Innovative pedagogy: The 'Entertainment Production' Degree @Deakin University, 2015-2018


Entertainment Production was an innovative, high-value course designed to meet the growing demands of the cultural entertainment industries in Australia

In 2018 I look back on four years of innovative teaching through the Entertainment Production Degree at Deakin. Taught within the School of Communication and Creative Arts, and initiated with the foresight and expertise of Deb Verhoeven (among Australia's pioneers in innovative teaching), I was Director of the degree for 2017 and 2018.

What is innovative pedagogy?

In this degree, we amplified what Deakin University does well: engage students in meaningful classroom-learning. Our aim was to bridge the existing gap between the traditional media-specific degrees that universities have long provided (in television and film production, as well as curatorial studies) and the exponentially expanding fields of new media and popular entertainment industries. 

  • Class assignments were industry-related projects and the traditional lecture format was replaced by scaffolded hands-on learning in the classroom.
  • We taught across production, exhibition and distribution
  • We achieved a 100% attendance record and 100% student satisfaction in our first term of teaching. 

The Data Paradigm

Academic discussion of the data paradigm often elides the relationship between data and pedagogy. Particularly in the humanities, knowledge of software such as GIS software and CartoDB (for geospatial mapping), cannot be presumed. A degree that explicitly seek joins data skills to the analysis and promotion of cultural events is significant. It offers insight into the marriage of disciplines and pedagogic practices in the university. 

Students program real events...

Students collectively programmed events in public venues after a competitive pitching process. The Drag Night was held at a popular venue in Fitzroy, the Comedy night (above) went on to be a flagship event that led to weekly events of this sort at a well known local venue. 

Performers included:

I was awarded with a letter from the Associate Dean recognising my excellence in teaching. Deb Verhoeven and I were further commended by the Head of School for "personal efforts to teach brilliantly in an innovative course."

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