The University’s journalism school has officially recognized the power of a spell check.
The School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s spelling and grammar test, a requirement for all students in the school, will no longer include a spelling portion as administrators attempt to adapt to the changing industry.
The school will alter the test in the fall for the first time since the test’s creation in the 1970s, said Chris Roush, senior associate dean in the school.
“What we’re trying to do is just make the exam more relevant for today’s journalism and mass communication students,” Roush said.
The decision to change the test came after a committee of faculty and staff concluded that the presence of computer tools such as spell check made the spelling portion unnecessary, Roush said.
The new exam will consist of two-thirds grammar questions and one-third word choice questions. It will be lengthened to 50 minutes to give students more time to complete the word choice portion of the exam.
Rhonda Gibson, associate professor in the school, said the word choice portion is designed to emphasize problems spell check can’t catch, such as the use of they’re, there and their.
“Spell check can tell you whether ‘their’ is spelled correctly but not if it’s the right word,” she said.
After the 2012-13 school year, the test will no longer be offered as part of the school’s news writing course, Roush said. Instead, students will sign up to take it at the school’s student records office, where it is offered on a weekly basis.