It’s clunky, but it’s free

By Murray Bourne, 05 Jul 2005

NewsU is an interesting site. It provides free e-learning modules, aimed at journalists.

Of course, I chose "Math for Journalists" to see what it was about. (Registration is simple and quick). Unfortunately, it is rather confusing to navigate (some links didn't work as expected and it wasn't always clear what the learner was supposed to do or why. There are several games, but the ones I tried did not seem to have clear learning outcomes. While I love Flash, I feel it was not very well used here.

I think it would have been better to design "Math for Journalists" as a series of (preferably real) examples where a newspaper article got the mathematics wrong - and the learner needs to figure out why it is wrong and how to fix it. Examples here could be things like estimating crowd sizes for an article - something that is always in dispute between the organisers of an event and the authorities.

Gripes aside, the site is worth a look - and it is free...

Be the first to comment below.

Leave a comment

Comment Preview

HTML: You can use simple tags like <b>, <a href="...">, etc.

To enter math, you can can either:

  1. Use simple calculator-like input in the following format (surround your math in backticks, or qq on tablet or phone):
    `a^2 = sqrt(b^2 + c^2)`
    (See more on ASCIIMath syntax); or
  2. Use simple LaTeX in the following format. Surround your math with \( and \).
    \( \int g dx = \sqrt{\frac{a}{b}} \)
    (This is standard simple LaTeX.)

NOTE: You can't mix both types of math entry in your comment.

Search IntMath, blog and Forum