A rather lengthy title for an exciting project that the Interactive Cultures team are currently undertaking!

Andrew Dubber and Jez Collins are leading on a project that uses research and industry knowledge skills and how, as lecturers and academics, we can transfer that knowledge back into the classroom and use innovative approaches to teaching and learning by using online technologies to enhance student studies and professional understanding of the creative sector in Birmingham.

Interactive Cultures have established a very strong partnership with Veronica Holdings in The Netherlands. A culturally revered organisation by the Dutch, Veronica has evolved over the years into what today can be loosely described as a social media and entrepreneurial venture capital company.

Building on the joint work we did over the summer on Pacemaker, a new handheld, digital DJ mixing device, we incorporated parts of the project into a new third year module called Music Industry Enterprise.

Music Industry Enterprise builds on the courses offered by the School of Media and reinforces the forward thinking of course leaders in designing courses that have industry relevance and allows students the opportunity to work closely with local companies.

The students were paired with 4 local music industry organisations who had already worked with the Interactive Cultures team as part of the AHRC Knowledge Transfer project and tasked in ascertaining the challenges facing the companies in the short and medium term future and then coming up with a workable solution for them.

We asked the students to be creative in their approach to the research and dissemination of their findings, we set up a dedicated blogsite and asked them to use that and the associated technologies available to them, video, photography, audio etc, (this can be viewed at http://mc685.wordpress.com) to build up a body of evidence of work which they could then return to too construct a patchwork report for their assignment.

We were looking for a level of understanding of the issues and realities of working in the Creative Industries, a creative approach to problem solving within a real life business environment, a realisiation of how they could use these new found contacts for their own professional use and a level of organisation and teamwork.

The second part of the module has given the students the opportunity to work on two ‘live’ online music projects and to apply the knowledge they have gained. Working as teams they have been tasked with preparing their company for entry into the market place, business plans, marketing strategy, web presence etc, they will be presenting to venture capitalists, identifying funders and writing funding bids.

Once this is completed I’ll write a follow up post filling in the blanks and letting you know what Interactive Cultures gained from the project and how we believe it will inform future professional studies teaching.

Birmingham Centre For Media And Cultural Research

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