Active and collaborative cross-disciplinary learning between Music and Sound Design students (FASS) and BSc in Games Development Students (FEIT)

To provide an active and collaborative learning experience that prepares final year students for industry, Dr Felicity Wilcox, Music and Sound Design (MSD), and Dr Jaime Garcia, BSc in Games Development (BGD), worked together throughout 2017 to develop a formal collaboration between third year students from both degrees undertaking major projects in their final semester, and implemented this initiative in Spring, 2017.

For their final assessment students in the Game Design Studio 2 subject built new games, and the opportunity to create original sound design and music for these games was extended to MSD students in the Sound Project subject as an option for their assessment.

Students collaborated on four new games for a variety of platforms. Both lecturers supported the collaborations through regular mentoring and strategic cross-disciplinary content delivery. Students benefited from this knowledge, gaining a more in-depth understanding of facets relating to their practice. This understanding was reinforced by the use of ‘Agile’ game development principles in the collaborative process, which continued over the twelve weeks of the semester, with students meeting regularly in interdisciplinary teams during and outside of class time.

The finished playable games with original, customized audio assets were showcased during a combined FASS/FEIT presentation in Bon Marche Studio on October 20, with audience invited to play the games, experience audio via headphones, and offer feedback.

Formal authentic assessment focused on factors such as project management and implementation, and the degree of technical and aesthetic refinement in finished work.

We are pleased to report a high standard of work across both cohorts as a result of this initiative, individual students have informally reported a high degree of satisfaction with the collaborations, and a strong sense of achievement due to the quality of the resulting product, and industry relevance of the teaching and learning experience.