Sunday, December 02, 2007

Academic Network Conference 07 (11)

An Event Based Approach for Learning Media Production

Media schools are looking towards methods of teaching and practicing media production. At the Academic Network Conference Sohvi Sirkesalo of Tampere School of Art and Media treated a case study of the Eurovision Song contest as a multichannel production for multichannel distribution. Tomi Numento of Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences in Finland presented Event Based Learning (EBL) production. He had written an extensive paper on the subject entitled Events as Organisational Stories event based approach for learning media with Pekka Uotila.

The western cultures have medialised in recent years. Media is present anytime, anywhere and almost on any technical device. The changing professional environment in the field of media education is especially challenging in rural areas. Technological and organisational changes are as rapid and radical as in urban regions but the regional development is negative in terms of the economics and the decreasing population. In this situation, there is a danger of falling into the position of a follower and media content consumer instead of a developer. It is crucial for an educational institution to find a position where the latest media solutions can actively be used for educational purposes in all different fields of study, especially in non-media disciplines.

New technologies and the changing organisational and media environment require new learning methods and approaches for media education. Different fields of media production are getting more and more important in the events’ survival struggle and in the role of changing event management. These lines of changes: changes in organisational culture, changes in the media production and centralisation make it necessary to find new approaches to train new professionals for the field of media and entertainment.

In Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences the developed approach is called Event Based Learning. In EBL the process of project management is understood as twofold: as a technical management tool for the event as a whole and also as a personal concept of organizing and outlining the personal benefits on participating in the process and the growth process during the process.

(c) Tomi Numento and Pekka Uotila of Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences (Finland)

Event Based Learning (see scheme above) is trying to respond to some of the many different demands which are facing educational institutions, organisations and rural areas, and in this case Finland. The universities of applied sciences should be able to offer high-level training and be active in regional development as well as in research and development. With limited and reducing resources these demands can only be met by combining different activities and interests in one entity. Event Based Learning is a combination of three main processes, which take place in a local context.

One of the primary cases so far has been a complex video-production for a Finnish national level rally competition taking place in Mikkeli City and rural area. Through the EBL process the rally event was combined with courses in information technology, telecommunications, event production, business, marketing, industrial design and catering. This professional experience of multicamera production and decentralised distribution was offered as part of their studies to 40 students in the Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences and to 10 media students in the Mikkeli Vocational School. Students taking part in the production had different approaches: a compulsory course, project studies, practical training or diploma work. Students were also from different stages of study: vocational studies, first year and senior students worked on the production side by side with professionals and clients from different organisations as well as with customers and rally event spectators. For the several thousand rally spectators the production was a very new concept to experience at the rally event.

The result was a long story, over seven hours of a manuscripted live rally related media stream including live rally footage from three special stages, interviews, real time results and a rally studio. Two new technologies were used in the distribution of the media. Firstly, a large-scale commercial Wimax wireless broadband network was used to stream media over public Internet from and to one of the special stages, 20 kilometres from the Mikkeli City centre. Secondly, a commercial fibre network, in which the video, audio and command signals were multiplexed and transferred in real time, was used to transport live coverage, 15 kilometres from the Mikkeli City centre. The media was viewed on a large video wall and on an internal TV-network in the service park situated in Mikkeli City centre and on several smaller TV-screens, which were situated at one of the special stages about 20 kilometres from the service park. The main working life partner was the local rally organiser and its partners (15 active persons dealing with the media production). In total they spent approximately 4500 hours on the media production. The project team was in touch with several of the partners’ subcontractors as well.

Blog Posting Number: 938

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