Faculty Instructions

Welcome to Newsroom 101!

This file contains important information for you and your students on using Newsroom 101. Please read it carefully and save the link for reference.

Your section of Newsroom 101 has been set up and is ready for your students to use. Please use the username and password below. If you previously had a username and password, the new ones may be different, so please check them.


Teacher Login

From the homepage at newsroom101.net, from the left column, choose “Find Your Section.” Click on your section in the resulting list.

You are already registered as the teacher of this section. Sign in on the left side of the sign-in page with:

  • username: your email address. (If you submitted more than one email address, try them both.) Note: Use your entire email address.
  • temporary password: Newsroom101

Change this password the first time you sign in. If you are taken straight to the form for changing your password, you will not need to enter the temporary password above. 

Your enrollment as teacher of the course is free. Please log into the course at your earliest convenience and become familiar with its contents and organization (see the following section).



There are 288 quizzes in Newsroom 101, most of which are grouped with related quizzes to form units. You do not have to use all this material, but you should use it in complete units. (The number of quizzes may change as we update the material)

It is important to specify your requirements and to give periodic deadlines.

Please do not allow students to put off the work and cram. Steady work, day after day, pays off.

Most teachers require between 100 and 200 completed quizzes.

How long would it take to complete ALL the quizzes? Students with determination and focus have done so in 12-14 total hours over a number of sessions. A student who knows grammar and reads rapidly can complete all the quizzes in a shorter time. Others will need longer. 

Col. 1 of the gradebook gives a count of the number of quizzes completed by each student to the required standard of 80 or 90 percent. This is the most important part of the gradebook. Use it to measure student progress.

Quizzes marked “review” or “all” often appear after every 5 or so quizzes. The review quizzes have prerequisites that are clearly shown. They usually require that students have received 90 or higher in the quizzes immediately preceding the review quiz. Until students attain that 90 on each prerequisite quiz, they may not take the review quiz. 

If you are assigning only some quizzes, assign them in units that include the prerequisites for any review quizzes you assign. The review quizzes are important. Assign them.

Assign Quiz 1 as the first assignment, even before the pretest. Quiz 1 covers the most important things students need to know to use Newsroom 101.

The Newsroom 101 home page at newsroom101.net contains helpful material, including:

  • an introduction
  • FAQs for teachers and students
  • enrollment procedures
  • a privacy policy that covers FERPA requirements
  • site policies (including refunds)
  • an annotated introduction for teachers
  • suggestions for teachers on how to use Newsroom 101 in your course
  • descriptions of how other teachers have used Newsroom 101.


How to use the Pretest and Posttest

The pretest and posttest are available for you to use as an option. When you are ready to use the pretest (use it before any instruction or other quizzes), just assign it. Students do not need a password to complete the pretest.

It might be helpful for some conscientious students if you tell them the pretest is only a snapshot of what they already know. Their grade will not count against them, and they should not make extraordinary effort to do well on the pretest.

At the end of the course, when you are ready to use the posttest, the posttest password is the last line in the instructions that appear with the posttest. The password is written like a sentence, with spaces between the words, and no space after the period.

Remind students that the pretest and posttest are tests. They can take each section once only. They may not have any other windows open, and they should not leave and return to the window containing the test questions. Doing so can cause that section of the test to end.

In case students experience a computer failure during the pretest or posttest, they can log back in and complete it. However, only their first answers will count, so there is no advantage to taking either test more than once. 

Please note that a posttest alone may not be an accurate measure of a student’s effort and achievement in a course. We recommend that you combine the posttest score with other measures of performance.


Cost. Newsroom 101 costs $34.95 per student, which provides access for the duration of your course or 120 days, paid by each student through PayPal upon enrolling. 

By arrangement, schools may pay for their students who take Newsroom 101. 

Check Your Enrollments. As your students enroll, please open your section, click on Grades, and verify that students listed in your university roster also appear in the Newsroom 10 gradebook.. If so, they are enrolled. If not, they either did not enroll, or they enrolled in the wrong section. 

If a student enrolls in the wrong section, please contact support immediately so we can transfer them. For technical reasons, work done in the wrong section does not transfer, so try to catch this early. 

Give an Early Assignment. Please give at least one graded assignment due no later than the end of the second week of class. Review the gradebook and verify that all students have enrolled and have completed this initial assignment. This early assignment assures that students know how to log in and use the exercises.

If a student does not appear in your gradebook, or does not show a grade on the assignment, contact them and find out why. Are they still enrolled in the course? Did they sign up? If not, require them to do so and complete the assignment. Did they have a problem logging in?

Tech Support. We will be glad to help you and your students with problems you encounter in using Newsroom 101. Students themselves, along with their professors, can usually solve the few problems they encounter using Newsroom 101 — just as they do when using Facebook or a cell phone – and often more quickly than contacting us. But we are always glad to help.

Each Newsroom 101 page has a Help link in the upper left that opens to our home page at newsroom101.net, under “Students.” Most common student problems are addressed there. 

Problems Enrolling. In the first two weeks of a course, we try to offer speedy responses to enrollment problems, if they arise. After that, help is still available, but it may be slower. Students who wait until late to enroll may find themselves waiting longer for assistance, which is why it is important for students to enroll early in the course and learn how Newsroom 101 works.

Problems with the Quizzes. If a student reports that the quizzes are not functioning properly, please check your gradebook. If other students have completed the same quizzes, Newsroom 101 is working properly, and the student is doing something that creates the problem. Ask the student to try again, with care.

You may be able to avoid some end-of-term confusion by specifying that students will be assessed not by the work they are sure they have completed, but by what the gradebook shows. This distinction encourages students to monitor themselves by means of the gradebook. Every action students take on Newsroom 101 is recorded in the logs and the teacher can, with some effort, review it. 

Please apply these basic problem-solving methods:

  • Ask the student to review the instructions and help files and complete each step carefully. If possible, go through the steps with the student.
  • Make sure the student is using the right URL for your section.
  • Ask a student who is not having the problem to help the student who is. (This is often the most effective method.)
  • Ask the student to try a different computer, in rare cases, something in the computer’s cache is interfering. 
  • In case of problems with our program, let us know right away, and we will work to fix it. Newsroom 101 is quite stable, and it rarely produces problems of its own. Like all technology, however, it is subject to failure, though this is extremely rare, and we take extra precautions to protect your students’ work. 

Downloading the gradebook. Your section of Newsroom 101 will be closed at the end of the course and all records purged from online, in accordance with privacy policies. Please download and keep a copy of the gradebook for your archives. (See instructions on the home page under “Professors.”) Also download your gradebook at any other point in the term when you need a snapshot of it, such as after a major deadline. You can easily download (“export”) your gradebook as a spreadsheet. 

Incompletes. If you have students with incompletes and want to send them back to complete the course, it is essential that you notify Newsroom 101 before your course closes. We will attempt to accommodate you, but we cannot guarantee to make your section of Newsroom 101 available after your semester has ended. If you have not notified us before we close the online site, you may need to arrange other make-up work for the incomplete.

Students complain that the quizzes are too hard and take too long. Some students may not understand how demanding communications jobs are. We suggest that you give students one of the Dow Jones Grammar Quizzes each week, perhaps in class, and discuss their scores. Tell them that when they apply for an internship or job, they are likely to be given such a test, and the scores they made on the quiz today reflect how potential employers will rate them.

Tell students that, to succeed in this field, they will need to practice correct grammar, usage, spelling and style until they can use them automatically, without having to think about them.

If students find that Newsroom 101 homework requires a long time, this probably signals that they need to practice the topics covered in Newsroom 101 until they can complete the homework more quickly. Their grammar is, so to speak, out of shape, and they need to exercise to tone it up. On a job, they will need to be able to write and edit using correct grammar and style, and to do so quickly.

Instructions to Students

Send students to this link for their instructions:

This material is also available on the home page, newsroom101.net, under the tab Students / Student Instructions.

Again, welcome! If you have questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Gerald Grow
Newsroom 101® Team