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morning parallel sessions 1 - 4

Photos by Jenny Embleton or taken from film made by HAUS PICTURES

Sessions 1 - 4 took place from 11.30 to 13.00

Session 1

Sometimes the best teaching is no teaching at all

James Corazzo  

Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design, University of Derby and Art Design Media Teaching Fellow

James Corrazo presentation

After ten years of teaching graphic design James had started to wonder if, despite his best intentions, the biggest obstacle to his students’ learning might actually be him. So last year he embarked on an ADM funded research project in which he proposed an active form of surrender in his teaching practice. For one semester he tried to surrender the curriculum, the delivery and content of lectures and as many established (graphic design) pedagogies as he could. His proposition: ‘If I got out of the way, the students would learn more’.


Networks of learning and practice: making connections through Twitter

Jonathan Hewett    

Director of Interactive and Newspaper Journalism, City University London and Art Design Media Teaching Fellow 

Presentation to follow

Social media has been gaining interest in higher education. The literature highlights both its apparent educational potential and the lack of data about students’ use of it for learning.

An exploratory study showed students using microblogging service Twitter to make contact and engage with practicing professionals in their field and to discuss their learning and work. They developed for themselves a form of community of practice and learning, which most of them valued as an informal forum. Aspects of this use resembled a personal learning environment.

Undertaken as part of an ADM Teaching Fellowship, the study examined the use of micro blogging service Twitter by students on a vocationally-oriented journalism MA programme. It also established the extent and level of Twitter use by the students, based on analysis of a sample of their Twitter updates (tweets), complemented by a questionnaire to gain some insights into the students’ own experiences and perceptions.


Students supporting students: A creative approach to pre-induction and peer mentoring

Richard Sober
Subject Area Leader for the Spatial Design, Teesside University and Art Design Media Teaching Fellow

Richard Sober presentation image

This paper discussed ways in which experienced final year design students have utilised their creative and visual skills to engage, support and aid the development of new learners. This presentation firstly considered some of the issues and fears that new students have when they first embark on their academic courses.  Then an ADM –HEA funded project was highlighted to demonstrate how the final year students at Teesside University have reflected on their own student experiences and employed their design skills to produce materials to share this knowledge in a creative and visual way and disseminate advice through pre-induction electronic handbooks.  This presentation included a variety of video clips, data and student produced images and was co presented by two final year students, Jennifer Wood and Helen Ng, who have been through this process themselves. 


Session 2

Pixel this! UCA's digital projects to support learning and teaching

Polly Christie
Digitisation Services Manager, University for the Creative Arts
Amy Robinson
Collections Manager, Visual Arts Data Service (VADS)

Robinson and Christie slide 1

Presentation available online at:

The University for the Creative Arts has a history in managing and creating digital resources to support learning & teaching in the creative arts environment. UCA's Library and Learning Services (LLS) has supported the Visual Arts Data Service (VADS) at UCA for over 14 years, and more recently it has set up a new Digitisation Unit. This dual session uncovered some of the research, development and innovation that is being carried out by both these units within UCA Library and Learning Services.
VADS became a Research Centre of the University in 2008, where innovative and emerging issues relating to learning, teaching, and research with digital images are explored.  The team has led a range of externally funded JISC projects in this area, which are highly collaborative in nature, working with partners across the arts education sector. This session introduced one such project, which is currently researching the complex and nebulous concept of ‘visual plagiarism’ as well as exploring what relevance and applicability that visual search technology may have in this area.

Having set up a new Digitisation Unit within the Library, UCA has just embarked on an ambitious and innovative project which aims to increase the volume of material available to students in digital format, enabling them to access texts, image and time-based materials anytime, anywhere in the UK. In this part of the session the project was introduced and discussed in the context of UCA’s emerging Digitisation Strategy, which is drawing from the experience, reputation and best practice that has developed within the Institution over the past decade.

During the session, Amy Robinson spoke about the Spot the Difference Project team's bibliography


Q-Art London

Sarah Rowles    

Director, Q-Art London

Q-Art Presentation

Sarah Rowles talked about Q-Art London’s programme (open crits, gallery tours, panel discussions, annual exhibition, publications), how and why Q-Art was set up, and gave insight into how this grass roots organisation grew to 2,500 members with no marketing budget and through a primarily word of mouth basis. Sarah also talked about Q-Art's most recent publication '11 Course Leaders: 20 Questions - a collection of interviews with 11 London BA Fine Art Course Leaders' (Introduction Patricia Bickers), giving examples of some of the conversations had, and giving her take on the current climate of uncertainty in the sector and the rise of student led alternatives.

Session 3

Quality after the Cuts? Negotiating Structural Constraints on Media and Communications Pedagogy

Dr Anna Feigenbaum  

Assistant Professor of Communications, Richmond, the American International University in London

Anna Feignbaum image

What ramifications do current changes in the higher education landscape have on teaching practices in Media and Communications? How will the increase in fees shape student expectations? What will the impact be on faculty morale?

To investigate issues around teaching quality enhancement and teaching quality assurance in our changing higher education environments Dr Anna Feigenbaum and Dr Mehita Iqani designed an innovative ‘Teaching Exchange’ (TE) workshop. Ran from 2010-2011 at five diverse institutions, working with over 50 faculty members in Media and Communications, these facilitated TE sessions helped departments locate and collectivise challenges that were systemic and structural, rather than individual.

This paper explored their findings from these workshops, raising timely and critical faculty concerns found across the HE sector. In particular, they explored three key areas of structural constraints on teaching quality relating to (1) teaching budgets, (2) the marketisation of Media and Communications degrees, and (3) the internationalisation of our student bodies.

This research was funded by the Art Design Media Subject Centre of the Higher Education Academy (March 2010 – March 2011)


Peer Support Networks and the Postgraduate Research Environment

Dr Einar Thorsen   
Lecturer in Journalism and Communication, Bournemouth University

This paper analysed the role of peer support networks as a form of pedagogy in the postgraduate research environment. Specifically it explored doctoral students and supervisors’ experiences with the Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association’s Postgraduate Network. Drawing on the “community of peers/experts/others” envisaged by Pearson and Brew (2002), this paper argued peer support networks engender spaces and interconnections where postgraduate students can engage with others with a similar status for mutual benefit. Such spaces and complex interconnections are not simply for social benefit, but should be viewed as an integrated part of doctoral research pedagogy and a broader conceptualisation of “peer learning”. Such “networked learning” (Enriquez, 2008) can contribute to alleviating many traditional challenges with doctoral study, including experience of isolation, loneliness and problems with self-efficacy. Sharing experiences serves to both advance peer learning and therapeutic relief for research students.

The presentation is not available but the full paper will published in Networks magazine issue 16, due to be published in January 2012.


Session 4

Workshop - Generative Art and Mobile Applications

Will Pearson   
Director of Technology, Ravensbourne and Artist In Residence at SMARTlab, University College Dublin

Will Pearson presentation slide one

During this workshop, Will Pearson and the participants developed a generative application together that could be ported to both iPhone and Android phones. Through exploring what generative art means, in terms of algorithms that adapt to user interaction and input, or environmental conditions, he touched on some of the theoretical issues with this approach to making digital art on mobiles and networked devices, and some of the key practitioners.



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afternoon sessions