Final Project

  • M   11/28 Introduction to Final Projects/Group Meetings Final Project
  • W   11/30 Group Meetings/Consultations on topic with me
  • F    12/2   Group Meetings/Final project proposals due
  • M  12/5   Group Meetings Final Project
  • W  12/7   Group Meetings Final Project/Evaluations
  • F  12/9   Final Project Due, Presentations

For the final project, you’ll be working in teams of four or five, creating an in-depth article and media package.  You’ll want to discuss with your group today about what you want to write about.  I will talk to each group Wednesday.  You will need a firm topic and reasonably detailed plan in writing by Friday Dec. 2. 

The project itself is ambitious, in eight parts:

1. Find an interesting, but feasible topic to research. Then research it,  finding multiple sources and doing interviews, in addition to any internet and library work.  Here are a few topic suggestions:

  • Take a look around you.  Was Fort Street ever a street?  Where’s the fort?  Was the Blaisdell Hotel ever a hotel?  Know anything about the cathedral across from your classrooms?  Is there a merchant association?  What else can you find out about Fort Street.
  • You go to school a block and a half from Honolulu’s Chinatown.  Know anything about its history? Its colorful past? Its transition into a cultural/arts/nightlife district?
  • What about HPU?  Know anything about the history of the school?  Its goals for the future? The nature of its student body? Its most successful graduates? Why it has two campuses?  Its new president?
  • Did you read the common book,  The Value of Hawai’i:  Knowing the Past, Shaping the Future?  Go to any of the events and speakers?  Did it make you curious enough to explore some of its topics on your own?
  • You know something about going to college now.  What would it take for you to have a highly successful college career?  Who could you contact to find out?
  • What’s it take to put together an award-winning college newspaper like Kalamalama?  A national championship Cheer Program?
  • Facebook.  Twitter.  Google+. Who are the hottest social media users in Honolulu?  What can you learn from them?
  • What innovative jobs are out there for Journalism students?
  • The best project is one that actually interests you.  Come up with one.

2.  Prepare a written magazine-style article of 650-1,000 words based on this research.  With photos.  If you are covering an event of some kind, you can do inverted pyramid stories instead.
3.  Do a blog post that presents some of the material in highly web friendly style. With photos.
4.  Do a short video or podcast, or at least gather some video or sound material and a broadcast script.  If you do an actual video, you can put it up on YouTube.
5.  Do an email newsletter on your media package.
6.  Put your completed project up on the class blog by Dec. 9.
7.  Give a 10-minute presentation of your project to the class Dec. 9.
8. Send me an email evaluating your own work in the project and that of your teammates.

There are two grades: A group grade and individual grade. Everyone should take part in the research, be the major contributor to some part of the project, and be a major help to everyone else on the team.

Notes on grading: My original plan for the course did not take into account all the in-class exercises we ended up doing.  If you were in class and did the exercise, you get credit for it, whether you struggled with it or not.  The 10 in-class exercises add up to the equivalent of one major assignment.

On the assignments, if you got a “Good,” that translates into an A, a K+ into a B+/A-, a K into a B, a K- into a B-/C+ and an R into a C- at best.

Here the fairest way to calculate the class grades: 75 percent for the grades already on the books (that is, the 7 assignments plus the total of the in-class exercises plus some bonus points for exceptional class participation) and 25 percent for the final project (giving everyone a chance to boost their grade).

If the final projects are good, everyone should be in good shape.  So take it seriously.


About John Heckathorn

These are my teaching sites for Hawaii Pacific University
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