Critical Thinking During a Time of Critical Change in Media Industries: Examining Media Students’ Perception and Appreciation of Higher-Level Learning Outcomes


  • Jared Schroeder University of Oklahoma



The mass communication industries continue to undergo a period of uncertainty and rapid change. The time of change has reached universities as mass communication programs across the nation seek ways to adjust their curricula to include fast-changing technological skills demanded by the industry. During this time of change on both the professional and academic levels, this study uses Bloom’s taxonomy to examine media students’ perceptions of higher-level, analytical knowledge in regard to their coursework and future employment prospects. Scholars in several fields have argued universities must do more than provide students with the skills they need to get their first job. Instead, scholars argue students must know why they do the job, not simply how to do the work. Using a comparative analysis of students in a core, entry-level mass communication course and their more advanced counterparts in a senior-level media law class, this study found students have generally favorable views regarding higher-level learning outcomes. It also showed little evidence that students’ value and perception of learning analytical-level knowledge change between the time they enter mass communication programs and when they graduate.


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