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MCH1002 : Skills and Methods in Digital Cultures

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Tom Schofield
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To provide students with foundational skills in producing digital media
To introduce students to the realisation of critical approaches through digital media
To provide students with methods and resources for planning and managing technical projects
To introduce students to the basics of collaboration in practical digital projects
To contextualise digital media production with respect to careers in the creative industries
To introduce scholarly, practical and creative strategies for self-supported and peer-reliant learning and problem solving.

Outline Of Syllabus

Skills taught in this module are introduced under three headings:

1.       Digital Story Telling
2.       Data and Visualisation
3.       Interactivity and the Creative Web

In this stage 1 module students are introduced to these areas using primarily ‘off-the-shelf’ tools which allow the quick creation of new media forms under the above topics for instance by creating:

1.       prototypes in VR (Sketch)
2.       infographics (e.g. Tableau)
3.       interactive documentary (e.g. Korsakow)

To support the development of these skills students will be taught to organise and plan their technical projects using relevant tools and methods, to help themselves and others by identifying relevant resources and to begin to evaluate their own work using relevant approaches. Additionally, students will be asked to discuss theories introduced in MCH1001 ‘Introduction to Digital Cultures’ in relationship to their practical work promoting the integration of theory and practice.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture22:004:00Module lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00Preparing portfolio for assessment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:3027:30Hybrid workshop. Will often take place in computing labs.
Guided Independent StudySkills practice1127:00127:00Independent skills practice using provided tutorials and self-directed practice
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery30:301:30Skills drop-in led by technical staff
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures: These constitute the primary method to achieve skills and knowledge learning outcomes. Although these are designated 'lectures' they will be presented as a hybrid lecture/workshop format. Over the 2 hours students will be introduced to the topic at hand, will see it related to their theoretical learning in MCH1001 and will undertake practical exercises throughout the session. This approach is intended to strengthen the relationship between theory and practice within the programme. Each lecture/workshop will set a task building on the session's exercises and asking students to expand their (the exercises) technical scope with reference to resources, technical forums and tutorials (see skills practice).

Drop-in/surgery: led by technician/teaching assistant colleagues following up on lecture materials to address technical questions arising from both these and from students' own skills practice

Skills practice: students will extend their familiarity with technical teaching through the use of sign-posted tutorials and tasks set in lectures. They will develop their skills in identifying relevant literature

Portfolio preparation: students will produce a set of summative mini-projects responding to a brief set in lectures. In doing so they will achieve skills outcomes in project management and realisation and knowledge outcomes through their choice of approach, literature and theoretical references.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio1M100Responses to mini-project briefs (mostly images, video, etc.) including 1000-word commentary.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Mini projects will challenge students to complete a semi-structured task to a brief in each of our three skills areas. The portfolio format will demand that they use their documentation skills effectively. The 1000-word commentary will be an opportunity to explain how the practical projects might connect to topics introduced in MCH1001.

Reading Lists