For a number of years, Karen has supported students at York St John University by providing an insight to working in the creative business sector. As the employability agenda has intensified, Professor Liz Mellor invited Karen to work with her on a Research and Enterprise module for third year music undergraduates. Karen provided business input and acted as a business mentor to the students.
Through the Research and Enterprise module students were tasked with:
The online portfolio (created in Mahara) was used as both a formative and summative learning tool. Following a successful first year, Karen and Liz worked together with two recent graduates (who had experienced the module) to measure the impact of this method of learning with the next cohort of students. The research methods included:
The project produced some real ‘light bulb’ moments where it was clear that the students ‘got it’, that is, they understood that the module was gently supporting them to take responsibility for their careers after university. Liz, Karen and Hayley Jenkins presented the research paper at the Research in Music Education conference at Exeter University. The project was described as groundbreaking and innovative.
Karen has continued to play an important role as business expert to this course. Her externality to YSJU, her expertise in the creative sector,digital technologies and employability and her role modelling as a female in business has been invaluable to the student experience and has been identified as a strength of the BA Music Programme at YSJU by the external examiner.
Professor Liz Mellor
Professor/Reader in Music (Education, Community & Health),
York St John University