Both Students at Work: Learning to Labour in Higher Education, and the earlier documentary Universities PLC?, are intended to be useful to students, teachers and researchers. They may be used as resources for talking about the issues they raise, for example student engagement and participation, or the contemporary political landscape of Higher Education. They may also be useful for anybody wishing to learn more about research-based learning, and they provide a case-study of one of the many ways in which students, no matter what level of study they are at, can engage in research. Both films are available free to download from this site and we hope that, together with the additional resources provided on this site, they will be widely used.
After Universities PLC? was completed in 2005, a number of the students and staff involved presented at conferences and seminars, discussing both the issues the film raised and the potential for other students to be involved in similar projects. Students at Work has already been shown when it was near completion, at an interactive exhibition at Warwick University entitled 'Teaching and Learning in and For a Complex World'. This site-specific exhibition at the Teaching Grid in the Central Library at the University of Warwick was shown twice, once at the British Sociological Association (BSA) Annual Conference in March 2008, and then at a special showing in April 2008. The film-in-progress was shown alongside other examples of students' research, including the peer reviewed undergraduate journal Reinvention: a Journal of Undergraduate Research, and an audio and visual display of Sociologists talking about the relationship between teaching and research. This exhibition has been written about in an article by Les Back (2008) called 'Sociologists Talking', published in Sociological Research Online (Vol. 13, issue 6).
We have plans to take the film to relevant forthcoming conferences. These events, importantly, involve all members of the collaborative team, and not just the academic staff.
Cath, Laura and Elisabeth discuss with delegates at the BSA conference in March 2008
Katy in discussion with delegates at BSA 2008