Ben Atkinson-Foster

Higher Ed

Higher Education is very much a new passion for me, and I started in the role of Digital Education Developer for the College of Arts at the University of Lincoln in March 2017. In this role, I support teaching and learning across the college as it relates to digital technologies and pedagogy. I’m also responsible for the wider adoption of digital tools across the institution, maintaining our VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) and I have had the opportunity to develop several creative projects with colleagues in the Lincoln Academy of Learning and Teaching. Since I became a Learning Technologist, I have gone on to gain fellowship of the HEA (Higher Education Academy) and I’m currently studying for my PGCHE (Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education) with Falmouth University.

Alongside my work as a Digital Education Developer, I have a number of research interests which I continue to pursue mainly within the field of American Studies. My particular interests lie in the study of American country music and the culture of the Southern United States. I am particularly interested in gender as it relates to country music and I’ve been lucky enough to have the opportunity to develop my own ideas for modules of study as part of my PGCHE studies. I’ve taught short sessions on gender and country music under the banner of a module I’ve devised called Working 9 to 5: The Business of Gender and Country Music.

Other earlier teaching experience within Higher Education includes teaching for six months on the BA(Hons) Media Production course at Lincoln while studying for my MA in Digital Media in 2015. I’ve also had the opportunity to attend a number of conferences and user group meetings within the sector over the last few years, including ALT-C 2018 at the University of Manchester.

AM I HIRED?®

In 2017, the Digital Education and Student Life team at the University of Lincoln launched AM I HIRED?® a brand new tool, based on the web, which gives students at Lincoln and elsewhere the opportunity to AM I HIRED?® platform screenshotexplore what their public-facing social media presence looks like. Students are invited to connect all of their social media accounts, after which they are shown a curated breakdown of all the posts and information that is publicly available, perhaps to future employers, the University or their peers. This information is presented alongside informative videos produced by the team and careers guidance from the Careers and Employability Department at Lincoln. The most important aspect of this tool is that it is session based and no information is stored or kept throughout the entire process. Students see a snapshot in real-time, and the information is wiped once they finish using the tool.

Designing and building AM I HIRED?® was my principal project after joining the University of Lincoln in 2017. I had a lot of fun working on this project with my colleagues in the department and have been grateful for the opportunity to present the platform at conferences across the UK, including the SocMedHE conference 2017 at Sheffield Hallam University and ALT-C 2018 at the University of Manchester. To find out more about AM I HIRED?® and to have a go yourself, visit: amihired.lincoln.ac.uk.