Students in the Opinion Coverage class are learning to write columns and create blogs and editorials. In addition, according to instructor Christina Hammitt, they’re learning to persuade readers instead of arguing with them. Hammitt said, above all, they’re learning to form opinions that will create change.
Hammitt said the class focuses on using writing, blogging, photography, social media and other forms of media to express opinions that will prompt discussion and change.
“We’re trying to get it to be purposeful thinking, not just ranting about what you think, but really trying to make an impact with those thoughts,” Hammitt said. “When you’re giving your opinions about things, how can you have that dialogue back and forth electronically? Or verbally? Or in the written form? How do you get people to take action versus just sitting and reading it? Anyone can make a blog or webpage, but how are you going to make it active? How are you going to make it make a difference?”
However, Hammitt said, before the students in the Opinion Coverage class can write about their opinions, they have to learn about themselves. On Monday morning, they were challenged to think more deeply about their own opinions and beliefs and examine where their values came from.
“It’s a lot different than I expected,” student Victoria Negron said. “It’s been more in-depth and thinking about ourselves and our own personalities. I’ve only been here a couple hours, but I’ve gotten to know myself more, which is really interesting. You have to get to know yourself before you can get to know other people and their opinions.”