As a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, my teaching is shaped by research, practice and reflection. My teaching almost always involves active learning, and often involves co-creation of authentic learning experiences and assessments involving external partners, offering students opportunities to develop understanding of professional practice and standards, particularly within the creative and social economies, building confidence, growing networks, enhancing employability and providing opportunities to demonstrate citizenship.
I believe it's crucial to develop partnerships that are sustainable and impactful for industry partners as well as students. Partnerships must work efficiently and meet the needs of both parties. They can offer employers opportunities to identify emerging talent, develop understanding of emerging research, explore new perspectives and experiment with practice. In recent years I have engaged with a wide range of prestigious partners both locally and nationally, including National Museums Liverpool, Weber Shandwick PR, British Immersive Media Association, The Independent, Lime Pictures, Local TV Network, Market Research Society, Friends of Williamson Tunnels, Liverpool World Centre, Safe Regeneration, Scottie Press community newspaper and Colu digital currency app.
My teaching and industry engagement work has twice been recognised with Learning, Teaching and Student Experience Awards, in 2017 and 2020.
School of the Arts Year in Industry
From 2017 to 2021 I led development of the School of the Arts Year in Industry programmes which now offer students from the Departments of English, Music, Philosophy and Communication and Media the opportunity to undertake a year-long paid placement as part of their studies. In recent years students have completed placements in a wide range of organisations including global brands such as Johnson and Johnson, Panasonic, Experian and Toyota Lexus, public services such as the NHS and innovative media companies such as A+E Networks.
Year in Industry placements are opportunities to gain meaningful work experience (gone are the days when placement students made the tea and did the filing). Students recently placed at Liverpool John Lennon Airport, for example, managed internal communications, secured media coverage of new routes, managed VIP visits, improved relations with environmental groups, and worked with the CEO to manage crisis communications. A student placed at NHS East Cheshire led stakeholder events and dealt with patient concerns with professionalism and sensitivity, contributing to a successful merger with West Cheshire NHS trust.
The Year in Industry programme is now being led by the School of the Arts Employability Coordinator with support from Departmental Leads and the School Enhancement Team.
Currently, I convene the Viral Video module, a final year module that blends theory and practice of viral media, enabling students to develop understanding of the life cycle and key characteristics of viral media, and how genre is constructed in the viral media context. Students also develop a range of creative and practical skills including pre-production planning; camera, audio and animation production; post-production including editing, colour grading and publishing.
Students also learn about the theory and practice of teamwork, leadership and creativity, and work in teams to produce viral videos to project briefs co-designed with real-world industry partners from the private, public and third sectors. A selection of student videos are published on the module's YouTube channel, Media/Pool.