Oklahoma Baptist University

Working Together on Convergence

Media convergence - the fusion of communications and content - is ever-present today, and Oklahoma Baptist University students have embraced this publishing structure with creativity and teamwork. A class of six students from the Division of Communication Arts worked together during the fall semester to produce a 37-page interactive magazine titled "Converge" which features the issue of convergence media.

The project was commissioned by Dr. David Byland, OBU associate professor of telecommunication. It acts as a culmination of the senior students' four years of instruction in the fields of electronic media production and news and information.

"This project is a part of the ‘Senior Capstone' course in news and information and electronic media production," Byland said. "These classes were combined and this project chosen as a way to demonstrate the strength and innovation of our converged curriculum in Communication Arts."

The converged curriculum consists of a combination of media techniques, including applied communication, electronic media production, news and information, strategic communication and theatre. The magazine, "Converge," highlights the curriculum.

Students were responsible for overseeing entire sections of the magazine individually, including creating story concepts, designing page layouts and editing interactive video and audio. Each section featured a communication arts major offered by OBU. As a class, students compiled the final product.

Andrea Gates, a senior electronic media production major from Plano, Texas, served as the managing editor for the theatre section of the magazine. Gates said her experience and strengths as a student of electronic media production helped her in contributing to the convergence project.

"We, as editors, learned to converge as well," said Gates. "We are electronic media production majors and news and information majors within the same Capstone course; yet, we were all able to work on a project that expanded our own field's work."

While news and information students had more experience in print design and layout, the electronic media production students shared their expertise in creating interactive video. The combination of the students' strengths resulted in what Byland affirmed as a "superior job."

Tylor McGee, a senior electronic media production major from Forney, Texas, also participated in the project.

"The best part of this publication is its usefulness," said McGee. "We want future students to know what their major is going to consist of and how it fits in with the remaining communication arts majors. Our magazine offers that information."

The class plans to submit the magazine to an awards competition through the Oklahoma Broadcast Education Association.

To view the interactive magazine, click here.

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