Associate Professor Academic Leader - Solent Creatives Southampton Solent University
In 2005 the Institute became Southampton Solent University and I gained an MSc in Software Engineering Management.
Over the years we employed many students as placements and on work experience:
I was lucky enough to land a part-time role within Solent's eDC team while in the final year of my BA(Hons) Multimedia Design degree. The experience I gained from my time in the department was invaluable, and led to my first creative role with a small local web design agency. Working with the team in eDC was a great start to my career. I learnt a lot about working on web projects in a team and what technologies are used in the industry. The experience also enabled me to use the skills I was currently learning at uni in HTML, Flash and Video. After leaving the eDC and graduating from Solent, I spent the next 3 years learning all I could about web design, and adding nearly 70 various web projects to my creative portfolio. I moved on from my first agency and made a transition into a bigger digital department within a marketing agency, working for clients including DKNY, Vodafone and Cisco, to name a few. After a lot of hard work and determination I was promoted to Senior Designer, and given the chance to help run a great team of 13 designers and developers. I now look forward to taking up a new challenge in the new year to lead the creative team in a funky web/app agency. Although there has been a lot of hard work, skills development and learning involved, I love what I do, which is half the battle and the early days of working in eDC really opened my eyes to the potential of working within the fascinating and dynamic web/creative industry and the eDC gave me the springboard I needed to realise a long and meaningful career.
In 2011 the department expanded, changed name and became the Learning Technologies department and I became the Head of Learning Technologies. The Learning Technologies team is full of highly skilled people dedicated to enhancing Southampton Solent University's technology enhanced learning provision for staff and students.
In 2007 I started lecturing part time in the evenings on the BA(Hons) Media Culture and Production course at Solent University teaching students across all three years online digital production, which is web design and development, to create websites that include media such as video, audio and photography. It has been a great experience and I have learned so much about how students learn and their approach to their learning. That knowledge and experience I took back in to the Head of Learning Technologies job and it helped shape so much of what I did and my approach to that area of my work. Students today have different approaches and of course new technologies in their lives from when I was a student.
Steve Hogg has been a fantastic, patient teacher with me on this unit. I am not very good when it comes to technology and computers, but after some panicking and fretting on my behalf, he took me through designing a website step by step. He is a very good teacher to have on the course. No matter how simple or obvious your misunderstanding or confusion, he is happy to help and there is never a sense of him getting annoyed or losing his temper at you not understanding.
In my teaching I make full use of technology in the classroom and online, including video tutorials, that I make, and social media. I always create a mirror of everything I do in the classroom in the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Everything we cover and all the activities I make available in the VLE from day one. I create video tutorials but alongside them I create text explanations and screen grabs and images and diagrams as not everyone likes to use video. That way students can move ahead if they want to or look at the material again if they weren't sure about it and need to see it again. Of course there are always students who miss sessions for all sorts of reasons including work commitments and illness. With the material fully available everyone can catch themselves up. That concept has worked very well over the years.
In November 2016 I moved to become Academic Leader - Solent Creatives. In this new job I am responsible for the day to day running of the Solent Creatives agency that matches student talent to real world work experience and as you will see from the Providing Student Work Experience page here on my site, that is something I have been doing for years, so the job is very suited to me. In addition I get to do a lot more teaching and lecturing and work with creative students and staff. What could be better than that?
The online tutorials have been priceless and I have recommended them to so many people who felt stuck like I did and they have had the same helpful effect every time so now even I am passing on knowledge I have learnt which is a great feeling.
Some of that thinking and ideas I have published and presented on at conferences here in the U.K and in Europe. Please refer to the Publications, Conference Presentations & Memberships section for details of that research work.