these rapid technological changes, educational institutions have had to adjust journalism curricula to integrate online or multimedia journalism courses that build online competencies and the technological skills needed for graduates to flourish in digital media domains. Despite these efforts, industry players still decry the apparent unpreparedness of graduates, largely attributing this to the learning approach taken by universities.
Quality skills training has been argued to ensure that learners can relate with real work life. However, in countries like Rwanda, little is known about whether these new strategies are fostering the knowledge, skills and professional dispositions needed to work in a country that is undergoing rapid technological and economic change. Drawing from experiential learning theory, this study uses five focus-group discussions from five Rwandan journalism schools to glean the views of final-year students on how trainers employ practical pedagogy to cultivate students’ online skills in readiness for employment. Findings reveal that students consider the experiential learning approaches to be essential to their perceived online readiness. These enhanced skills were achieved using digital scenarios relating to students’ future work environment. However, the perceived quality of this experience varied from trainer to trainer, based on a range of factors including their how students perceived the trainers’ attitudes towards new media, their perceived ability to teach the digital skills and the learners’ own digital experience and competence.
How to cite this article:
NJUGUNA, Joseph; JJUUKO, Margaret. Online journalism education in Rwanda: students find value in the Experiential Learning Approach. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in the South. v. 3, n. 2, p. 84-101, Sept. 2019. Available at:
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
How to Cite
The copyright to this article is transferred to Sotls (including without limitation, the right to publish the work in whole or in part in any and all forms of media, now or hereafter known) effective if and when the article is accepted for publication thus granting Sotls all rights for the work so that both parties may be protected from the consequences of unauthorized use.
The copyright transfer covers the exclusive right to reproduce and distribute the article, including reprints, translations, photographic reproductions, microform, electronic form (offline,online) or any other reproductions of similar nature.
The authors warrant that their contribution is an original work not published elsewhere, that they have the full power to make this grant and that the article contains no matter unlawful or which invades the right to privacy or infringes any proprietary right.
Reproducing Published Material from other Publishers
It is absolutely essential that authors obtain permission to reproduce any published material (figures, schemes, tables or any extract of a text) which does not fall into the public domain, or for which they do not hold the copyright. Permission should be requested by the authors from the copyright holder (usually the Publisher, please refer to the imprint of the individual publications to identify the copyright holder).
Permission is required for:
1. Your own works published by other Publishers and for which you did not retain copyright.
2. Substantial extracts from anyones’ works or a series of works.
3. Use of Tables, Graphs, Charts, Schemes and Artworks if they are unaltered or slightly modified.
4. Photographs for which you do not hold copyright.
Permission is not required for:
1. Reconstruction of your own table with data already published elsewhere. Please notice that in this case you must cite the source of the data in the form of either “Data from…” or “Adapted from…”.
2. Reasonably short quotes are considered fair use and therefore do not require permission.
3. Graphs, Charts, Schemes and Artworks that are completely redrawn by the authors and significantly changed beyond recognition do not require permission.
In order to avoid unnecessary delays in the publication process, you should start obtaining permissions as early as possible. If in any doubt about the copyright, apply for permission. Sotls cannot publish material from other publications without permission.
The copyright holder may give you instructions on the form of acknowledgement to be followed; otherwise follow the style: “Reproduced with permission from [author], [book/journal title]; published by [publisher], [year].’ at the end of the caption of the Table, Figure or Scheme.
Authors should understand that consistent with Sotls’s policy of encouraging dissemination of information, each work published by Sotls appears with the Sotls copyright and the following notice:
“Intellectual properties and scientific inventions published with Sotls are protected under International and National Copyright Laws and Treaties. Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. Copyrights for components of this work owned by others than Sotls must be honored. Abstracting with credit is permitted. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee.”
However, it is at the discretion of SOTLS if the copyright notice should be included in the published manuscript.