Lancaster University Management School
The Video Arts programmes provide award-winning content that not only crystallises the important learning points but is also engaging and memorable.
Video Arts in conversation with Dr Peter Lenney, Lancaster University Business School
How did your relationship with Video Arts come about?
The Video Arts programmes provide award-winning content that not only crystallises the important learning points but is also engaging and memorable. I first saw a Video Arts film in the 1980s and I’ve never forgotten its impact. Ever since the birth of online video we’ve been an early adopter with Video Arts as they developed content on digital platforms.
Why video learning?
Our goal is to get our students as prepped and ready for the world of work as we possibly can. The reality is it’s not easy to be a good manager. We have to find elegant ways of providing leading-edge academic content as well as practical skills training: the so-called ‘soft skills’. Soft skills are hard so it’s key to get students engaged and, for that, Video Arts was the obvious answer. Video is a fantastic tool for getting the message across. It brings the learning points to life and helps us to embed the skills that our graduates need in the business world.
What do the students make of it?
The students love the video element of the course: they are so used to streamed media that they just expect it really.
What content are you using?
There are some basic skills that we need to develop in undergrad business students – teamwork, running meetings, giving feedback and coaching – the basic managerial skills that they need to operate in the business world. We use Video Arts resources to support our experiential learning activities in all of these areas.
And how is it deployed?
Lecturers use short clips in the classroom to reinforce their teaching points. That said, there is a lot of video content and we don’t want to use all our valuable teaching time to show videos so we also give them to students as a self-study resource. Course leaders can decide what parts of the library they want students to watch and, with the help of Video Arts, we can monitor what the students are watching.
What’s the scale of the skills training programme?
We’ve been using the content as part of the business school curriculum for undergrad, MBA and masters programmes. We’ve got about 1,000 students accessing them at the minute. Engineering and Medicine are the next obvious departments that could benefit from it and our HR department is going to deploy it with University staff. The hope is within a year we’ll have the library deployed across the wider University.
And how well have Video Arts supported your initiative?
The team at Video Arts are fantastic: they’ve been extremely flexible in making sure that the video is on our system, trackable and watchable on Macs as well as PCs. Everyone’s really impressed with what they’ve seen.