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project structure

The close integration between the Reactr team and the Interactive Media programs at Fanshawe College allows the team, and Contemporary Media faculty in general, to consider a ‘tiered’ model of partnership, depending on a company’s needs, their resources, the specific demands and scope of the project(s) being considered, and the number and extent of Reactr projects already in progress.

PLEASE NOTE: Given the extensive student involvement and curriculum integration that are critical factors of any partnership with the College, every collaborative project undertaken must adhere to academic schedules and assessment needs, and be compliant with all policies pertaining to students and student work. These factors are highly specific to each project, and are clarified in individual partnership agreements.

When a potential company partner first connects with the Reactr team, there are typically several initial meetings that focus on: Defining the primary goals of the potential partner and how they fit with the project mandate of Reactr, the scope of the project(s) being discussed, and how project development activities could best be integrated into the applied research schedule as well as the academic schedules for Interactive Media programs.

Depending upon these and other individual factors, several different consultation and partnership arrangements are possible:

Media Consultation

Class - Wide Projects

Single - Team Projects

Efficacy Research in Digital Media

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Depending upon these and other individual factors, several different consultation and partnership arrangements are possible:

  • Media Consultation

  • Class - Wide Projects

  • Single - Team Projects

  • Efficacy Research in Digital Media

Media Consultation

Some companies or agencies may not be at a point where they are looking to partner with Reactr to develop a specific digital media project or idea, but may wish to have input on how to conceptualize a digital media project and the possibilities available to realize digital media solutions in their company. In some cases this may involve strategies for better implementation of available technologies, and/or utilizing existing media technology and services more effectively.

Such companies may benefit from one or more consultation meetings. Reactr team members have a wide range of experience in areas of technology and digital media (please see our Team section for some details) Consultation can be at the College or in the community, and planned to suit the needs of the company as closely as possible. Assessment reports and recommendations are provided in such instances, and in some cases follow-up meetings to implement identified tools and/or strategies are completed as well.

Class - Wide Projects

Every term, students in the Interactive Media program are required to complete larger-scale integrated projects that are assessed across several courses in the term. Faculty involve outside companies as ‘clients’ in these projects, to give a real-world focus and experience to all students in a particular program level. These types of integrated project are often ideal for companies looking for anything from a Web re-branding/redesign, to rich media informational and educational assets (animation, video, 2D/3D graphics).

Typically such projects involve students working in teams, and team presentations of their work at different points in the term. Companies who participate in this type of collaboration should expect to devote a good deal of time meeting with student teams, evaluating presentations and being fully integrated into the learning process for students. Such involvement is crucial if students are to gain the most from their experience. These types of project slots are generally limited to one or two in a given term, and given the strong integration with course curriculum need to be planned well in advance.

Single - Team Projects

For more focused and defined project needs, the Reactr team will select a group of upper-level students, on the basis of their quality of work in the program, their perceived need for more advanced design-development work, performance in an interview, and other factors. The Reactr team assigns roles and responsibilities to team members, and directly supervises the team's work on the partner project. These kinds of projects are given timelines and deliverables specific to the needs of the one project, and involve selected members of the partner company in regular planning and review meetings.

These team-specific projects require the student development team to work throughout one or more terms in the school year, and the teams require faculty supervision (outside of course instruction) for the duration of the project timeline. This required supervision and project management means that faculty require 'release time' from classroom teaching duties, and students often also work on projects beyond the defined curriculum and school term.

As a result, research funding is required to offset some of the costs incurred by the College for applied research activity.

While sometimes this funding is provided all or in part by the company partner, the Reactr team is also familiar with, and experienced in, funding opportunities for college-community partnership projects. These funding agencies typically require a measurable partner contribution in terms of both in-kind contributions, as well as some degree of cash outlay for the project. The cash contribution from a partner goes directly to reimbursing time worked on the project, as well as other predictable costs such as marketing, developer licenses in app stores, distribution and hosting costs, etc. Such projects may also have some curriculum integration, e.g., students on the development team may receive course credit for some of the work completed.
More information on some of the available partnership funding opportunities can be found at: 'http://www.oce-ontario.org/programs.'

Efficacy Research in Digital Media

The Reactr team at Fanshawe College maintains a program of action research in a range of topics related to applications of digital media, such as gamification, personal technology in the classroom, and user experience considerations for educational technology. Our team members have experience in research design and procedures, as well as research grant application and publication/presentation of peer-reviewed material.

A company or agency with an existing educational product or solution may wish to implement research to look at the efficacy of the application within different populations, or at ‘best practices’ for implementing their products into educational settings, etc. The Reactr team has the knowledge and experience to assist such companies in their research efforts.

While the type and level of partnership clearly can vary, a collaborative relationship may also change over time: Company partners who initially approach Reactr for digital media consultation may find that a specific and original project idea will arise from these discussions.

Alternatively, a single-team project that leads to a prototype application being developed may shift to Reactr having a more consultative role, as the internal capacity of the company grows and their digital media needs can be better handled internally with ongoing ‘higher-level’ discussions and consultation.

Overall, a partnership with Reactr and Fanshawe College can be flexible enough to suit the needs of a wide range of potential partners!

The Reactr initiative is possible thanks to the continuing support of the School of Contemporary Media and the Interactive Media teaching team, and the efforts of the staff and administration of the Applied Research Department at Fanshawe College.

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Fanshawe College is one of the largest colleges in Ontario with a community focus and campuses located in London, Simcoe, St. Thomas and Woodstock and a smaller centre in Tillsonburg.

Reactr is an applied research initiative within the Interactive Media programs at Fanshawe, and like those programs is located in the new Centre for Digital and Performing Arts on 137 Dundas Street in downtown London.