Industry Practitioner Case Study

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Written by  Saad Qureshi and Lee Erinmez

Updated from the original: 30 April 2019

A case of too much too soon?

Adam was the Head of Business at a local music promotions company down the road from the Ward Creative Institute. Saira, a lecturer on the Music Business course at the Institute, herself a part time band manager, asked Adam to consider teaching on a Marketing, Business and Law module on the Music Business course.

Adam hadn’t lectured before but was really excited about the role.

Within a month or so he would be delivering his first full semester to a group of 60 students, the largest group on the Marketing module so far. He was appointed for two days a week, to teach in block days. This meant two 3 hour sessions with students each day.

A typical day for Adam would include managing his day to day work at his promotions company whilst preparing for lectures. He had been given some previous content delivered to students, but he didn’t quite know how to deliver it as he hadn’t designed the material. He had his own examples too from industry that he wanted to draw upon including dozens of legal contracts, successful promotional campaigns and more. Where should I start he kept asking himself? How do I take one example of a promotion campaign and turn it into content spanning a whole session or day?

Adam had a number of concerns when he assessed the role and demands on him as a new teacher and his current workload at the promotions company:

  • How he would fill that many hours/weeks of teaching with no teaching experience.
  • Would he be able to afford the time for planning the classes
  • Could he manage such a large group of students

Adam decided that he should contact Saira and discuss his concerns with her, as he would soon be starting his new role and wanted to use his time wisely to plan affectively.

As the Ward Creative Institute prides itself on it’s connections and use of industry professionals, as part of its teaching team/strategy, Saira had worked hard to develop a portfolio of resources to assist new members of the teaching team, who had very little or no experience in teaching and classroom management. This was given to Adam in time for him to digest the contents of the portfolio, which made him feel a lot more confident and informed, about the task ahead.

Saira also advised Adam that she would be supporting him, prior to commencing and during the transition into his new role with a pre-planned and through induction pack: The pack included:

  • Guiding him on the background of the students
  • Providing the programme and module outline
  • Clear mapping of where his industry experience, knowledge and skills linked to all module and assessment related tasks
  • Lecture content previously taught

Adam had considered adopting a teaching style that he thought was ‘hard’ preparing students for the real world challenges of strict deadlines, and frequent setbacks and disappointments. He wanted them to work in teams and after seeing that the requirements for both summative assignments required a team/collaborative approach, he felt confident that his approach would work. He was informed by Saira that this type of assignment didn’t always go down well with students and that he would find the collaborative approach to student work a challenge to manage at times.

Adam thought his method of involving students and challenging them was going to need a re-think, but that he would still apply the ‘real world challenge’ approach for the assignments, with a little less emphasis on ‘hard’.

Because of his busy schedule outside the Institute Adam could only afford to spend time on campus for the two days he taught. He wasn’t able to interact much with other teaching faculty, many of who came in on different days. The faculty office was for those staff who were full time permanent due to limited space.

As the end of semester approached, Adam found himself having to mark students’ assessments and written work which he didn’t know how to go about marking. He knew these were due in week 9 of the semester but was unable to plan his time as he juggled his new teaching commitments.

He got through it with the help of Saira’s support but it caused him a lot of stress.

Saira was hoping Adam would return to deliver the same module next semester but he mentioned that although he very much enjoyed the experience, teaching wasn’t what he expected and it was rather stressful. So he’d be returning to his industry job.

Reflection 

Assessing the scenarios in the above case study:

  • What issues do you think are present in the case study?
  • It would have been great if Adam could continue to teach. What could Saira have done to help retain Adam as a valued member on the course?
  • What can the Ward Creative Institute learn from this story about Adam?

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