I am a teacher of computer processing, networks, databases and programming here at MMU. I also cover Management, Information Systems and Organizations and Knowledge Management. I’m a First year Tutor and a subject leader for the combined honours programme.
My teaching takes a two pronged approach. First I focus on theory – this enables students to join the dots between the facts they have and technological developments today. Then I focus on the practical - giving students opportunities to apply this learning to relevant contexts using practical skills that will enable them not simply to get a job, but to make that job their own. I think learning happens best when students are excited by the knowledge they acquire.
My main research interests relate to Computer Aided Language Learning, and Online and Distance Learning. For many years I have managed and developed materials for commercial language-teaching websites and I was also involved in the launch of one of the first language phrasebook Apps for the iPhone.
Aside from work I am a keen pianist with a passion for teaching myself and others how to play popular piano. I carried out my doctoral research on the music and writings of Erik Satie and in my early academic career my research interests centered on early French modernism with a particular focus on Satie, the Groupe des Six, L’Esprit Nouveau, Cocteau and Apollinaire. I have published a number of articles on Satie’s writings and music. I also enjoy fitness, sport, reading and above all spending time with my wife and children.
With all the complexities of learning how technologies work, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that technologies were developed by people for people. Being in the Humanities department enables me to teach technology from a distinct people-centred perspective. This means teaching students to develop technologies in a way that takes full account of how people use technology and what they actually want from it. More than this, it enables me to teach technology within the broader context of European and World Culture and Ideas. This means helping students understand why technologies develop when they do, how they impact on society and how they give rise to even further advancements.
With the development of new portable technologies and the merging of various technological platforms such as computers, phones and televisions we are at a stage of unparalleled technological development in the area of Information. Use the excellent opportunities and facilities around you, not just to learn about these developments, but to actively shape them for the future.
2002-03 University of Sheffield, MSc Information Management
1988-93 St. Edmund Hall, University of Oxford, DPhil in French Literature, thesis entitled "Erik Satie Viewed as a Writer"
1984-88 Reading University, BA (Hons) French Studies
1994- 2003 Lecturer, Department of Languages, Manchester Metropolitan University
1991- 93 Translator-lexicographer, Oxford-Hachette English-French Dictionary project
1993- 94 Technical translator, LCI , Jouy-en-Josas, France
1st Year Tutor
Combined Honours Subject Leader
Web Design (1st-year); Management, Information Systems and Organizations (Foundation); Knowledge Management (3rd-year / Masters)
Modern Foreign Languages teaching and pedagogy and its relationship with ICT; the music and writings of Erik Satie
C. Dawson (2005). Menus propos modernistes: Absurdity in Erik Satie's ‘La Journée du musicien’. Nottingham French Studies. 44(2), pp.55-62.
C. Dawson Erik Satie's Vexations—An Exercise in Immobility. Canadian University Music Review. 21(2), pp.29-40.
C. DAWSON (2001). ERIK SATIE’S SENTENTIOUS WRITINGS. Journal of the Australasian Universities Language and Literature Association. 95(1), pp.55-74.
C. Dawson (1999). ‘Grammatical and metalinguistic knowledge among post-A students of French Grammar’. Cahiers of the Association of French Language Studies.