Critical thinking and the much maligned media production degree – an action research project

Farr, Michael (2014) Critical thinking and the much maligned media production degree – an action research project. In: Research and Innovation Conference 2014, 20 June 2014, University of Bolton. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This action research project focusses on inherent problems within the delivery of Media Production degree courses; problems that stem, evidence suggests, from a misalignment of student/employer expectations, and can be summed up thus: The majority of students attend Media Production courses to improve employment prospects within the industry and believe that this is best achieved by focusing primarily on learning technical/practical skills. As a result they are often reluctant to engage with broader aspects of education associated with critical thinking. Potential employers, however, are not overly concerned with new recruits having expertise of current technologies. Of equal, if not of more importance are ‘soft’ or ‘transferable’ skills, many of which can be developed through critical thinking exercises. As a result, each year graduates from Media Production courses enter the work-place believing they are sufficiently prepared for what is a very competitive industry, but, in reality, they lack the skills employers look for. Inevitably the academic reputation and credibility of media courses is continually and progressively undermined, and graduate dissatisfaction increased. It is the case, however, that the process of creating media product draws heavily on the same transferable skills most employers seek in new recruits. The proposition, then, is that an increased critical thinking element within these courses will simultaneously enable students to perform better at subject level AND increase their employability, both within their area of study and beyond - this report does not advocate a vocationalist approach. But how might this be achieved given that many students feel it is not primary to their career ambitions?

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Media Production, Critical Thinking, Employability
Divisions: School of Creative Technologies > Film and Media
University of Bolton Conferences > Research and Innovation Conference > Research and Innovation Conference 2014
Depositing User: Tracey Gill
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2014 08:10
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2014 08:10
URI: http://ubir.bolton.ac.uk/id/eprint/628

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