Digital Learning: Standards and Best Practices for Public Relations Education in Undergraduate Programs


School of Fine Arts and Communication

Publication Date



Traditional enrollment in higher education has been declining, while online enrollment has increased for the fourteenth year (Seaman et al., 2018, p. 3). Fifty-three % of public relations educators indicate offering online public relations courses, 6 % with online undergraduate degrees (DiStaso, 2019), and the U.S. has 53 online public relations master’s degrees. With COVID-19 and institutions switching to online and remote learning, higher education best practices for digital learning have become a primary consideration. However, there is limited, specific research on online education for public relations. A survey of 157 faculty and students with online public relations course experience identified best-practices for learning methods, engaging communication, and courses suited for online. Findings include recommendations for specific pedagogical approaches appropriate for particular public relations courses and recommendations for the most effective course communication practices to guide faculty development, resources, assessment, and strategic pedagogical practices.


Public relations pedagogy; Online learning; Teaching public relations; Digital learning; Digital pedagogy

Publication Title

Journal of Public Relations Education