MURFREESBORO — 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 real clients.
With the direction of Bratten, an associate professor in electronic media communication, the class worked in teams to produce and deliver media campaigns. For the TFLI project, Bratten’s students met with the program directors for the institute’s ESL to Go program to discuss what types of media would be most beneficial to successfully 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 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 TFLI and ESL to Go. The program has a simple mission: to offer English classes to those who lack transportation. The students quickly drafted a proposal for the campaign and patiently waited for feedback from the nonprofit.
The class produced media to appear on the program’s website, which was also created by the class (visit www.esltogo.org). 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 has the class gained great experience, they have learned about new cultures and the struggles associated with learning a new language in a foreign place.
Project Real is for advanced media students — specializing in electronic media production, journalism, public relations. The Spring 2013 class had as its clients the Nashville Symphony, Journeys in Community of Rutherford County and Tennessee Foreign Language Institute's ESL to Go program.
The Seminar in Media Issues class is comprised of students from the College of Mass Communication. The broad list of skills they’ve learned — from video editing and web design to interview and script writing — enable the class to create a complete and professional media campaign.
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