An Exploration of the Career Implications of the Media Analysis Laboratory Experiential Learning Pedagogy

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipientsStephen Kline and David Murphy, School of Communication

Project team: Svetlana Smirnova and Courtney Pederson, research assistants

Timeframe: May to December 2013

Funding: $5,000

Course addressed: CMNS 426 – Video Design for Social Communication

Poster presentation: View a poster (PDF) describing this project from the 2014 Symposium on Teaching and Learning

Description: In the formative evaluation of CMNS 363 Media and Audience Research CMNS (see: A Formative Evaluation of the Revisions to CMNS 363 as a Research Design Course), I undertook a video ethnography of student experiences of the course pedagogy supplemented by quantitative analysis of the course learning objectives which afforded insights into the students responses and concerns about the collaborative experiential learning tasks which define the media analysis lab pedagogy. Building on the success of that project, the current research sets out to apply this same video ethnography approach to investigate the recent experiences of students taking CMNS 426 during the Summer Term of 2012 in which the class was engaged in a research and development project producing 6 health communications videos for Fraser Health Authority. The project will start therefore with in depth interviews with students on this particular course, as well with the coordinating personnel at Fraser Health who worked together on these community based projects to evaluate their experiences of this engaged learning situation. Additionally, given our interest in developing a deeper understanding of the long term implications of these ‘authentic learning’ project based design courses, we will interview up to 20 other students who have completed upper level media analysis lab courses about the career implications of perspectives, contacts and skills developed on media lab courses. We will also host a focus group with six media lab alumni asking them to talk about how we could better design authentic learning experiences that would be helpful after they leave the university. A written report and a half hour video on the project will constitute the output..

Question addressed: How do students who have undertaken upper level courses in the Media Analysis Laboratory evaluate the contribution of its experiential learning pedagogy to their careers in the field of applied communication design?

Knowledge sharing: This project will produce both a report and a video documenting our findings and reflection on the ways we can improve ‘authentic learning’ through critical engagement with real world problem solving.

Kline, S., & Murphy, D. (2014, May). Beyond learning: Towards a pedagogy for community engaged experiential learning in communication design. Poster session presented at the Symposium on Teaching and Learning: Provocative Pedagogy, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC.