Out of the classroom and into the field

GWS Giants press conference

Putting theory into practice, Keith Parry, Lecturer from the School of Business, has been introducing some interesting blended learning methods into his teaching strategy at UWS. Thanks to the University’s partnership with the GWS GIANTS, some of his students have had the opportunity to attend an AFL game while others have been involved in a press conference, using social media and technology along the way.

Keith says this new approach has been part of a strategy  to enhance the learning experience of his students. “Sport Management students attended a match in March, and students from the Strategic Communication in Sport unit took part in a press conference, held in May, as part of a blended learning strategy developed for this unit,” explains Keith. “It provided them with real-life examples to support the theory taught during the unit.”

Keith has found that these experiences engage students with material in ways traditional methods do not, and they cater for different learning styles, too. “With some aspects of the unit, it is better to learn through doing than to read or be told about them,” explains Keith.

For the press conference, students played the role of journalists and were able to question the coach. They then each wrote a story, with the best story winning the chance to work with the GIANTS media department.

Sport Management students who attended the game were able to analyse the behaviour and communication of sports fans and the methods that clubs use to communicate during games. The students participated in a Twitter competition, using a hashtag to post photos from the event.

The learning experience has been beneficial for the GIANTS, too. “The GIANTS indicated that the press conference activity benefitted their head coach, Leon Cameron, by providing him with additional practice and experience ahead of press conferences the following weekend – in particular, the students provided some challenging and untypical questions,” says Keith. “The Twitter posts made by students who attended the game provided the club with unique perspectives that they have been able to use in their own social media efforts.”

Another project Keith has been working on with the involvement of students is an iBook, which has involved filming at ANZ Stadium, the GIANTS Learning Life Centre, and on-campus.

Keith is also working with Sports Business Insider (opens in a new window) to get students involved in a series of future Twitter chats around sport. If you’re interested in taking part in these chats, contact Keith Parry (opens in a new window) to keep in the loop on when the chats will be happening and what hashtag to follow.