Teaching transmedia to millennials: A critical reflection on the embedding of transmedia skills in the communication curriculum

You are here

Research and Development in Higher Education Vol. 39: The Shape of Higher Education

July, 2016, 391 pages
Published by
Melissa Davis & Allan Goody

What has been labelled the digital media revolution is now more than ten years old, but a best practice framework to teach transmedia platforms is yet to be developed. Social media and its role in tertiary education has been extensively researched across multiple disciplines, for example marketing (Constantinides & Zinck Stagno, 2011), journalism (Hirst & Treadwell, 2011) and hospitality (Fortune, Spielman, & Pangelinan, 2011), with a focus on fostering student engagement (Rutherford, 2010) and the notion of digital media platforms as interactive study support tools (Saw, Abbott, Donaghey, & McDonald, 2013; Silius et al., 2010; Wolf, 2010). However, there is little empirical research or conceptual guidelines capturing the challenges and opportunities for pedagogy presented by the continuously changing media landscape, despite the recognition that the higher education workforce is struggling to adapt to these significant changes (Fortune et al., 2011; Manca & Ranieri, 2016). Whilst the millennial generation are often assumed to be digital natives, there is a distinct difference between using technology, understanding technology, and utilising it appropriately in a professional context. Hence, this paper critically investigates communication students’ engagement with new technologies (in particular social media platforms) and learning in a transmedia environment. This study is the beginning of a longitudinal project, which aims to develop a comprehensive pedagogical best practice framework to teach transmedia concepts in real-time.

Keywords: transmedia learning, digital natives, public relations