NU-Q students launch website on Qatar’s education system
A website developed and designed by journalism students at Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) provides users access to an array of multimedia projects addressing issues about Qatar’s education system.
The Q-Taa’leam website features videos, statistics, articles, and infographics that cover topics that include educational reforms, sex education, the ratification of degrees, the country’s performance in international tests, and special needs education.
“Addressing complex issues like education encourages our students to engage in rigorous reporting and research,” said Everette E. Dennis, dean and CEO. “As Qatar continues to make progress in developing the infrastructure of its educational system, our students’ work showcases the significant changes and developments that have happened in that sector over the last few decades.”
The website is the final project created by NU-Q journalism and strategic communication students who are enrolled in the Advanced Online Storytelling course. The five-week intensive course is designed to teach students to gather data and develop written and visual content that addresses a particular theme about Qatar. Students experience working under a deadline and get to explore different areas of multi-media storytelling, such as print, video, graphics, and public relations.
In previous years, NU-Q students enrolled in the course produced a website on Qatar’s architectural landscape and urban development, which explored Qatari heritage through modern architecture; and a website on road safety that was designed to raise awareness about traffic reforms and the consequences of reckless driving on accident victims.
“As Qatar continues to progress and develop into a knowledge economy, an understanding of its current education system and reform policies is crucial,” said NU-Q Professor Christina Paschyn, who teaches the course. “This student-produced website examines the current state of education in Qatar, its successes, and what challenges the country still faces.”
On the website, users can view timelines on the development of education in Qatar since the 1920’s. They can also view short documentaries about reform programs and read articles about ongoing challenges in that sector.
The students were divided into four groups – one was the website operations team that built and designed the webpage; another – the multimedia team – worked on video stories; the print team wrote articles; the infographics team created visual elements, and the public relations team designed a communications strategy to promote the website.
“Education is an important topic to explore in Qatar because the government is continuously introducing reforms to improve both pre-university and university education. We wanted to see how these reforms were affecting the student experience,” said Ghalya Al Thani, a member of the public relations team. “Our results showed that there has been a significant amount of progress in the education sector, but they also shed light on the lingering obstacles and issues that need to be improved.”