BCM212 Research Proposal – Student Presentations

The ability to speak publicly and present to an audience are considered valuable soft skills that can be utilised in all facets of an individual’s life. As universities are designed to further the academic development of students, we are required to participate in class presentations for subject assessments throughout our degree.

From my experiences and observations, class presentations can trigger mixed responses in students ranging from positive to negative attitudes both of which undoubtedly involve varying degrees of stress.

For my BCM212 research topic, I am going to investigate whether students agree that it is necessary to be assessed on oral presentations as a skill for university assessments. Avenues that I plan to explore include tertiary and student perspectives, academic and emotional outcomes of presentations, why and how presentations impact students, and possible alternatives to presentations as subject assessments.

I believe that this topic is timely and relevant as it is a common and recurring university experience that is of mutual interest to students as their participation, application of effort, cohesiveness of collaboration and communication contributes to their academic outcomes and emotional state.

I also believe that it is of value to understand the costs, benefits, different experiences and perspectives of tertiary-based public speaking as my research findings for this assessment could serve to encourage university students to reevaluate their current perspective and approach towards class presentations, therefore supporting the project as a worthy topic to pursue.

This project is achievable in terms of time and information as it is a specific topic with a range of evidence-based research and qualitative and quantitative data that will provide me with credible insight into the topic.

I have identified numerous sources which stand as further evidence that this topic is worth exploring;

  • There are many academic articles that detail the short term and long term results of oral presentations. Marta Peris-Ortiz, Jose M. Merigo and Linghal’s (2015) paper explores aspects such as student self-reflection and active involvement in learning processes.


  • In Irvine’s (2009) paper, she analyses the tensions that exist between university expectations of oral presentations and student responses, stressing the need for tertiary expectations to reflect student learning and practice.  This paper also identifies that giving students more and more opportunities to present in front of classmates does not automatically increase the ability to speak extemporaneously” (Irvine 2009) which I believe is a significant point that I will explore in my research.


  • Student experience has also been identified in De Greza, Valckeb and Beringsa’s (2010) paper which emphasises that it is important to understand how perceptions can impact learning outcomes of oral presentations. This paper reported that presentations can have “limited learning impact due to the assessment process” which also stands a significant point to explore (De Greza, Valckeb, Beringsa 2010).


Reference List

Marta Peris_Ortiz, Jose M., Merigo, Linghal 2015, Sustainable learning in higher education, developing competencies for the global market place

Irvine 2009, Orals ain’t orals: How instruction and assessment practices affect delivery choices with prepared student oral presentations

De Greza, Valckeb, Beringsa 2010, Student response system and learning oral presentation skills



My natural curiosity for the sea

I have developed a natural curiosity for anything related to the seas as I have always spent my spare time at the beach.

A while ago, I found my thoughts sifting over the topic of the legendary Kraken; the heart of many old stories about a sea monster that would drag ships down into the depths of the sea.

So as most people would when you’re faced with a topic you want to learn more about, you research your topic.

In the beginning, I was browsing basic information on the legend; the controversy of whether or not the Kraken existed or exists, where it supposedly resides, what it may have looked like and what characteristics it may have had.

Then I found myself reading information on cephalopods (as sources drew the similarity of tentacles between the Kraken and octopuses) and how octopuses have nine brains, three hearts, blue blood, and are incredibly intelligent animals that have good memories.

This then led me to be reading information about how octopuses have copper-based blood instead of iron-based blood because it improves the ability of their system to move oxygen through their bodies when the water is cold.

I was researching this about a month ago and it is still something that I can remember off the top of my head.

I feel like this experience of curiosity reflects what Mathias Gruber was articulating in his TedX presentation ‘This is your brain on curiosity’, and how the simple feeling of curiosity motivates you to seek out information and by your need of knowing this information can improve the chance of you remembering the information that you find.



Feature image source


Story Feature Analysis JRNL102 Assessment 3

Audiences are being presented with an amalgamation of online content, meaning that publications need to adopt innovative methods of attaining and maintaining audience engagement, thus contributing to the facilitation of new trends in the journalism industry (McKane, 2014).

A story feature, produced by The Guardian, titled ‘The Long, Strange Trip of Dock Ellis’ will be analysed to reflect a selection of innovative trends that have been emerging in journalistic practices.


‘The Long, Strange Trip of Dock Ellis’ feature story


‘The Long, Strange Trip of Dock Ellis’  creatively incorporates parallax features that utilise multi-layered designs to innovatively maintain the audience’s attention, keeping them actively engaged with the interactive content. This technologically advanced technique also contributes to the storytelling experience, as the parallax feature creatively employs a variety of visual elements to compliment the narrative. An example of this is the use of mobile pull quotes that shift over an image as the audience scrolls, adding another dynamic to the viewing experience.


As viewers scroll down the page, the pull quote shifts across the image


This convergent storytelling technique is an innovative trend that is becoming increasingly popular in journalism publications, and is highly effective at achieving high levels of audience engagement at a time when viewer attention can easily stray.

Throughout this feature, there are many visual compositions that are of high quality.
One of the most prominent elements is the comedic illustrations that are strategically placed throughout the feature to embellish sections of text.



The digital illustrations are similar to a cartoon drawing style


This is an extremely effective technique as it provides another way for audiences to interpret the story and creatively engage with the content. There is also a dominant application of photography that adds to the narrative qualities and contributes to making the story more engaging by scaling images to the full width of the page.



The variety of engaging photographs appeal to viewers


These visual elements represent the trend of Visual Journalism that has become central to any modern journalism piece, as it promotes higher levels of audience engagement and withholds a staggering amount of storytelling power.

Towards the end of the article, viewers are presented with a graphically appealing composition of statistics that relate to the story. This is an engaging way to depict the subject in an infographic manner and visually illustrate an overview of Dock Ellis’s career, building upon the narrative.


This is an innovative way of engaging audiences with statistics


The data visualisation also aids in moving the story forward and contributes to a fluid viewer experience. This storytelling technique illustrates Data Journalism as an innovative trend in the journalism industry. Data journalism, when produced effectively, gifts a story feature with more potential to be aggregated on social media channels, thus increasing a publication’s online traffic.

‘The Long, Strange Trip of Dock Ellis’ illustrates a myriad of innovative trends, however, the feature has not been advertised on social media. In this modern era, the use of social media is vital to any journalism publication and has a high potential to contribute to the success of an organisation. It appears that improvements could be made to utilise the availability of social media, such as utilising Twitter to promote stories and notify audiences when a story has been published (McKane, 2014).

Overall, this high-end story feature has invested a variety of contemporary expertise into the production of this convergent journalism piece, thus contributing to an effective story by engaging in innovative trends that are emerging in this digital age.



Reference List

McKane, A, 2014, ‘News Writing’, vol. 2

What’s Hidden: Beneath the Surface

Audio visual element

In: I can never remember a time …

Out: … hidden forever I think.

Duration: 1.33


Written Element

The mysteries that dwell beneath the surface continue to captivate marine enthusiasts, as the ocean still stands as the most unexplored place on Earth.

Lynne McLachlan, a passionate scuba diver, has been diving for 35 years and worked as an Aquarist for 12 years, completing approximately 3,000 hours of diving.

“I am still finding animals and plants that I haven’t seen before, and I always wonder if I am encountering organisms that haven’t been discovered yet,” she said.

“There are a lot of bizarre animals down there that the people who don’t dive or snorkel, will never see.”

Lynne McLachlan observing the organisms on the pylon.

Mark Maxwell, a Marine Biologist, provides scientific insight into the aquatic environment.

“The ocean is the last frontier on Earth that hasn’t been fully discovered yet,” he said.

“For every organism in the ocean that we know of, there is three yet to be discovered.”

Maxwell speculates why the ocean and its inhabitants remain vastly undiscovered.

“Approximately 94% of the Earth’s surface is covered in water, and 70% of that is the Earths’ oceans,” he said.

“Some parts of the ocean are deeper than the tallest mountain, and there are many obstacles to overcome when exploring those dark trenches.

“There are a lot of big, small and minute animals that we may never discover down there.”

Lynne McLachlan with a Port Jackson Shark

The organisms that populate the ocean drive McLachlan’s passion for scuba diving.

“You can dive at a certain site and encounter a myriad of species, but you can dive the same site on another day and see a completely different array of organisms,” she said.

“It is different every time I go diving, and the thought of not knowing the animals that I will see next, excites me.”

McLachlan believes that scuba diving offers a unique understanding of the marine environment, and encourages people to immerse themselves in the underwater world.

“Animals run away from you on land, but when you’re underwater, fish will swim up to you and cuttlefish will come out of their caves and can be quite inquisitive,” she said.

“They’re just as curious about you, as you are of them.”





Emotional History – Locked In Dreamworld

Emotional History Audio:


Emotional History Introduction:

Lynne relives being trapped in a Queensland theme park at night during a wild thunderstorm.


In: You’d think it would be …
Out: … is getting locked in Dreamworld.
Duration: 2.02


Written Reflection:

For this assessment, I interviewed my mum Lynne, who in the past has always captured people’s attention when she shares the story of our family being locked in an amusement park. I ethically grounded my journalistic practice as I stayed true to how Lynne told the story, and designed the audio around her characteristic to reflect on her narrative before telling the story itself. I believe this worked well in the opening of the audio, as it reflects the interviewee’s personality and captures the listener’s attention with Lynne’s engaging and insightful reflection of her experience.

The audio producer, Alan Hall was quoted articulating the notion of “sound as a metaphor and a symbol” (Hall 2017) in the week four lecture. This statement inspired me to develop a cyclical metaphor in my audio story. I sourced the ambient sound of rain and recorded an old, metal gate opening and closing at the beginning. These ambient sounds reflect one of the creative processes that I engaged in throughout my emotional history, as the sounds have a symbolic and metaphorical meaning associated with the story. The sound of the rusty gate moving signifies the interviewee entering and being locked in the amusement park. The quote “We often use the sample piece of music at the open and close of a piece, as a sort of bookend, or frame, a repeating theme” (The Kitchen Sisters 2010) from The Kitchen Sisters also supports my deliberate incorporation of the recurring ambient sounds throughout my audio piece. The unnerving tone of the metal gate creaking additionally illustrates an eerie atmosphere which adds an element of landscape to Lynne’s story.

Throughout the editing process, I encountered the challenge of splitting audio which included the most important sections of the interviewee speaking. In many parts of my audio, the interviewee rarely paused in between sentences. This produced a challenge for me as I struggled to edit audio without making it sound cut unnaturally short. To ensure that the emotional history flowed smoothly, I incorporated small pauses and overcame this challenge. Upon reflection of my strengths in this assessment, I believe that one of my strengths is identifying engaging stories that people want to listen to. I have gathered this assumption from when I pitched my ideas for this assessment, as my peers and tutors responded enthusiastically and provided me with positive feedback.

In the week two lecture, Siobhan stated “use layering and placement to create synergy” (McHugh 2017). This point is also reflected in my artistic decision to layer the ambience of rain and gradually increase its volume while the interviewee is talking. My intention for this was to slowly build unease during the interviewee’s reflection of her unnerving experience, peaking the tension with a rumbling strike of thunder which compliments the interviewee’s surprise, and aspires to heighten the unsettling image of Lynne’s experience in the listener’s mind.

Alan Hall, cited in McHugh S (2017), Lecture Week Four, “Actuality and Voice”, 15 August 2017.

The Kitchen Sister Tips, cited in McHugh S (2017), Lecture Week Five, “Mixing and Music”, 22 August 2017.

McHugh, S (2017), Lecture Week Two, “Thinking Through Your Ears”, 31 July 2017.

Image Source: https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=hfxwbgr9&id=847FDFE42B346F31BAEE2E92DBF371AB62612F8C&thid=OIP.hfxwbgr9321XDsdMvIlcHAErDQ&q=running+in+the+dark+silhouette+shadow+light&simid=608036653489065563&selectedIndex=92&ajaxhist=0



Global Media Gives Power

The globalisation of communication has given rise to the formation of global media, allowing deeper cultural understandings to develop as people are enabled to share rich content across international borders.

It has been articulated by O’Shaughnessy that “Interactive media facilitates participation in global communication and debates, and offers entry into public space. The globalisation of communication enables us to share in each other’s live as members of the internet communities or by means of participation in televised events and so on. In this ideal communication environment, the mass media also play an important role in informing people and generating discussion about events and issues worldwide globalisation of  communication is seen as an agent of empowerment, education, democracy, and equality” (O’Shaughnessy and Stadler, 458).

It is evident that global media has the potential to give power to people of ethnic backgrounds, and enable people to share their culture and respond to issues by engaging in multimedia storytelling as an outlet of expression. This media can then be shared and viewed online in an international environment, exposing people to different cultures and perspectives.

A strong example of how global media can empower ethnic groups is the grass-roots organisation, ‘Desert Pea Media’, who develop music videos starring talented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth.

‘Desert Pea Media uses the process of contemporary storytelling to genuinely engage and empower participants. We provide the support and tools to allow them to explore local cultural and social issues and tell their story through high quality and relevant mediums.’



The organisations use of global media is enabling Indigenous youth to voice their opinions and respond to social issues that are impacting their communities, contributing to the international understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experiences.


Reference List:

O’Shaughnessy, M and Stadler, J, 2008, ‘Globalisation’ Media and Society (fifth edition) Oxford: Oxford University Press

Video Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OJ-dQ_qJFM





‘Globalisation refers to an international community influenced by technological development and economic, political, and military interests. It is characterised by a worldwide increase in interdependence, interactivity, interconnectedness, and the virtually instantaneous exchange of information. ‘ (O’Shaughnessy and Stadler, ).


Globalisation has contributed to the development of many changes among international industries as they are more interconnected and there is more opportunity for countries to exchange ideas and practices.

These multidirectional cultural flows between countries has enabled film industries, including the United States and India, to both emit and receive cultural influences which are evident in Hollywood and Bollywood films.

It has been articulated by academics that ‘Globalisation could lead to the homogenisation of world cultures, or to hybridisation and multiculturalism’ (O’Shaughnessy and Stadler, 458).

Bollywood is a part of India’s popular film industry, and as the title implies, is a hybridised film genre which consists of a mixture of international cultures, including Hollywood, and national cultures. This Indian cinema is also an amalgamation of high and low culture, and both modern and traditional cultures, thus illustrating the hybrid nature of Bollywood cinema.

‘Hybrid in its production beginnings, the circulation of India’s commercial cinema through the globe has led to the proliferation and fragmentation of its fantasy space, as its narrative and spectacle beget diverse fantasies for diasporic communities and others.’ (Kaur & J. Sinha 2005, p.15)

The Indian producer, Ardeshir Irani, was inspired to produce the first Indian sound movie, ‘Alam Ara’, as a result of viewing the Hollywood movie named ‘Show Boat’ which was released by Universal Pictures in the capital of Bombay, now known as Mumbai. As Irani’s main source of inspiration was the Hollywood film, the U.S. Industry inevitably influenced his production practice.

‘Alam Ara’ film poster.  {image source}


The Bollywood film does not only receive influence from other countries, but also emits cultural influence within international film industries.

The movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ illustrates this relation between India and the United States.



The American entertainment company, ‘Warner Bros’, produced the film, and was ‘written by Simon Beaufy, directed by the British producer Briton Danny Boyle, and was also co-directed in India by Leveleen Tandan’, whom all based the movie on the novel written by Vikas Swarup, an Indian author.

This mixture of ethnic individuals and flow of cultural influences between the British, the U.S., and Indian film industries contributes to the film’s content formation as a hybridised production. However, it is important to note that different perspectives exist surrounding the notion of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ being considered as a hybrid film, which can differ according to national and international ties to the associated ethnic backgrounds.

These two sources clearly illustrate the outcome of interconnectedness and exchange of information between industries and the creation of hybrid films as a result of globalisation.


Reference List:

O’Shaughnessy, M and Stadler, J, 2008, ‘Globalisation’ Media and Society (fifth edition) Oxford: Oxford University Press

Kaur, J. Sinha, 2005, Popular Indian Cinema Through A Traditional Lense, SAGE, London

Video Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIzbwV7on6Q

The Importance of Cultural Competence

The emergence of globalisation has allowed the crossing of international borders to become a commonality in the global community, thus transpiring an increase in interactions between individuals who have different ethnic backgrounds and identities.

Consequently, this heightened proximity among ethnically dissimilar individuals has revealed varying degrees of cultural competence which has the potential to hinder effective and positive interactions.

Culture Competence consists of the following attributes; flexibility, empathy, reflexivity, critical thinking, the ability to understand opposing points of view, the ability to cope with ambiguity and uncertainty, and cultural negotiation. (Marginson 2012)

If cultural competency is not developed within individuals, it is possible for misunderstandings and conflict to occur which can develop into dire outcomes on multiple levels for the parties involved.

The interactions that occurred  between Europeans and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in 1788 when the Europeans invaded Australia is historical evidence of this.

The Europeans framed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People from an ethnocentric perspective which contributed to their assumption that they therefore held dominion over the communities, severely influencing they way Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were treated by the Europeans on a daily basis.

The unbalanced and unethical relation which existed between the ethnically dissimilar groups caused social issues and unjust political actions to transpire, exponentially leading to the desecration of traditional knowledge, practices and culture that was at the heart of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ lifestyles.

A lack of cultural competency from the Europeans is clear as they had a distinct absence of knowledge and understanding regarding the cultural practices, values and beliefs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

As the world is now more interconnected than it ever has been before, it is paramount that the importance of cultural competency is recognised and adopted by people, so as to aspire for effective relations among ethnically diverse individuals and learn from the calamity which has occurred throughout Australia’s past.


Reference List:

Marginson, 2012, ‘International education as self-formation’

Broome, 2010, ‘Aboriginal Australians: A history since 1788’ (fourth edition), Allen & Unwin

Northern Illawarra Steps Up for Reconciliation

The Northern Illawarra community has gathered in the spirit of national unity on a walk for reconciliation.

A gathering of 1000 people, including over 20 schools, participated in the Aboriginal Education Consultative Group’s community event, carrying flags and banners as they walked proudly from Holy Spirit College to Bellambi Public School.

The president of the Northern Illawarra AECG, Julie Street Smith, is committed to advancing the community’s reconciliation process.

“By walking together, we wanted to show the world that we can work together, we can be together, we are not that different from each other. We can all walk as one,” she said.

“When Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people start to build important relationships, it builds a better community.”

The community walk provided an opportunity for non-Indigenous students to form connections with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, allowing all participants to develop a deeper understanding of each other.

“Throughout the walk, there was a lot of different people of all ages, and they were all yarning amongst themselves,” Ms Smith said.

“It is a special event that can break barriers in a gentle and non-confrontational way where there are no expectations of the students.

“When people are young, they develop strong bonds that can form their views on other races, and these friendships can last the rest of their lives.”

The opening ceremony included a traditional performance and guest speakers who commemorated the 25th anniversary of the 1992 High Court Mabo decision, and the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum.



JRNL101_my reconciliaition pic1
The opening ceremony highlighted traditional dance. Picture: Kara Tuck

The principal of Bulli High School, Chris Gregory, said cultural awareness was a significant part of Australia’s journey for reconciliation.

“The event provides a real sense of community and is a valuable experience for all students to share, value and respect,” Ms Gregory said.

Ms Smith is optimistic that the community event will leave an impression on all participants, and promote further actions which can benefit the Northern Illawarra.

“I would love to see that reconciliation is not limited to one week, and that it is a process which is occurring in our community all the time,” she said.

For information on how you can further Australia’s reconciliation process, visit the Creative Spirits website.



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