Monday, November 25, 2013

Evaluation of the second edition of MC2020

Reflecting on mediaCulture’s  second edition we’ve come to think that this is a true example of intercultural, multidisciplinary, blended learning experience in high education. Two main aspects can be pointed out: on one hand, that having students with different skills, coming from different countries and cultures interacting with each other enlarges the possibilities of creativity, collaboration and quality work; and on the other, the fact that the intensity of the programme in such a short period of time works like a big challenge for students incentive.

From the first edition of MediaCulture2020 we’ve learned that the input in the form of lectures concerning inspiration, research and indepth information about the theme and topics, should be concentrated in the beginning of the actual workshop week. The variety in working methods within these lectures is important, hence the diversity of structures. Not only did they involve listening (one way direction) but also hands-on assignments were implemented. In relation to the first edition the topics of the lectures were more relevant, as were the connected assignments.  The work  - both in lectures, workshops & team work - addressed the following skills and methods:
  • Conceptualising an idea with a design and project planning method. 
  • Using techniques of programming scenarios and digital interactions (Flowchart). 
  • Using narrative techniques for organizing contents and for video prototyping. 
  • Using communication techniques to create a brand. 
  • Using creativity techniques. 
  • Managing roles in teamwork. 
  • Working in multidisciplinary international teams. 
  • Online information search and market analysis. 
  • Business planning & Benchmarking. 
  • Using social networks and ICT tools for collaborative work. 
  • Pitching for public audiences. 
  • Planning and time management.

Most students have a strong content and narrative driven focus, studying to be filmmakers and visual-media-designers. We would therefore like to strengthen our focus on these expertises in future editions. In this year’s edition visualising concepts and making pitch presentations were focus points in setting up the program, and looking at the outcomes of MediaCulture2020 they worked out quite well. The interaction between groups created a lively and inspiring atmosphere. Students learned a lot in a few days by sharing knowledge and skills in a peer to peer situation.  Some of the lectures stimulated them in peer assessments.

Working in international groups is  sometimes difficult but helps to learn about collaborative work; working with different people gives inspiration of how to work in the future in international projects. Almost all groups succeeded in that, supporting the idea all in the group for a few days , coming together to one final goal that was described on their 10 commandments. Their research was good and seemed helpful.

The pitches and the videos were adequate & professional and demonstrated the importance of communicating properly. All the presentations were clear; all visualizations were well done. The demo-video was really good and useful for the audience to understand the concepts, and that lead to a lively discussion after every presentation. The way the program was set up and the content of the lectures strongly helped in this aspect. Due to the excellent build up in lectures, students shifted their focus to the narrative part of their concepts, they made flow-charts for both their concept as well as for the pitch presentations of their concepts, all of which resulted in clear and strong pitches.

In coming editions we would therefore rather concentrate on further development of the intercultural concept thinking and on a stronger relation of conceptual achievements in combination with the creation of business plans. A stronger relation with the professional world can be sought. We suggest a next edition's slogan: Solve a future problem in real life with a design and then set yourself a deadline. Maybe it’s better for each team to have a problem to work on instead of a given subject.

Lenno Verhoog and Rosa Pons

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