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Wednesday, 16 May, 2001, 17:31 GMT 18:31 UK
Public airing of students' exams
Siren FM studio
Lecturer Bryan Rudd (rear) with Siren FM producers
Students on a media production course are sitting their exams in public by broadcasting live.

Twenty-four radio students at the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside are presenting six live radio programmes on the student radio station Siren FM this week.

The station is also streamed live on the web, and there is a studio webcam.

The university thinks this is the first time in the UK that there has been such a public airing of exam efforts.

The 30-minute programmes form the fourth and final part of the students' assessments for their radio skills unit.

Professional broadcasters from BBC Radio Lincolnshire are in the studio to help with the marking.

Family interest

"For some of the students this is the first time they have broadcast live," said media production lecturer Bryan Rudd.

Charlene Charles
Student Charlene Charles goes live
"I suppose it's a bit like taking your exams in public - but at least parents and family can hear it on the internet as it happens.

"It's a first for us and we believe it's a first for any UK university," he added.

"Some universities do broadcast assessed work on their student radio station but we don't know of another university where students broadcast assessed work live on air."

'Brilliant'

One of the shows on Wednesday was called Charlene's Shout - "because everyone knows that I can talk a lot," said the presenter, Charlene Charles.

She fronted a half-hour magazine programme with pre-recorded packages and live guests, interspersed with some of her favourite hip hop music.

"It was brilliant, it went really well," she said.

"People have been coming up to us and saying how much they enjoyed it.

"We know what went wrong - but there was nothing anyone would have recognised on air."

On the other side of the studio glass, working the sound desk to put the show out was fellow student Sam Barford.

Rapport

Going live was the first time they had worked together but both said they had a good rapport.

"It was very nerve-wracking but we all really enjoyed it," Sam said.

"All my friends were listening. People have come up to me since and said it went really well."

Both women - not surprisingly, perhaps - see their careers as being in broadcasting when they have finished their courses next year. Charlene already helps out at BBC Radio Leicester.

They will get the official grades for the live performance in July, but Bryan Dunn indicated that they had done well.

He has been asked to present a short paper about the 'on air' examining at Radiodyssey, a conference organised by the Radio Studies Network and the University of Sussex, in July.

Siren FM went on air for the seventh successive year on 8 May, broadcasting 24 hours a day for three weeks on 87.9FM.

  • Photos courtesy of the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside

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