Introduction to mass communication research

A live video guest lecture to KathoNewMedia students by Dr Mugur Geana.

Photo: Peter Budai

I have started teaching my New Media course at Katho last week. This is the third edition, medications or better-said, the third semester when I am teaching it. Like with previous semesters, I am trying to continuously update the course and bring projects and speakers that can inspire the students.

Today was the time for me to be the host of a guest lecture. Dr Mugur Geana, whose classes I joined several times before as a guest lecturer, was our guest. While students today had to experiment with online research tools, Dr Geana spoke about traditional research methods and gave students a crash course into qualitative and quantitative research methods of mass communication.

Judging from the students’ reactions, attention and engagement with the content and Dr Geana, the lecture was a succes. After the lecture some even indicated that the presentation managed to clarify questions that their courses at home  weren’t able to do. For this, many thanks to Dr Geana.

Unfortunately, we have encountered many technical difficulties all due to the weak internet connection available in the classroom. Soon after we started we had to abandon TokBox since both the video and audio connection were interrupted. After switching to Skype we encountered similar problems. We started with live synchronous video, then had only our class stream video and finished by relying solely on the audio connection provided by Skype running the powerpoint presentation from the computer’s hard-drive. Even when using a cabled rather than wi-fi the sound quality was fluctuating from poor to fair and only sometimes to good.

The experience from today confirms once more that introducing live video guest lectures into the daily teaching process is a simple and affordable way to enable students to have international contacts and examples. It also emphasizes once more the necessity of investments in internet infrastructure of schools, which could later lead to a change in the teaching process: more fluid, more open, less space confined.


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