You are hereSJMC class aims to make CU a more informed campus
SJMC class aims to make CU a more informed campus
For students at the University of Colorado, finding answers to pressing questions is only a mouse click away. The Resolving Door Project, implemented by the university’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC), is a student-operated Web site that allows students and faculty to ask and answer questions concerning CU and the Boulder community.
In its second year, the Resolving Door Project is managed by students in a citizen journalism class at the university, who are responsible for marketing and modifying the Web site and moderating its user content.
The project is funded by a grant from the McCormick Foundation, who in its 50-year history has granted more than one billion dollars to organizations and communities across the country. The citizen journalism class is allotted 5,000 dollars each year of a two-year period under the terms of the grant. The money is used to maintain and promote the Web site, which has become a helpful resource for CU students and faculty.
"We are trying to build a platform to engage a community to resolve issues that matter to that community," said Resolving Door Project Manager Daniel Schaefer.
The Resolving Door project was initially taken on in an effort to challenge community members to resolve common problems within the community. It has since evolved to its current format. It resembles Yahoo Answers, a popular question-and-answer site in which users may pose questions and provide answers in largely the same manner.
"A lot of people responded to the question and answer format," Schaefer said. "One of the biggest area where we can measure the project's success is in the number of people who are participating after the incentive period has ended."
The class provides incentives to attract students to the site. They offer prizes to students who ask and answer the most questions in a given time period. Schaefer sees this provision as a key to the Web site's success.
"In our last incentive period, we offered Danger Mou5 tickets for the winners, and we saw a huge spike in participation,"Schaefer said. "One thing I noticed, was when I looked at what people were posting after the period had ended, they were telling each other that they planned to continue using the Web site."
Schaefer's citizen journalism class meets once a week to discuss the condition of the website and to consider alternatives to improve its quality and efficiency. It is now in its fourth semester, and a lot has changed since its inception. Students have come and gone, and array of ideas have been tossed around.
Like all good things, though, it appears the Resolving Door Project as we know it will come to an end. "The grant ends after this semester," Schaefer said. But I'd like to see the Web site utilized on campus somehow."
Regardless of what the future holds for the Resolving Door project, it is a very useful resource for students at CU now. As students continue to ask and answer questions, the project is proving its worth. After all, "Everyone in a university can ask and answer questions, Schaefer said. "It's a different way to convey news."
To learn more about, visit www.resolvingdoor.com.