Open Media Classes at Coventry University
Final evaluation report 2015
Authors: Lou McGill and Tim Gray
report cover

We would like to acknowledge the following individuals: Shaun Hides, Jonathan Worth, Matt Johnston, Peter Woodbridge and Jonathan Shaw. We would also like to thank David Kernohan from Jisc who provided valuable support and information.

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“We have proven to our institution that by opening up our photography classes we create a network of connected visual storytellers who serve to enrich the experience of the paying and attending student (leading to our course becoming the most over subscribed in the University). This virtuous circle of the distributed class has enabled engagement by individuals and communities barred from traditional closed learning either by geographical, financial or cultural barrier, whilst simultaneously offering an expanded network of resource and collaboration to the attendee. As far as we can see – everyone wins.”  Reclaim Open Learning Awards, 2013

What students have said

The photography course at Coventry University and especially the open classes have totally changed how I operate as a photographer. It’s made me think about how I define myself as a 21st Century practitioner and helped me understand the importance of networking in order to find or tell a story. It’s opened up my eyes to the quantity of online platforms which can benefit me professionally, and has really kept me reflecting on myself in the role of author and storyteller. As well as focusing on such online and digital tools, it has also promoted to me the idea of the importance of the physical artefact, something which has made a big impact on me and what I produce. Sean Carroll, 2012

Approaching Phonar I had the ideology that the photograph was the same as the image, digital photography and video were completely separate mediums and the key issues involved with photography didn’t stretch much more than the limitations of commerce and commercial manipulation.

However after being introduced to practitioners such as Fred Ritchin, Stephen Mayes, David Campbell and Shahidul along with many other contributors, I have been able to identify and reflect on the key issues associated with post-modern photography following the paradigm shift from analogue to digital. Rebecca Woodall – final reflection

My time on the photography course … taught me to believe in myself. I am dyslexic, and through my time in education it has been a battle. At Coventry University they helped me understand that dyslexia can be a positive attribute in this multimedia world that is being created by us around us. I learnt that reading and writing weren’t the only way to communicate and that visual language, audio and limited writing can for many people be an even better way of communicating. They taught me how to use images, sounds and video to tell a story. I might not be able to write a sentence or even read it, but I can communicate powerfully through the visual language. I have used sound, images and videos to document issues of personal interest to me and to help others understand better. Larissa Grace student