Media School field assistant guidelines
The Media School’s field experience courses offer students an exciting opportunity to broaden their horizons, experience cities and cultures outside of Bloomington, and make important connections in the field. Students taking these courses have reported that the experience was educational and life-changing.
The trips typically involve an instructor and one “field assistant.” In an effort to give a wide range of people access to these opportunities, The Media School makes field-assistant positions open to Media School faculty and overtime-exempt professional staff. Non-exempt professional staff, support staff, adjunct lecturers and adjunct instructors are not eligible.
Anyone interested in serving as a field assistant on a field experience course will be asked to submit an application. The associate dean will evaluate all forms submitted by the stated application deadline based on criteria designed to ensure student safety, encourage the professional development of faculty and staff, and promote the expansion of a robust field experience program for all Media School majors.
Some preferential factors that will be considered when selecting field assistants include:
- Travel experience: prior travel experience, especially to the country or region of the trip
- Language ability: ability in the local language when English is not predominantly spoken (this may be a requirement if the instructor of record deems necessary)
- Teaching and research interests: when relevant to the course topic, especially where participation as a field assistant will assist the trip leader in deepening his or her own teaching and scholarship
- Preference of instructor of record
- Previous Media School travel: with an aim toward the fair distribution of travel-based teaching opportunities and the development of junior faculty, preference may be given to faculty who have not previously taught or assisted a field experience course
- Future course proposal intentions: faculty with specific intentions to develop future field experience course proposals are highly encouraged to serve as field assistants in order to deepen their understanding of the program objectives and logistical considerations when designing their own courses
Field assistants are responsible for many facets of the safe and successful completion of the trip, including (but not limited to):
- Attending and assisting with pre- and post-trip meetings as needed, including several planning meetings with the instructor of record and/or the Director of Experiential Education.
- Assisting with the organization and management of prepared travel documents (itineraries, tickets, receipts, etc.) as needed and requested by the trip leader.
- Notifying a key contact at The Media School of the group’s arrival at the destination.
- Serving as a resource and role model for students at all times.
- Representing Indiana University and The Media School in a professional and appropriate manner.
- Participating in all activities with the group. Because these trips often require a significant amount of walking, potential applicants should consider their own stamina before applying to assist.
- When unexpected scenarios arise, remaining flexible and making quick, sound judgments in the best interest of the group as a whole. Field assistants must be able to remain calm and think clearly.
- Assisting with logistics and communication in the event that a student becomes seriously ill or injured, or faces some other type of emergency. This may involve:
- Returning immediately to Bloomington with any student who is required to return for health, behavioral or other reasons as determined by the instructor record.
- Accompanying a student to a hospital or clinic to address an immediate health concern.
- Staying behind with a student after the group returns to Bloomington.
- Visiting and waiting at a U.S. Embassy for a replacement passport
- Taking over the trip in the event of the instructor of record’s departure or illness.
- Working with the instructor to help students process experiences and debrief, both during the trip and after the return to Bloomington.
- Ensuring that all students are accounted for during all travel.
- Being on call 24/7 during the trip. This includes staying overnight in the same facility as the group.
- Field assistants may not invite their family members or others to accompany the group or to travel in parallel with the student group. The field assistant’s sole responsibility during the trip is to the instructor and their efforts in support of the field experience.
- Fulfilling other responsibilities as assigned by the instructor or any Media School dean.
- Carrying out their responsibilities throughout the entire trip from “Bloomington to Bloomington.” In the event of travel delays, this may be beyond the original scope of the travel itinerary. The field assistant must travel from the start to the finish with the group.
- Providing feedback on the trip to help in planning future trips.