Taylor, Ruth and De Luca, Damian (2014) Theory to practice: Canalside Studio, a case study. Higher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning, 4 (1). pp. 5-16. ISSN 2042-3896

The study looks at the experiences of university academic staff setting up a small computer games studio to provide work placement opportunities for undergraduate students and the supporting role of industry.

The case study uses sense making to explore the boundaries between “simulated” and “real” work in an educational setting.

For students and teachers to work together in a commercial setting, relationships have to be reconstructed. Teaching focuses on developing the individual and personal attainment, the work environment prioritises the Team so that organisational and business needs are met. Differences in culture and working practices between industry and academia and the organisational constraints of a university, present challenges for academic staff engaged in enterprise.

Research limitations/implications
The authors recognise the limitations of a single institution case study and intend further investigation into factors around employability, enterprise education and the availability of work experience for students studying in the creative technologies including experiences in other institutions.

Practical implications
Practical experience and business knowledge gained through the studio development process by the student and staff, has informed the curriculum through the introduction of team-working modules. The Studio provides a unique interface between the university and games industry partners.

The study shows the value of a university based games studio in providing work experience for students and enhancing employability and provides insights into university/industry partnering.

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