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Teaching the reality of industry

There is no doubt that the media industry has seen substantial changes in the past few years. This has been felt mostly by media professionals, which has put them in an important position to teach online students about the realities of working in this field.

Sports journalist and Swinburne Online eLearning Advisor (eLA) Melissa Woods says her experience has helped her better inform online students about the media industry through teaching.

“Students like to know that what they're learning is not just from a text book but is applicable in the 'real world'. My industry has undergone massive changes in the last decade and I hope my current experience gives them confidence.”

Melissa completed a Bachelor in Sports Media majoring in Sports Journalism from the University of Canberra. Since then she has clocked in over 20 years’ experience working across different parts of the industry including newspapers, magazines and online.

Although she continues to work as a journalist part-time for the Australian Associated Press, Melissa says she turned to teaching online to ‘kick-start her brain’ after having three children.

“I wanted to find something that was new and stimulating as well as flexible to fit in with the other parts of my life. Becoming an eLA at Swinburne was the perfect fit. It offered subjects I felt suited to and I liked the idea of a collaborative learning model.

The Melbourne resident has been teaching online for close to two years and says one of the highlights has been seeing students grow in terms of their knowledge and confidence as well their collaboration and friendship with other students.

“Many students wouldn't otherwise be able to study because of work and family commitments as well as simple geography. It also suits students who don't feel comfortable in a traditional classroom setting.”

“It’s easy to connect online as teacher to student and student to student. Learning online means that things like appearances, backgrounds and age aren't a factor and students connect because they have a common goal.”