The impact of online tutorials on students' ability to compose journalistic writing

Irsanti Widuri Asih
Universitas Terbuka

Compared with the face-to-face mode, distance education often encounters more difficulty in enhancing students' practical skills. Students in the Department of Communication, in the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences of Universitas Terbuka, are required to achieve advanced competencies, one of which is to handle complex skills in order to develop a good quality of journalistic writing. The department attempts to address this issue by promoting 'e-journalistic exercises,' a programme which has been developed for the subject The Techniques of News Writing. This programme utilizes Moodle, an open source course management system (CMS), to facilitate students' active engagement in journalistic exercises with the tutor and their fellow students. Through these tutorials, students are taught the skills needed to develop certain kinds of journalistic writing, such as features writing.

Having been run for two years, this programme has created opportunities as well as challenges. This paper discusses and explores those challenges and barriers, and seeks to find the best possible solution for adopting the 'e-journalistic exercises,' which are able to equip students with advanced journalistic skills.