The Classes We Offer

The Dallas Morning News Journalism Innovation Endowment ensures that students are developing an innovative mindset through the classes we teach.

Digital Innovations Capstone Class

As part of the Dallas Morning News Journalism Innovation Endowment, we teach a digital product development capstone course each semester. The cross-disciplinary course includes senior level students from across campus working on teams to create data driven innovative media products. Teams have built products for The Dallas Morning News, The New York Times, Univision, The Austin American-Statesman and others.

Students on Zoom present their mockup of a website

 The Transparency Portal Team worked with Hearst Media to ideate a public information request database. 

The class is structured to teach the students how to bring a digital product to fruition. Students are taught principles of design-thinking, and we use those methods to come up with product ideas and to develop them. They also learn about how to find the “market fit” for their product, how to plan out a roadmap and present their ideas. Our goal is to create journalists who can help invent the future when they get into newsrooms.

The course is taught by Innovation Director Christian McDonald, who serves as an associate professor of practice in the School of Journalism and Media.

Hand in hand with Innovation

These courses are separate from the Innovation Endowment, but many students take these courses as an additional way to develop their innovation skills. 

Introduction to Coding for Journalists

Upper division students learn basic coding skills and develop best practices used in digital newsrooms to create data-driven online presentations. 

Students learn programming languages including HTML, CSS, JavaScript among others. The goal is to introduce students to computer programming and give them an edge in the reporting landscape.

This course is taught by Prof. McDonald.

Example website a student created for the coding class

Using several programming languages, students create data-driven static web applications, including this built as an Austin tourism website. 

Reporting with Data

This class introduces the basics of computer-assisted reporting. Subjects include finding compelling data sets, cleaning and analyzing the contents, using data visualization and simple statistical models to accurately report based on the data, and presenting results through stories, charts and maps. 

The course is taught by Prof. McDonald and Dr. Josephine Lukito, who is an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Media.

App Development

This cross-disciplinary course includes upper division students from across campus working on teams to create iPhone and Android apps while using journalistic multimedia skills to promote their products.

The course is taught by Jeff Linwood, a lecturer in the School of Journalism and Media. 

Digital Storytelling

Through this course, lower division students learn about different forms journalism can take, which ranges from audio to video to social media. 

The course is taught by Robert Quigley, professor of practice for the School of Journalism and Media