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Discover Digital Media

Dr Natasha Dwyer

My name is Dr Natasha Dwyer and I look after the digital media studies at both postgrad and undergraduate levels.

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Chair and Coordinator of Digital Media

Digital Media Major and Minor

Dr Natasha Dwyer

I think that digital media is a massive game changer and the potential to change the status quo, which is so exciting, like we can see what digital media's done to the music industry where it used to be these very well defined power structures and they've been shaken up and we don't know if actually the change is good but the possibilities is what makes me really excited.

Digital media is about using new technology to be able to make things. Underpinning digital media and how it's taught in the courses is the area of user experience, otherwise known as UX. What I've found is, if you are a digital media practitioner, in your organisation there's always some form of new media that's come along and your employer wants to know what to do with it. And it mightn't mean that you have to cover the whole thing yourself but just so you can research, understand, talk to other people and say 'hey, this is how I think this could work'.

So how it's taught more specifically: so basically we often get projects that have been created and we reverse-engineer them to work out how we... how to do it and to be able to make these projects our own. For instance, instance to re-skin them in some cases; to create our own images and slot them in. So students studying digital media will be able to learn how to study audiences which is a highly employable skill and also how to be able to create a project using a piece of software and how to bundle it up and also to be able to observe people using it, so you can take feedback and to apply it to improve the work.

So students walk away from the digital media units with items in their portfolio that are very impressive, if I can say that, because they work on a project such as a chatbot. And they'll have a sense of how that chatbot works and they will have had a role in creating something for it, whether it's the research around it, how the chatbot talks, and the skills they will have that back up that portfolio piece is the knowledge of how technology works, how you can take it apart, what works well and what doesn't work well. So basically an understanding of how to get around and to be able to handle files and to be able to not be intimidated by technology; that you can see where it works well and where it doesn't. As a final thing, that if students are worried about their technical competencies or whether they're natural at technology, please don't worry about it. We make no assumptions about people's knowledge levels and we also find that people just adapt really quickly to be able to use computers, and it's actually about your prior experience what you can bring to it rather than being a techy person.

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