Dr Jan Brueggemeier
Interdisciplinary Communication Project School of Media and Communication
Studio pedagogy is based on interdisciplinary communication projects involving external studio clients. Students develop problem specific communication solutions to communication problems presented to them by studio clients or communication practitioners that involve some of “their” client projects. An alternative option is participation in international student competition.
We apply communication research, human-centered design, design thinking stages as well as team work methodologies to guide our students and structure the courses problem research, to solution development and presentation. In response to a transition online, the tools and platforms we are using are Canvas, Collaborate Ultra, Social Media for group communication, MS Teams, Google Suite for project planning, and additional plugins like MIRO for mapping and sketching.
It provides an experiential learning experience within a safe environment that also allows for “failing at a task” as a positive learning experience while being exposed to industry practice and networking opportunities with practitioners including mentoring. From our recent mentoring session:
“Hope you’re well. Thanks so much for yesterday, it was one of the most valuable couple of hours I have had in regard to my career and degree. I’ve been feeling quite lost as to knowing what I might want to do with my degree and which path to go down; but hearing each of the mentors speak yesterday about their career journeys made me feel settled with the fact I don’t quite know yet! I loved the insight into all aspects of where a communication degree can take you and how each career path can vary so much from one job to the next”.
“I specifically found James discussing crisis communication really intriguing and Alana had a creative career path that resonated with me and my interests considerably. I was wondering if it were possible to get their emails from you for future questions I may have for each of them? Alana mentioned she would be happy for me to email if any further questions popped up”.
“Thank you again for such an insightful session!”
Projects like these will always present a set of challenges that will required the teaching team to guide the students to work through them to address them on time before they have a detrimental effect on the success of the project. Some of these challenges can:
- Accountability in group work, not everyone pulling their weight
- Quality of feedback from clients (takes a long time to hear back, or at time they are not very specific in their responses)
- Projects fall through because of challenging economic times
Advice and Tips
- Factor in at least one week turn-around time for external client feedback
- Factor in enough redundancies in case projects come not through
- Limit the client / student ratio to not overwhelm the client resources
For more details on the type of industry and projects students collaborate with while completing this course, visit the school’s Partnered Projects website or the Professional Communication Showcase website.