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Public Engagement


For our module we assess the students in three ways:

Write 4 blogs
Make a video to engage us with a topic of their choosing
Take part in a live event where they have to engage the public as part of a group


All the assignments have been created to give the students an opportunity to practice their engagement skills through different mediums. Public engagement is a skill that you can only really gain by having a go at it and starting to feel confident so this was important to us when designing the module. We also wanted to recognise that people have different strengths and excel at engagement in different ways. Some people may be brilliant writers but not confident presenters.

Our blogs ask the students to examine four different topics, which encourages the students to think critically about public engagement and read more widely around the subject. However we then ask them to translate that critical thinking and reading into something anyone from the street could pick up, read, and be able to follow their arguments. It tests the students as it breaks the rules of normal academic writing, but gives them a skill that would be useful for engaging public audiences with their work in digital spaces. We offer a lot of flexibility with the medium for these assignments – the majority write blogs, but we also allow for video and audio submissions – or even creative response such as creating an Instagram Story or Twitter post. This allows students to pick a format that best suits their own strengths.

The video assignments asks the students to engage us with something their passionate about. Again this prepares the student for being able to work in digital spaces – but recognises that they can use platforms like YouTube/ TikTok/ Instagram to do this, rather than just by writing articles.

For the live event we organise a public engagement event and invite the students to work in groups to create an interactive stand to engage the audience with a topic they can choose between them relating to a theme. This encourages interdisciplinary ideas sharing as they all interpret the theme from their own disciplinary background and have to collaborate to find the common synergy between them. The group nature of the project also recognises that people have different skills. Some will be excellent creative thinkers who can develop an amazing interactive activity, and others will be fantastic talkers who can draw people in and get the message across using the activity. They get real life experience of talking to the public and have to react to questions and the unexpected in real time. It’s a great learning opportunity, as well as an assessment of how much they’ve learnt from the module and been able to put it into practice.

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