On Sunday January 22nd students and administrators gathered for the annual MCDM town hall meeting in the communications building on campus to discuss what’s hot and what’s not in UW’s digital media program. The objective of this round table event was to inform students about current and future happenings in the MCDM program and for admin to sit on the hot seat while students posed questions, presented concerns, praised what is working, and suggested future ideas for the program. There was a solid turnout; lots of pizza, and great discussion covering many topics ranging from fun obscure sayings like “fusion of innovation” to more concrete action ideas like “better student resources.”
Director Hanson Hosein led off the event with a state of the union and year in review for the program. Much of what he spoke about can be summed up in the article he wrote on Mashable, key points include: MCDM focusing on going deep into content by creating, curating, and using metrics to analyze. Establishing capital and social value through community relationships by rethinking TV through the Four Peaks Television show, developing academic publishing through the Four Peaks Review, good student support and alumni hiring record, and community scholarship. Student experience and alumni support were also brought up as future initiatives being looked into by the alumni. One big aspect was the development of a long-term outward looking innovative Masters program offering a solid return on investment for its students and community.
Some of the student discussions and questions were about:
- Developing robust student resources ensuring efficiency and preparedness to new and returning students.
- Skills audit; identifying and harnessing the skills needed by the MCDM student and the digital media industry at large.
- Aggregating content from the web and within the program to present solid best practices emerging trends and good work being conducted inside the program.
- More concise educational tracking and course planning so students have a better long-term understanding of how individual classes fit within the big picture.
- More clarity and information on individual classes, letting the students see what a final deliverable may be and how it will benefit them in the professional world.
- How professional development and life as an MCDM alumni will continue after graduation and what it may look like.
Having a town hall meeting like this is an excellent way for the administration to get their fingers on the pulse of the program and gain a first hand understanding of the students concerns. It’s also a great feeling to know that as students, we have some input on the future direction of this program. There were a lot of great ideas being generated in the room through passionate discussion and thoughtful insight. Meetings like this make me realize that I am a part of a powerful community, one that isn’t perfect but is consistently striving to be better for its students and alumni.