Photo by Naparazzi on Flickr

Dr Adrian Miles is the Program Manager of the Consilience Lab, the School of Media and Communication Honours program. He also teaches into the Bachelor of Communication (Media) program where he is responsible for a suite of subjects that deal with online media, multilinear narrative, and interactive video.

Thank you Adrian for taking the time to be interviewed for the LTIF.

Adrian does not use Blackboard.  At all.

Do you use Blackboard? No. Because:

  • Blackboard does not empower students
  • It is a very industrial model. It is a learning management system. Where the emphasis of use falls on the management and not the learning.
  • Blackboard confuses the convenience of  resources with teaching and learning
  • It doesn’t equip media students with the skills for the 21st century
  • It disempowers students
  • Cant curate anything

Most learning management systems in my experience are about how do we take the classroom and put it over here, so they are traditional classroom tools, as in here’s a test, here’s an essay, but they are not really about leveraging what the technology can do to change what we make. I’m a magpie, I’ll see something and try it. Like the Google classroom, I’ll try it.

Are you looking for tools that are LMS based? Not fussed. Although I dont use it, the efficiencies of an LMS is certainly a time saver. I dont put the grades in Blackboard, they go into a spreadsheet in Google drive, and then they get placed online. If you enter the results like Blackboard its not any more labour intensive.

What about feedback? Students print out their essays and hand them in. I provide written comments on their essays.

Hurdle as a form of Assessment Hurdle as a form of assessment is for example when students need to learn a new piece of software, and they’ve got to make something, this is what they have to produce, for example in class, you all have to take that media tool and here’s how its going to be assessed. The reason I do that is that there are students who are anxious about the technology. By doing this in a classroom, they are able to learn the technology and prepare for the assessment, and learn the technology tool at the same time.


Since 2000 I have had students blogging. Students get a blog, for life, until the student asks us to remove it. We now host our WordPress multiple user domain through Edublogs for media and honors students.  I use blogs extensively throughout the media program, and use blogs across most subjects.

Following are the two blog sites that Adrian uses for his students for Integrated Media and Networked Media classes.

Interviewed by Erika Beljaars-Harris