For the SUSI Scholars, June 16 was a day for working on research projects and curricular agendas. Every scholar presented their research project and curricular agenda proposals and pitches. Some scholars have not yet made up their minds about the topic of their projects. They did a rapid round of describing projects to the group in short sound bites under the guidance of Dr. Gilpin.
Topics of proposed research differ according to the socio-cultural, economic, political and technological background and context of each country. As many of scholars come from the Global South, the majority of research topics were related to media development, media uses, media effects, media law and ethics, media freedom, political communication, cybersecurity of journalists, media propaganda, misinformation and disinformation, the war in Ukraine, and so on. A group of scholars decided to do a joint comparative research of media systems, media uses and media effects in their countries, especially new media and social media. They decided to produce an edited volume provisionally titled Media in the Global South: Comparative Research, which will consist of about 15-16 chapters. The scholars also decided to create a WhatsApp Research Group through which they will collaborate and hold face-to-face meetings while they are attending the SUSI Program at ASU. Dr. Gilpin also suggested they apply for SUSI Alumni seed grants with this edited volume project.
The curricular agendas of SUSI Scholars also differ according to the overall curriculum of their Journalism and Media programs at higher education institutions where they work. Scholars created teams consisting of 3-4 participants and decided to develop a joint course on “Global Media, Global Agendas and AI,” which will be co-taught at their universities. They will also develop open-access MOOC on this course that will be available free of charge. Online guest lectures, comparative student research and online seminars will be also included in this module. Scholars decided that they will engage their students in conducting comparative research on the uses of social media and AI such as ChatGPT in these countries as their final projects and present the results of their research online.
Scholars decided to share their teaching methodologies, develop new courses, conduct research in the field of media and public relations and promote their programs and research. They also discussed how they can use new technologies in teaching and research, develop new online courses and curriculum.
The SUSI program has provided tremendous opportunity for each scholar to engage in networking, start new research projects and new joint courses, and to collaborate in academic and educational fields. They also discussed their teaching methodologies and research methods in terms of applicability in different cultural contexts, especially media theories and their applicability in the Global South and the need for developing new media theories for the Global South.
The SUSI program has enriched each scholar’s knowledge, skills, and capacity and upskilled them in terms of using new technologies in teaching, learning and conducting research. Especially the use of AI, VR, AR and deep learning in teaching new media and social media for Generation Y who are using new technologies in their everyday lives.