Note: Most of the positive responses below come from classes where the teacher assigned specific parts of Newsroom 101 to be completed by a specific date, then discussed the homework in class and, in some cases, followed the homework with in-class quizzes. To achieve results of the kind reflected in the positive comments below, users of Newsroom 101 must work at the quizzes regularly and with a focused intention to learn.
“…the best AP quizzes I’ve found….” – a college teacher of newswriting in the SUNY system
"I'm so glad I chose to offer [Newsroom] in my media writing class last year. It worked wonders! If I ever get assigned to teach the course again, I'll definitely incorporate it." – teacher at a large state university
“…it promotes learning by ACTIVELY ENGAGING the students, meaning that they have to think and, gasp, maybe even open the AP Stylebook to get the answers that they are looking for. They have to work to find and get the answers correctly. And, by having to make a 90% or above before they can move on to another quiz, they actually LEARN the material. The way you have structured your program forces them to. Additionally, you set the students up to SUCCEED with your 90% pass rate…. Even though the kids complain about having to do AP Style (they complain about everything) they really love it because it is on the computer and they have ownership of their grade on this site. It works.” – a teacher of mass media
“Teaching grammar on top of other newswriting and reporting skills has always been a challenge, and I am so happy to have learned about Newsroom 101!!!” – professor teaching newswriting and reporting at a branch of the University of Wisconsin
“I like that I have to spend less time in class on these issues. It’s a great tool. I recommend it strongly.” –professor at a Minnesota state university
Newsroom 101 offers “the ability for students to focus on their specific weaknesses. I like the format of the questions and the specificity of the problems they focus on (subject-verb agreement is a common weakness, for example.) It frees me from correcting grammatical errors so I can focus on content improvement when I give feedback. Thank you for keeping it affordable. Thank you for providing a good learning tool for students. It works.” – professor at a Michigan university
“Yes, please set up a section for me for spring. Feedback I’ve received from students (at least those actually interested in learning) has been quite positive. They do complain about having to pay to do ‘homework,’ even though I point out that it’s in lieu of a workbook that I’d otherwise require!” — teacher at a California state university
"Being able to work on the quizzes at home takes the shame out of not knowing grammar." -- student at a large midwestern university
“It is terrific.” – teacher of journalism in New York City
“Students all complained at length about it at the beginning because there is so much to do. But after working through it, they realized what a terrific learning experience it offers.” — journalism professor in Canada
"My students whined a bit about all the modules, but in the end they were surprised by how much they'd learned. Their writing improved." -- journalism professor in Massachusetts
"I laughed out loud at some of the writing in the quizzes. Very fun." -- journalism professor at large midwestern university
“I really like the new format — both the way exercises are organized and the self-tracking format. The sections on punctuation and grammar are especially useful and well organized… It’s so hard to find ways to work basic writing instruction into an introductory media writing course while covering the application side of the syllabus… Newsroom 101 — even more than ever in its new iteration — lets me offer them a chance to brush up and improve their skills while not boring or confounding the rest of the class… Those who are already competent excel and often enjoy it.” — mass communication professor at a Minnesota state university
“This is a terrific way to get students started in our daily routine and students have seen SUCH improvement in their writing skills.” – a teacher of mass media
“We have a big job to do. Thanks for making mine easier.” – a professor of journalism at a Michigan university
Shortly before his death, Eugene Patterson, one of the great editors of the 20th century, explored Newsroom 101 at our invitation. He wrote, “Thanks for fixing who and whom definitively in my bent head, here in its 90th year.”
“This is a great resource for my public relations students.” – PR professor
“Your materials were most helpful to my students in their mastery of AP Style, grammar, spelling and punctuation. I have sung the praises of Newsroom 101 to my colleagues.” – a professor at a major Midwestern university
“One of my students asked me when he did poorly on the pretest, ‘How come I don’t know this?’ — Good question! Thanks for all you do. You make my job much easier.” – a journalism professor
"About to interview for a job, and the site has been very helpful preparing for the AP style quiz they give."
"Excellent site! I use it each semester to help students find ways to learn what they didn’t in high school."
"Great resource for overworked teachers. Thanks so much!"
"Great site. Our company is switching to AP from Chicago, so I needed insight into what the change will involve."
"I actually enjoy testing my understanding of the material by taking quizzes."
"I am a newspaper proofreader. Many of my questions and those of the editorial staff were answered."
"I am an editor in a non-profit institution and have encouraged my staff writers to use this site. Thanks."
"I had allowed myself to get very lazy and complacent with AP skills over the years. This has been a GREAT refresher!"
"The improvement is amazing."
"I used Newsroom 101 to prepare myself for a copy editing interview. Thanks!"
"I want to be a copy editor, and your site’s quizzes really tell me what I need to work on. THANK YOU!"
"This site is a great resource for copy editing classes."
"In a recent quick feedback memo, at least two-thirds of the students in my class specifically mentioned that Newroom 101 has significantly boosted their learning in the class."
Comments from Students who Used Newsroom 101
"The online Newsroom 101 is a quick and easy way to learn punctuation. The tests made sense and were well done."
"I do like the explanation of the answer after you’ve gotten it right. It sticks with you more to know why it’s right"
"I was recently hired as a copy editor at the school newspaper, and I was allowed the opportunity to edit a few pages this week before I start the actual job in the fall. Everyone was impressed with how much AP style I knew after only taking one class. If I hadn’t used Newsroom 101, I would not be anywhere near the skill set I have now. Learning AP just takes practice. Knowing the rules is important, but being able to apply them, or at least know when it might be best to look up a rule or word, is half the battle."
"It is also good that you have to get a certain percentage or you have to redo it to move on to the next level. Repetition is always good for me."
"I thought that the Newsroom 101 exercises were very helpful and less time consuming than teaching them during in class time."
"Loved the format of the Newsroom 101 site compared to other online courses."
"After taking some of them 2 times or more, i slowly understood the differences in writing styles."
"As annoying as Newsroom 101 could be, it was actually very helpful. Even though the thought of doing the quizzes was depressing, completing them and learning new punctuation, grammar, and more was nice. Although I hated the fact I had to get a 90 percent to pass the quizzes and it would sometimes take me hours to get there, Newsroom 101 forced me to learn from my mistakes."
"I loved the remarks the Website would give me when I answered a question incorrectly. Overall, I really liked Newsroom and found the information stuck in my brain."
"What I didn’t like about Newsroom 101 was that you could put off all the assignments until the end, because that is what I did."
"The review quizzes certainly made some of the rules stick in my head."
"I think it would be better to assign the quizzes a little bit at a time and then to take maybe shorter quizzes in class to help us to remember them. That way, when we get to the final, it will be easier for us to remember the rules.
I liked the Newsroom 101 exercises because it gave us a chance to learn about things that we didn’t have time for in class. One thing I really liked was the chance to go back and keep redoing the quizzes until you got a passing grade. At times it can be frustrating, but overall it’s a great program."
"Having to execute the quizzes over and over probably caused the information to stick with me better."
"I’m only doing this because my journalism teacher makes me."
"[The exercises] brought my SAT score up 200 points."