Child Welfare Issues in the Media Scavenger Hunt:

Editor’s Note: The following post is an assignment from the La Salle faculty training course Collaboration Online Plus. In this assignment, course participants are tasked with redesigning an face-to-face lesson for the online environment. Please show support to your fellow Lasallians by leaving your feedback on their ideas in the comments section below this post.

Purpose: To increase awareness and critically analyze the media coverage of child maltreatment and critical child welfare issues.

Student Guide: Students will be divided into small groups at the beginning of the semester  and asked to work together to identify a total of 3 articles related to child maltreatment and/or critical child welfare issues that have been generated in the last year in the news media. The articles must be by a reliable news agency and not considered editorial.

After selecting 3 of these articles, each group will make an on-line “journal” entry, per article, with a brief summary, link to original source and a 2-3 sentence response from each student within the group.  The response may be further questions, analysis of content or general opinion and response after reading each article.

Breakout Room Assignment: Take 10 minutes to choose one article that you will discuss and answer the following 10 discussion questions as a group during the synchronous session.

10 Discussion Questions (Placed on the Whiteboard Screen)

(a)   What impact did the article have on you?

(b)   What value laden words did the reporter use?

(c)   What appears to be the reporter’s view of the people involved?

(d)   Does the reporter appeal to the reader to adopt a specific view?

(e)   Does the reporter offer any solutions?

(f)    Who would you have interviewed in addition to those involved in the article?

(g)   Were you able to find any follow up information?

(h)    How might you have constructed the information in a way that demonstrates

balance in perspective?

(i)    What do you still not know about the issues?

(j)    How could a story like this impact child welfare services?


Join the Conversation


  1. This sounds like a great way to get a lot of current, relevant information out to the whole class on this important issue! I like the different layers to your assignment, which will allow the students to do some independent and group work!

  2. Good questions and use of current events. I especially like that you clearly outline the purpose of the assignment from the start. What will the final product of this exercise be? Will each group have a recorder who writes down the answers and submits them to the instructor? Or will all the groups meet back in the general synchronous session and share out summaries of their conversations?

  3. Having worked in Child Welfare for over 30years in Philadelphia, and experiencing the local media coverage of the child deaths that resulted from child maltreatment, I appreciate the clear eyed, balanced approach to your model. It allows for critical and circumspective thinking about an emotionally charged issue.

  4. I love that you challenged the students to think critically, by using the media and readings for this assignment. Great idea to limit their responses to 2-3 sentences as this topic could get emotions running high quickly. An excellent assignment.

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