Since it's just a couple weeks before we start gathering data, I'd like to give a quick introduction to the methodology ccLearn (the education program at Creative Commons) is using for our Student Journalism 2.0 research project.
For journalism students, participatory learning in the digital age requires more than hands-on reporting, writing, and publication of stories. Instead, participatory learning requires embracing the capabilities of the Internet for virtual collaboration, viral dissemination, and feedback loops that inform and deepen original stories. All of these web-based opportunities depend on knowledge and pro-active application of open content licensing, such as with Creative Commons, and appropriate metatags and technical formats.
And while Student Journalism 2.0 aims to educate students on these topics in as participatory a way as possible, we are also actively researching how students and teachers respond to the concepts in the hopes that we can refine and deepen the impact that the engagement has on students.
So, to gather data about these behavioral responses, we will be: 1) observing and documenting changing classroom activities, 2) recording video and audio feedback directly from students, and 3) recruiting an outside researcher to analyze the project's effectiveness.
In addition to the external research report, internal lessons learned during this pilot project will be documented in anticipation of a national-scale, follow-up project. We expect that all of the media produced for this project will be suited for scaling up, as well as for expansion into other opportunity areas for participatory learning. Our research data will be used to further refine those materials.
We expect to document some incredible stories regarding the global reach of the student articles; moreover, we expect the impact of the feedback loops and participatory processes on the student work to be profound, and hope to be able to convey our data about that impact at the end of the project.