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Project Description

Faculty members: Lisa Taylor, Gavin Adamson
Type: Learning Objects


The topics for these six new modules were chosen after extensive consultation with our undergraduate faculty members.

The teaching that takes place in these modules is of two kinds:

  1. Technical training that can be returned to several times over the space of a journalism curriculum so that learning outputs are reinforced.
  2. Areas in which our students present the greatest divergence in competency—for example, some students enter university with solid numeracy skills, while others are unable to calculate a percentage change. Given the unevenness of knowledge from one student to the next, we concluded that the most effective and efficient way for students to learn these skills was at their own pace through self-paced and interactive online learning modules, rather than simply being expected to keep up with their peers in a lecture hall or lab.

These six modules can be used as stand-alone learning objects, or provided as a “set” of modules to enhance an introductory level course provided as a hybrid model. Each of the modules’ primary topics will be addressed in three to five minute videos that situate the learning outcomes in the journalism context. In each case, the end of the video begins a formative, self-assessment phase by asking the student to problem solve. Next, multiple-choices and true-false quizzes deliver more formative assessment, offering tips and full solution options.

Author Biographies

Lisa Taylor is an Assistant Professor in Ryerson University’s School of Journalism. Since 2008, she has taught a diverse range of undergraduate courses across all media platforms. Taylor has won several teaching awards, including the 2015 Dean’s Teaching Award for Ryerson’s Faculty of Communication and Design. Born and raised in Nova Scotia, she has also taught at the University of King’s College and Mount Saint Vincent University, both in Halifax.

A former CBC Radio and Television journalist, Taylor’s award-winning work includes a Gemini nomination, a B'nai Brith Media Human Rights Award and the “Best of Festival” prize from the Yorkton Film Festival. She continues to lead professional development workshops for CBC journalists across Canada.

Taylor holds both an LLB and an Master of Laws from Dalhousie University; she previously practiced civil litigation, and remains a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society. She has written extensively on issues related to the intersection of law and journalism ethics, and frequently appears in the media as an expert commentator; her scholarly interests include accountability systems and news coverage of sexual assault.

Taylor sits on the Canadian Centre for Court Technology’s working group and the Canadian Association of Journalists' Ethics Committee, and is a former member of the board of LEAF (the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund).

lisa taylor

Gavin was on a team at Ryerson University that lead the redevelopment and re-launch of the Bachelor of Journalism program for the 2015-16 academic year.

He currently oversees the digital platform of a masthead reporting course at the School at involving for fourth-year undergraduates and second-year graduate students. He teaches reporting to early year undergraduate students, sometimes including online teaching modules such as this one. Throughout his journalism career, Gavin was at Transcontinental Medias where he was senior writer then multimedia centre editor for, a financial services title. There he developed, launched, produced and oversaw the content on its online video platform, IE:TV. He worked at Bloomberg News in its London bureau as a multimedia producer covering the French markets and the European central bank. He began his career with the Ottawa Sun as a general assignment reporter.

Gavin co-created several full-length documentaries for broadcast television in Canada. He was nominated for a Gemini in 2008 for the Global TV documentary, Turner: In His Own Words. He wrote, shot and directed a short doc for the CBC’s Hockey Day in Canada in 2004.

He was cinematographer for Impedimento, a full-length Portuguese-language film shot in Brazil that won many International accolades including Best Feature Film at the 2009 Reel World Film Festival in Toronto.

As a freelance reporter, Gavin contributed regularly to the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business and several consumer finance magazines including the Canadian Investment Guide and the Money Planner.

He holds a Masters of Journalism (1997) from Carleton University with a specialization in film documentary. He graduated with BA and a double major in English Lit. and philosophy from the University of Manitoba (1991) and was involved in graduate studies in English Lit. there before heading into journalism. He attended early French Immersion school from grades one to nine but admits to a little rust now.

gavin adamson

Nicole Blanchett Neheli is the program Coordinator of and a professor in the Journalism program at Sheridan College. Her areas of expertise are television production and online news coverage. Her students’ projects have been internationally recognized: Digitally Dependent Relationships was a Data Journalism Awards finalist in the same category asThe New York Times#WhatAreTheChances won a national Emerge Media Award for Digital Design and was a finalist for an Online Journalism Award.

Blanchett Neheli received her undergraduate degree in Journalism from Ryerson, and also holds a Master of Arts in Professional Communication; her thesis was nominated for a Governor General’s Gold Medal Award and won the Diana Beeson Memorial Award for a thesis demonstrating excellence in scholarship. Her current areas of research include participatory journalism and its impact on public discourse—research that is showcased on her blog, Redefining Journalism.

She is a section editor and regular contributor for The Canadian Journalism Project: J-Source, and has acted as a jury member for the Gemini and Atlantic Journalism Awards. Before joining the academic world, she worked for Citytv in Toronto, Canada as a senior news producer, heading up a variety of newscasts, as well as working as a supervising writer and features and health producer.


nicole blanchett neheli

© 2015 Lisa Taylor, Gavin Adamson, Ryerson University. Journalism Skills is made available for public use under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND) license.

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