Ben Atkinson-Foster

Higher Education

Ben is currently working at the University of Lincoln as the Digital Education Developer for the College of Arts. In this role he supports and promotes the adoption of digital tools for teaching and learning and is also working on the design and layout of University wide learning platforms. Ben was previously a student at the University of Lincoln, graduating with a First Class degree in Media Production (2013) and an MA in Digital Media (2015) and has held various roles at the institution, from supporting digital for the professional services to teaching in the School of Film and Media.

Ben’s research interests follow two strands. His first area of interest is the application of digital media within pedagogy, digital storytelling and design. Ben has worked on a number of interesting UI and design projects to improve the learner experience within higher education and he continues to look at the different ways in which stories can be told through digital media in both his research and practice. The interactive radio drama, Charlie and the Moon, released in 2013, is an example of this practice where the idea of telling a story through the linear medium of traditional radio drama, was flipped to encourage children to take a new interest in the medium. The collaborative project took a radio drama written and recorded in the traditional way and paired this with illustrations presented alongside the audio on the web. The audience were then given the opportunity to decide how the plot of the story developed, making choices at set points in the drama so that by the end of the piece they were given an opportunity to download one unique radio drama created uniquely, by them, from an originally linear story.

Experience Charlie and the Moon

Ben’s second area of interest is the field of American studies and history. For the past ten years Ben has presented an American country music radio show which is broadcast on stations across the UK and in that time has carried out extensive research related to this field, looking at both the composition and social history of the genre. Since 2014 Ben has been a member of the Country Music Association of America and has visited Nashville on several occasions to conduct interviews with artists and business people in the industry and attend the prestigious CMA Awards held in November each year. Ben’s undergraduate dissertation on ‘The Changing British Attitude to Country Music’ is available as an e-book here and his later work at masters level included writing about the blurring of genre boundaries within modern country music. Ben’s current research project, relates to the history of female artists within country music. Outside of music, Ben is also interested in other aspects of american culture including the films of Pixar animation studios and social history of the Walt Disney Company.

Ben is currently working towards Fellowship of the HEA and will begin studying for a PGCHE with the University of Falmouth from September 2018.