3. How did JoMeC develop the draft TLOs?

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A range of steps were involved in the JoMeC Network’s development of draft Threshold Learning Outcome statements for Bachelor-degree qualifications with a major in Journalism, Public Relations, and Communication and/or Media Studies.

To date, the key steps have been:

1. Mapping of programs at Australian universities

The project commenced with a mapping of the qualifications in the journalism, media and communication fields offered by Australian universities in these fields to identify what kinds of courses and programs were being offered. After studying the enormous diversity of programs offered by Australian universities, the JoMeC Network team narrowed its focus specifically to developing TLOs for Bachelor-level qualifications with a major in three disciplines -- Journalism, Public Relations, and Communication and/or Media Studies.

2. Studying Learning Outcome statements

The JoMeC Network team studied a sample of Learning Outcome statements for university qualifications in Journalism, Public Relation, and and/or Media Studies around Australia to identify the core knowledge, skills and applications considered central to these programs.

3. Studying Research, Standards and Accreditation Documentation

The JoMeC Network studied a wide body of literature about what kinds of knowledge, skills and attributes that graduates in Journalism, Public Relations, and Communication Studies/Media Studies should have. In particular, close study was undertaken of the learning outcomes expected by accreditation bodies for qualifications and/or practitioners in Australia, the US and UK for the three disciplines.

4. Clustering of Graduate Attributes into Knowledge, Skills and Applications 

To help focus future debate with academics and other stakeholders, the JoMeC Network panel used the findings of its second and third phases of research to develop a list of the attributes expected of graduates in the Journalism, Communication and/or Media Studies and Public Relations disciplines.The concepts in this list of attributes was then clustered to match the structure of Knowledge, Skills and Applications (KSAs) as defined by the AQF. This list was presented to a plenary session of the 2013 Australian and New Zealand Communicaton Association (ANZCA) Conference, and following feedback from stakeholders was further refined into a preliminary draft of TLOs for JournalismPublic Relations and Communication and/or Media Studies.

5. Stakeholder feedback to develop TLOs

The preliminary draft of the TLOs was further rewritten to develop a common set of threshold standards that would be useful for all three disciplines. An early draft of the TLOs was circulated to academics and other stakeholders around Australia to seek input on their content and structure. The penultimate version featured pared-back commentary on the overarching TLOs, leaving the specifics to each discipline. Following industry feedback, further slight adjustments to wording were made.

6. Further development of TLOs and resources

Input from academics, industry and other stakeholders was used to create useable TLO statements for bachelor-level qualifications with majors in Journalism and Public Relations. Draft TLOs have also been written for Communication and/or Media Studies. The JoMeC Network has also developed its webpages to act as an online informaton hub that provides information about the JoMeC project, the latest version of the TLOs themselves as well as resources designed to assist universities to map the learning outcomes of programs of studies to the TLOs. With the assistance of the executives of the Australia and New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA) and Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia (JERAA), the JoMeC Network has established three Discpline Reference Groups that will review and develop the TLOs in future. The Reference Groups will embody the vision of JoMeC's founder, the late Anne Dunn, that disciplinary TLOs would be created and reviewed through a process of cross-sector academic consultation and networking, rather than leave the task to individual universities or an outside regulatory agency such as the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency. With graduates of JoMeC programs entering rapidly changing workplaces and employer expectations, review of TLOs will ideally be considered annually.

A more detailed summary of the methods used in developing the TLO statements was presented in a paper to the 2014 ANZCA Conference.


JoMeC Network home page

What is JoMeC?

Why the need for TLO statements?

How are TLOs 'evidenced'?

JoMeC Facebook page




Contact: To contact the JoMeC Network, email the Project Manager on jomec@jeaa.org.au

Early feedback

"With the growing importance of interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary/trans-disciplinary collaboration and converged practice models, it makes sense to have a set of threshold learning outcomes for cognate communication disciplines while identifying and maintaining the specialised knowledge and methods of each individual discipline.

By establishing a set of threshold learning outcomes, this project will provide valuable guidance to inform students, industry and other stakeholders as to the knowledge and skills they can reasonably expect to gain through study of these disciplines or when employing graduates of these disciplines.

In a very practical way, this project will assist academics at Open Days to answer the FAQ: 'What is the difference between Journalism, PR and Media Studies?' "

Maree Curtis
RMIT University