MTSU students enrolled in Professor Clare Bratten’s Seminar in Media Issues class took their skills from the classroom to the real world this spring by creating a media campaign for the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute.
Their work came through Seminar in Media Issues: Project Real, an Experiential Learning class for students to produce media that benefits real clients in the Murfreesboro and Nashville area. Students learn theories and strategies that can be applied to creating media for these clients.
Under the direction of Bratten, an associate professor in electronic media communication, the class worked in teams to produce and deliver media campaigns.
For the foreign language project, Bratten’s students met with program directors for the institute’s ESL to Go program to discuss how best to reach its target audience of those interested in English as a Second Language.
The students then created web content, shot video and wrote scripts to present a comprehensive media campaign to the institute.
“The goal is to ‘enchant’ our clients as well as the intended audience,” Bratten told her students the first day of class.
With that goal in mind, the class began researching ESL to Go. The program has a simple mission: to offer English classes to those who lack transportation.
This is done with a 34-foot truck that’s specially designed and engineered to be a fully functioning ESL classroom on wheels. The unit comfortably seats 10 students and includes a teacher’s workspace and cabinetry for storage, as well as amenities such as white boards and a projector.
The students quickly drafted a proposal for the campaign and patiently waited for feedback from the nonprofit.
The class created the website, www.esltogo.org, and also created media to go on the site. Part of the process was meeting with and interviewing current students of the ESL program in Nashville. The interviews will be used as video in the final media campaign.
Meeting the ESL students proved rewarding and educational for the students. Not only did the class gain valuable experience, they have learned about new cultures and the struggles associated with learning a new language in a foreign place.
Seminar in Media Issues: Project Real is for advanced media students — specializing in electronic media production, journalism, public relations. In addition to the ESL to Go program, the spring 2013 class had as its clients the Nashville Symphony and Journeys in Community of Rutherford County.
The class includes students from the College of Mass Communication who learn a broad range of skills, from video editing and web design to interview and script writing.
— Jimmy Hart (firstname.lastname@example.org)