Is Your Learning this Disruptive?

I have always seen myself as a fast learner especially when the learning is hands-on. Guide to Campus has given me the opportunity I have craved for all my life. It is incredible how much I have learnt in such a short time and I still have more to learn. Not just in the area of professional skills but even in life skills. One life skill I have learnt is: it is ok to admit that you do not know. That way you can learn from those who know. I am literally putting theory into practice.

On the 4th of July, I took a crash class on video editing and this was the result of the class so far.

The Before and After…

 

 

This project has made me know myself better, I don’t see my teammates as colleagues, I see them as a family- my family members from various part of the world. I have been able to learn  media professional skills without ripping my pocket. The supervisors are great at what they do, giving us the liberty to make our own decisions,mistakes and learn from them. c’est incroyable.

 

 

New Skills

Guide to campus

I have always wanted to learn  something new. In fact, I live every day with the motive of learning something new each day but life as it is, sometimes you don’t. For every professional interview, I have attended, that has been my mantra when I am asked: ”so what made you apply for this job position?”I always answer with…” I just want to learn new skills”. sometimes I felt I sounded dumb answering questions in that manner but ….

Fast forward a couple of weeks after my first storyboard was made which I was told was not bad at all. I am extremely proud to say that in the last one week I have been able to add three more skills to my professional sleeve. From improving on my audio editing skills on Adobe Audition (you can check out my podcast  on SoundCloud to find out more) to learning how to design images on photoshop and  BeFunky.com, to the most recent, video editing, directing and managing sound while filming. All thanks to the opportunity  given to me by the Guide to Campus project under the  Office of Teaching and Learning, Coventry University. I would live to remember this

In the past, I had an opportunity to learn audio editing but I took it for granted because I felt at the time my presentation and my writing skills were good enough to get me the job of my dream but I thought wrong. My lack of not learning other professional skills made me almost jobless at a time (or so I thought).

My advice to anyone who wants to be better at a career… learn new skills that relate to your career without been obligated to. There are a million talented people out there but what would make you different is what you have acquired or knowledge you have gained on your life’s journey.

IMG-20160630-WA0040

#Selah

https://otlcu.wordpress.com

 

 

Dear Vice Chancellor

Coventry University Logo

Following a discussion that ensued in my group during a class activity  on our first experiences in school and what we hoped to change on the course, so many of us had a tonne of things to say and most of these issues needed to be discussed one way or another. I decided to bell this cat by writing an un-mailed letter to the vice-chancellor of Coventry University.

By the way, the Vice-Chancellor and CEO  of COV UNI is John Latham (I just discovered many students do not know the name of the Vice-chancellor)

17

 

 School of Media and Performing Arts

Coventry University

West Midlands

United Kingdom.

 

3rd July 2016.

 

The Vice Chancellor,

Coventry University,

Priory Street, Coventry

West Midlands,

United Kingdom.

 

Dear Sir,

On behalf of every international student, I would first like to congratulate you and your indefatigable team for putting Coventry University on a global pedestal and introducing the world to the beautiful and multicultural city of Coventry. Coventry university in the last 2 decades has no doubt held on to been a modern university and a school that values student experience not just by the awards she has won but in making intentional efforts to hold on to her core values of strengthening student experience. Secondly, I would like to apologise in advance for the ‘non-academic’ style of writing this letter* but it is one and (probably)* only way I can express my thought without any bias.  Forgive my manners. My name is Tolu Akintaro and I am a Masters student in Communication Culture and Media. School of Media and Performing arts.

 

My decision to come to Coventry University has been one of the best decisions I made. The city is very  rich culture, history and opens her hospitable doors to people of various race and background which has made me feel more at home than any other country I have travelled to. Coventry University is an evolving school especially in the area of technology and engineering (I wish every other faculty could enjoy the kind of accolade  the engineering faculty have been given over the years).

In lure of the above, I would like to state what I would rather not term as complaints but suggestions to improve the teaching and learning in Coventry University especially as it relates to my course of study- media, communications and culture. First, for most international students  from Asia and third world countries who happen to be the majority of students in Coventry University, they face a major issue of writing essays the way and manner that is expected of them either due to the fact that they were not groomed to write in that manner or the writing style from their home country is totally strange to what is acceptable at Coventry University. I understand that it was due to challenges of this sort that the centre for academic writing was created. However, it seems to me that the centre is overwhelmed with the number of students it has to cater to year in- year out. For example, I have to book an appointment a month before just to see an adviser and another month to be sure my essay has been finally read by one of the readers(by this time, the deadline for the essay submission would have come and gone). I also discovered that the essay writing for the engineering department varies from what is accepted at Media and communications. Unfortunately, the staff at the centre for academic writing do not in any way point out these variations. (we are just required to write in a certain way- not regarding if the faculty accepts it). That been said, I would like to propose that all Faculties have a centre for academic writing both for Undergraduate and postgraduate students. That way, the burden on centre for academic writing would reduce to it’s barest minimum and students would be able to have convenient one-on-one sessions with the advisors from their various schools who have an understanding of what applies in every department.

 

Secondly, the school is known to develop professionals in various fields of endeavours and raise young men and women to embody what  the phoenix represents. However, I would like to suggest that mentorship should be given to both undergraduates and post-graduates students while at the university. These mentors would not take the place of counsellors at the mental health and wellness centres but can help their various mentees to understand and develop their learning styles and technique, help them to improve on areas where they feel the student is lacking and in need of help as it relates to the profession, and work with the student on finding more professional opportunities that are relevant to the-the students interest. I believe that this method would help many students to consciously develop their strengths in whatever field they have chosen.

Furthermore, as you know, Coventry university was once a polytechnic which from my understanding of the polytechnic curriculum is 60% practical and 40% theory and I personally expect that it should hold on to those values even though she has become a university. Unfortunately, the school especially my course focuses more on theories than on the practical aspect of the course. Inasmuch as the theories are helpful in our everyday lives, the practical skills are what would get us the jobs we hope to apply for when we leave the four walls of this great ivory tower. I am grateful for the opportunity to intern with the Office of Teaching and Learning on her media project #GuideToCampus. This internship has made me learn a plethora of professional skills I did not have an opportunity to learn while as an undergraduate and even as a postgraduate student. Most of the times I asked my lecturers to put me through some practical knowledge of tools that relate to my course, I am directed to watch videos on YOUtube or read a manual. This method of learning cannot be taken for granted however, I am more of a hands-on learner especially when it comes to using tools and gadgets I find difficult to use.sadly, my tutors hardly find the time to understand that. I fear for my colleagues who are settling for all that is taught in class because they might find it difficult to get media jobs in the near future without any form of professional  hands-on skill.

 

As stated above, the school is filled with students from Asia (especially China) and third world countries. I have discovered that the Chinese students in my class find it rather challenging to understand all that the tutor says in English considering English is not their first language. There is usually a lot of bickering in my class because the students try to translate the jargon said in English to Chinese. While they try to translate, they miss out on other important points the lecturer must have made. These students have been bashed unconsciously by the teachers because they try to understand by asking each other what the teacher meant. I would like to suggest that the courses on module be translated into at least two other languages besides English. That is, Chinese and French. I believe that the language society can work in conjunction with the IT department to make this work well. This would in many ways reduce the noise and bashing that the Chinese students face. With UK leaving the EU, I foresee that many students in the future who would apply  and gain admission to Coventry University would be students from China and African countries. I believe this would help future students embrace the school as an institution that looks out for their language problems.

 

Finally, I thank you and your team for being intentional in meeting the needs of students and making the university conducive for learning, I cannot trade this experience for anything in this world. Indeed the school attaining an award in student experience cannot be overemphasised. I also believe that the aforementioned would also improve the student experience in more ways than we can imagine.

I look forward to your feedback

 

Yours Faithfully,

 

Tolu, Akintaro

MA Communication,Culture and Media, Coventry University

 

*Because I have been penalised for my writing style in most of my essays.

* The brackets express my  deep thoughts on the issue

A Whole New World Of Adobe SPARK

Few days ago, I made a post on how I got a volunteer job and how I was giving a task to come up with a storyboard. Well… am still working on that board and don’t ask how it is going yet? Not yet at least.

However, I was one of the fortunate ones to attend a workshop with Claire Simmons from the Centre for Global engagement and Becks Stewart from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. Coventry University.

Claire taught us on Presentation skills, Ethics and Recording she spoke on a PTC (pieces to Camera) as introduced by David Shukman BBC’s Science editor. Claire pointed out that as aspiring presenters, our audience always wants to know we are there- right where the story is happening. They want to know what it feels like to be where the story is taking place.

In his  video on Piece to Camera David advised all presenters to:

Use simple and conversational language

Maintain eye contact with the camera except you want to make a point by looking away

Walk only to make a point. Otherwise, keep still.

Always come up with a phrase that would win the attention of the audience.

When the need arises, make use of props.

That been said, Becks took us to a whole new world of editing on our mobiles through Adobe Clip and other free software. According to Becks, software should either be free or cost nothing less than a bottle of beer.

She also taught us on how to make videos using an iPhone (iphoneography)

Then came the freebies…

Adobe happens to be a world of various software. and the best way to be part of the family is by signing in.  One of such families of software is the adobe Spark (I wonder why it is called spark though) http://www.spark.adobe.com.

The spark is like a slide video or Video powerpoint. It is a new medium to create  and tell stories and you do not have to worry about sharing. it’s fun and free. You can create anything and everything. Yup! EVERYTHING with Adobe Spark.

You should check it out! it’s a great way to advertise products and services at no cost. All you need is an internet.

Life of a Volunteer

keep calm

Yep! Yep! and I am so excited about it. After several attempts of writing cover letters, visiting the schools careers department, attending seminars on how to review my CV at CGE, I even applied for a modelling job all to no avail. I finally got a volunteer job in school. I have always wanted to work in school and in a field related to my course of study.

I now work as a presenter and scriptwriter with the office of teaching and learning: Guide to Campus.The mission of Guide to Campus is to create videos that showcase the amazing things Coventry University has to offer through the eyes of the students. The first edition was launched  in April and it’s time to unleash another goldmine the school has to offer.

 

Guide to campus

My job description is not only centred around presenting and writing, I have the opportunity to learn how to edit, videography, make graphic designs and everything related to making a video unique. I am so excited that I would learn most of these new skills at no cost and the cool part is… it’s a hands-on training! The job would give me an opportunity to apply for an Open Badge from the Disruptive Media Learning Lab. Centre for Global Engagement (CGE) has promised to give us stipends after the successful  completion of the program.

The first task is to come up with a digital storyboard. I have no idea how it is done but I am willing to learn as much as I can. This might mean that I might make mistakes, but I am ready to learn from them.

Eureka!

i_got_the_job

For More on what Open badges are about, stay with me on this blog or check out: https://otlcu.wordpress.com/guide-to-campus/