alt.media: Create to Engage - Helen Keegan

I will describe the use of alt.media to create learning experiences for undergraduate and postgraduate cohorts in a transdisciplinary context. Exploring themes around identity, creativity, engagement, remix culture, spreadable media and curiosity, I will present a series of projects which centre on open educational practices where formal education and informal learning practices collide, subverting traditional methods through folk creativity, identity play, performance and transmedia intertextuality. Following Jenkins et. al. (2013) in their critique of the notion of ‘virality’, and developing ideas around ‘spreadability’, I will highlight our use and exploration of memes and remix culture through open production practices and crowdsourced research. I will also present an experiment in Alternate Reality Gaming to introduce mystery and intrigue into the curriculum, raising questions around produsage, identity play, and hoaxes online. Through highlighting a range of practices, many of which resonate strongly with open media and creative activism, I will encourage participants to consider everyday creativity, audience engagement and media production, consumption and critique.


Helen Keegan (@heloukee) is a National Teaching Fellow (UK Higher Education Academy) and Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the University of Salford, UK.  Her expertise lies in curriculum innovation through social and participatory media, with a particular focus on creativity and interdisciplinarity. She is known for her work on digital cultures and identities, social technologies and the interplay between formal and informal learning; Helen works across sciences and media arts, developing partnerships and creative approaches to learning and collaboration. As a regular international speaker, recent engagements have included the New Media Consortium at MIT, BBC Global News and the European Distance Education Network.Alongside presenting and consulting, Helen has published in journals and edited collections including the European Journal of Open and Distance Learning, Selected Papers of Internet Research, and the Handbook of Research on Social Software and Developing Community Ontologies. For more info see http://www.acoustics.salford.ac.uk/profiles/keegan/