The shifting nature of academic practice, particularly in the field of Advertising & Media, means we are as educators constantly having to review the process itself. We need to consider a number of key factors including: vocational relevance, transferable skills, intended learning outcomes, curricula, student assessment, student achievement, teaching and learning, student progression, learning resources as well as maintenance and enhancement of standards and quality. Higher education is a complex beast at the best of times.
Listed here are examples of my approach at two of the Universities I have worked at, namely Charles Sturt University and Northumbria University.
At subject level in the School of Communication & Creative Industries at Charles Sturt University I have sought to utilize common and popular social networking platforms such as Facebook to engage with students beyond the traditional LMS.
Within the Department of Media at Northumbria University I believed vocational relevance was of particular importance – we were expecting a significant proportion of graduates to move into either the Media or Advertising Industries. To this end I attempted to roll out some new ideas for the BA (Hons) Advertising & Media degree to give it some validity in the business community. Firstly I attracted visiting lecturers from leading Advertising Agencies within the North East to present in the 2009 / 10 VL Series. This guest lecture series directed at 2nd & 3rd year BA (Hons) Advertising & Media students proved to be a success, with students actively seeking work placement and further work employment opportunities as a result.
Secondly I set up an online Departmental & Industry Social Network, DIGITALMEDIALAB, in an attempt to facilitate dialogue and debate, and additionally market the value of the educational research and practice at Northumbria.