MA Social Media – big tick

The MA Social Media course I run at Birmingham City University has been accredited. It has a big tick from an organisation called Creative Skillset, a body that speaks on behalf of the media and creative industries in relation to skills issues.

Big TickI’m most pleased about this. The course had its fair share of criticism before it even began with my colleague Jon Hickman taking most of the flack (the course documents were even the subject of an FOI request). So many thanks to Jon for designing a course that has now had the recognition it deserves. He thought a balance of theory and practice would work and it does; what’s more the students value it, as Skillset found out when they talked to them.

The student voice played a key part here and credit to Skillset for spending quite a bit of time with them (and with some industry reps) on the day of the accreditation visit. I had both home and distance leaners on hand to feed back and all did me proud. In fact all 25 students who have gone through the course have done me proud.

I suspect the ‘tick’ may help a little with recruitment even if one doesn’t know or care who Skillset are; the concept of ‘accreditation’ travels internationally and offers some kind of assurance that the course is of value. Well here’s hoping anyway.

Unisurvival – Beat the bullies

Andrew Dubber invited me to be one of a team of academics writing for UniSurvival which delivers common-sense advice to students about everything from time management to drugs to how to drop out. Worth a read as well is Tim Wall’s piece on why how you think is more important than what you think.

I’m well-chuffed to be writing for it and I’ll avoid cross posting in future but this is my first piece which was about bullying:

bully pic
The daughter of a friend of mine had a bad time at her school. She was misunderstood by the teachers and bullied by a small group of fellow students. The former she dealt with by producing excellent work and getting good results – an ‘I’ll show ’em’ attitude – the latter proved a bit more complex to deal with and left her upset and withdrawn.

The solution was to move away from the problem, to another school. Now, a couple of years down the line she’s moving on again, to start her Uni life. But all she can think of is what if it happens again? What if the Uni bully finds me out and puts me through three years of hell?

Bullying isn’t just something that happens to kids of course. Adults in the workplace can be as vicitimised as schoolchildren in the playground. So what about the university campus? My immediate reaction on talking to my friend’s daughter was to reassure her that Uni life is simply a world away from school.

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