This term I’m teaching an elective under our MA in media management program at the school of communication. It has been a tremendous experience so far engaging with young Chinese students from the other side of the class desk.
The course is titled Communication Technology & Media Organizations. I have developed an outline meant to brief students on some useful concepts communication researchers have to characterize new media impact on media organizations and society more generally. I’ve tailored it to match my own interests in information society, media studies, public relations and advertising.
My immediate challenge was to relate with students from a context dramatically different from how I was born and raised, live and work and to do so in an engaging manner. Understanding a students frame of reference is a key concern of paedagogy (or the method of teaching).
My teaching strategy thus incentivises class participation and collective learning. For instance by making it clear that there are no right or wrong answers; only useful and not so useful ones. I also bring examples to class that show similarities in media development in Mainland China, Hong Kong and rest of the world, including Pakistan.
This ultimately is in line with my own philosophy of finding meaning rather than ‘winning’ and rhetoric. The course is also a starting point for an online course I’m developing for students and young people living in Pakistan.