National University

General Course Information for JRN502: Essential Digital Competencies

Course: JRN502 - Essential Digital Competencies
Textbook: For the correct edition of the textbook assigned to a specific class, go to:

Course Description: Guides students through online tutorials and DVD training in four technical areas of journalism: 1) digital video editing, 2) audio recording and editing, 3) interactive content creation on the Web and 4) image/photo editing. Students complete online tutorials or DVD training in each area in which they lack basic proficiency. Students must take tutorials or training unless they can demonstrate proficiency in one or more of the areas before the second week of class begins. Work demonstrating a student's proficiency must be received and approved by the instructor during the first week of course work to fulfill the "test-out" option. Grading is by S or U only.
Course Learning Outcomes:
  • Analyze best practices in the use of blogging, Social Networking and web page creation
  • Execute image/photo editing techniques by completing the 8.75-hour online tutorial on of "Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials" and send completed practice files to the instructor.
  • Display mastery of digital video editing techniques by completing the 10.75-hour online tutorial of "Final Cut Pro 6 Essential Editing" as well as the 9.25-hour online tutorial of "Final Cut Pro 6 Essential Effects" on and send completed practice files to the instructor. NOTE: Similar tutorials are available for Avid, Premiere and Vegas.
  • Deconstruct videography techniques by completing the 2.5-hour online tutorial on of "Digital Video Principles." Exemplify videography techniques by watching DVDsandamp;#8212;available through the instructorandamp;#8212;on videography basics, lighting for video and advanced videography techniques, and send video examples of your work to the instructor.
Specified Program Learning Outcomes:
    • Analyze news and information gathered from computer databases.
    • Compare past and present trends in news writing, reporting, and editing.
    • Create interactive online publications for a global audience.
    • Critique business models and evaluate their effectiveness in the emerging media world of contemporary journalism.
    • Develop digital informational content (text, graphics, audio, video) for dissemination across multiple media platforms.
    • Employ emerging media practices within ethical and legal boundaries.

Students with Disabilities:
Students seeking special accommodations due to a disability must submit an application with supporting documentation, as explained under this subject heading in the General Catalog. Instructors are required to provide such accommodations if they receive written notification from the University.

Writing Across the Curriculum:
Students are expected to demonstrate writing skills in describing, analyzing and evaluating ideas and experiences. Written reports and research papers must follow specific standards regarding citations of an author's work within the text and references at the end of the paper. Students are encouraged to use the services of the University's Writing Center when preparing materials.

The following website provides information on APA, MLA, and other writing and citation styles that may be required for term papers and the like:

National University Library:
National University Library supports academic rigor and student academic success by providing access to scholarly books and journals both electronically and in hard copy. Print materials may be accessed at the Library in San Diego or through document delivery for online and regional students. Librarians are available to provide training, reference assistance, and mentoring at the San Diego Library and virtually for online or regional students. Please take advantage of Library resources:


Contact the Library:

  • (858) 541-7900 (direct line)
  • 1-866-NU ACCESS x7900 (toll free)

Use the Library Training Tools (on the Library Homepage) for additional help

  • Recorded class presentations
  • Tutorials & Guides (APA/MLA, Peer-Review, and more)

Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else's ideas or work as one's own. Students must give credit for any information that is not either the result of original research or common knowledge. If a student borrows ideas or information from another author, he/she must acknowledge the author in the body of the text and on the reference page. Students found plagiarizing are subject to the penalties outlined in the Policies and Procedures section of the University Catalog, which may include a failing grade for the work in question or for the entire course. The following is one of many websites that provide helpful information concerning plagiarism for both students and faculty:

Ethical behavior in the classroom is required of every student. The course will identify ethical policies and practices relevant to course topics.

Students are expected to be competent in using current technology appropriate for this discipline. Such technology may include word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. Use of the internet and e-mail may also be required.

Learning to work with and value diversity is essential in every class. Students are expected to exhibit an appreciation for multinational and gender diversity in the classroom.

As a diverse community of learners, students must strive to work together in a setting of civility, tolerance, and respect for each other and for the instructor. Rules of classroom behavior (which apply to online as well as onsite courses) include but are not limited to the following:

  • Conflicting opinions among members of a class are to be respected and responded to in a professional manner.
  • Side conversations or other distracting behaviors are not to be engaged in during lectures, class discussions or presentations
  • There are to be no offensive comments, language, or gestures