…my vision for photography and digital media education in the School of Media.

Attract, retain, and transform students through education.

Key points to make in 7 minutes or less:

1) Maintain the dynamic teaching and learning methods that include professional practices and critical engagement with media in society.

2) Rebrand the BA Photography programme to better convey the qualities and outcomes of the course.

3) Incorporate business studies into existing modules during each year of the programme.

4) Develop a post-graduate programme in visual media that will attract Irish and international students. 

5) Conduct a workshop day for all Year 1 students in the School of Media. 

6) Drive structural changes in 3rd Level education.

Magazine of photography designed and produced by the Year 1 students 2019.
Year 1 students learning traditional darkroom production.

1) Maintain the dynamic teaching and learning methods that include professional practices and critical engagement with media in society.

This principle is part of the definition of a Technolgical University in the 2030 strategy document.

This requires resources: staff, equipment, space. It also has a proven track record of stronger outcomes for students. Creativity and adaptability are highly valued by employers.

It continues the 100 year tradition of practice-based education throughout the institution’s many incarnations, from apprenticeships to Doctoral level.

Active learning, learning by doing, has been a part of the Institutes of Technology for 100 years. As the TU Dublin these methods set us apart from other universities. 

Using active learning methods means we can’t pack as many bodies into a lecture hall. If we choose to implement active learning we need to do it effectively. But it does mean that our students have a stronger and more compelling experience. 

Luke Ryan
Year 1 students discussing darkroom work.

2) Rebrand the BA Photography programme to better convey the qualities and outcomes of the course.

 

The institution needs to sell the quality of the education it delivers.

The photography course develops skills far and above just using cameras and we need to show industry, employers, government and the education sector the quality of the course.

Staff members are already doing so, but TU Dublin needs to direct and expand those efforts.

This is part of giving the students value for the work they complete.

Graduate Exhibition opening in the Gallery of Photography with Principal Brian Norton
Website of graduate Beata Cierzniewska

3) Incorporate business studies into existing modules during each year of the programme.

I want to include short additions to existing critical studies and practice projects that address the professional characteristics of that work: writing project and grant proposals, pricing and legal factors, marketing and distribution of work.

Photography insert in DIT Edition newspaper. Photograph by Shane Caldwell.

4) Develop a post-graduate programme in visual media that will attract Irish and international students.

My colleagues have considered many aspects of a post-graduate programme, but due to existing commitments we haven’t written a programme document. 

TU Dublin development, together with rebranding the BA programme, is an ideal time to push a new post-grad programme. This would complement the existing post-graduate programmes in the School of Media. Creating the programme requires resources for development as well as implementation.

Year 4 students discussing their final projects.

5) Conduct a workshop day for all Year 1 students in the School of Media.

First year students on the four undergraduate programmes could come together to work on different types of media on a specific theme: ‘Who is TU Dublin?’

Students would see the different capabilities across the school.

They would begin to recognise names and faces of people on other courses.

The project would help build a sense of belonging to the SoM and TU Dublin.

Website of graduate Marco Novara

6) Drive structural changes in 3rd Level education

Diversity of entry has been an important issue for some years and needs to continue, but once students are in the door we need to allow them opportunities to grow and change their minds 

Create a common entry to School of Media: students can gain basic skills in different media and then specialize.

Students are forced to pick a single medium for entry to third level. This doesn’t suit contemporary practice.

It doesn’t serve the needs of learners who might change their mind or respond better to a different technique.

Marketing the School of Media could sell the range of opportunities for students.

Students ‘part-time’ work interferes with their commitment to their degree programme.  A more flexible structure would allow them to better manage their efforts.

Caleb Daly, Year 1

We do a lot of things well. 

Last year I completed a module in the Learning Teaching Technology Centre. The content emphasized techniques we’ve been using on the BA Photography programme since 1999.

We can adapt and innovate without abandoning academic rigour and technical excellence.

Screen grab of my article on the value of a BA degree in photography or art.

We don’t want to change according to every fad of the moment, but we can adapt our legacy structures to better meet our highest goal:
graduates who gain economic and personal value through higher education.

Tim Kovar

June 2019
(images copyright the respective photographers)

Kate Glennon, Year 1