Week 9: Introduction to Research & Drawing for thinking, learning and research

The day started with an excellent lecture on research – which was brought into sharper focus by being anchored to key concepts emerging in other modules that we have – especially David Blundell and Social Constructionism. Note to self – check out Burr!!

There is a link to the Prezi in WebLearn – and you can access from here: http://prezi.com/ow4jnz68mt-a/research-context-for-becoming/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy.

The big takeaways for me were:

Ontology and the ontological roots of things and beliefs

Epistemology and ways of knowing

Positivism versus Interpretism

Paradigms: scientific method versus relativism

We briefly discussed the difference between Relativism as a research concept and as a common-sense word. In the latter it tends to mean that everything is relative – that no argument is any ‘truer’ than any other – that no one’s point of view has any more weight than any other. Very different from the research version which stresses the context of research (social, embodied, researcher and researched as partners … no simple answers or solutions but complex ones open to interpretation). But even in the common-sense world the meaning of relativism needs challenging – some arguments are stronger than others – some do offer more evidence and more valid evidence than others…

On the researcher and the researched as partners in the process – and collaborative writing as a method of inquiry, I really recommend that everybody reads Helen Bowstead’s excellent article, ‘Coming to Writing’ which tackles this in the Journal for Learning Development in Higher Education: http://www.aldinhe.ac.uk/ojs/index.php?journal=jldhe&page=article&op=view&path%5B%5D=128

Get Drawing!

The whole class stayed together to do an intense session on ‘Drawing for teaching, learning and research’.  The PPT of this workshop is in our WebLearn Module in Learning Resources. Remember to click on ‘learning resources’ to see all the sessions that have been placed there.

We explored various theoretical perspectives on why and how drawing is a useful tool for thinking, exploring, reflecting, understanding and communicating. Various drawing and other art practices can also be really valuable in qualitative research. For example we were invited to consider getting research participants to make collages as ‘answers’ to questions rather then to complete questionnaires. The idea would be to disturb those commonsense answers that might automatically come to respondents – and instead explore deeper or more interesting thoughts about our questions.

Arguments about the multiple values of drawing and visual practices were underscored with illustrations of how they have been embedded in and across the curriculum at Brighton University. We saw examples of Medical students set a photography project to develop their ability to really ‘see’ – to harness that in their diagnostic practices. We saw how Travel and Tourism students were sent out with cameras and asked to construct visual narratives of Brighton that told its story as a viable tourist destination.

The one that I liked the best was where Art Students and other participants in a Community Arts Project were all issued with white overalls and asked to use them as their (embodied) Learning Logs. Not only was this a great way to invite and capture immediate reflections, at the end of the Project the overalls were mounted on mannequins and provided a powerful exhibition demonstrating the work of the Project.

To get us drawing we were asked to ‘blind draw’ someone in the room. This was NOT drawing with our eyes closed – but drawing someone whilst looking at them – but not looking at the paper we were drawing upon. We also had to keep the pen on the paper – so there were lots of crossing lines.

Image

Of course these drawings could not be an accurate realistic representation of someone – but they could be fun and energising. And that was the point. Too many of us stop ourselves from drawing because, ‘I can’t draw!’ But drawing can be free and crazy as well as detailed and accurate. We have to play with drawing. Build our confidence to use drawing for exploration, thinking and communicating. Without this we are cutting ourselves from a very powerful thinking tool.

We drew stick people and illustrated them; we had to do five one minute quick draws to loosen us up and get us being more creative; and we all had to draw ontology and epistemology – and that was challenging…

We also discussed several drawing activities that we might like to use in the presentations and workshops that we deliver whilst still students here at LondonMet – including asking our audiences, as we were asked, to draw the key take away points from any session that we deliver.

Of course all the while we are thinking about how we might build these different activities into our own future practice as educationalists.

In the process of the session, one of the students, Max, demonstrated a ‘GoAnimate’ animation that he was building on his research project. We were all told to think of using different visual practices to record our thoughts and even to produce our own learning logs… 

And finally: Follow up tasks:

Try a quick free write on how drawing might be useful for teaching, learning and research.

Structure that into a potential paragraph for your final essay.

Research an artist, an art movement or an individual work of art – with a focus on how you might use it in a future teaching situation – and for a three-minute presentation W11.

Resources:

http://lastrefugelmu.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/artmooc-introduction-to-art-concepts.html. In this blog we reflected on our engagement with PennState’s MOOC: Introduction to Art: Concepts and Techniques.

For your Project, you might consider portrait painting; fantastic art (for Surrealism, Dadaism see http://lastrefugelmu.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/artmooc-week-2-fantastic-art-and.html); photography and documentary photography; Mail Art; Installation Art; Arts and crafts… Choose something that excites and inspires you – use that energy!

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Week 8: Analytical and Critical Thinking

Becoming an Educationalist is designed to get you exploring what it means to be an emancipatory, creative and inspiring educationalist for the 21st Century

An educationalist:

  • Helps you think for yourself
  • We are becoming… educationalists (see Deleuze).

This week

  • Simulations: 25 Moral dilemmas: read; draw; resolve; digitise
  • Notes: what, why, how
  • Academic writing: what, why, how
  • Practical writing – answering the mini-question
  • Peer mentor led activity

Embodied learning: Simulation#25 moral dilemmas: http://psychopixi.com/misc/25-moral-dilemmas/

Simulations and role plays invite whole-body learning. For this week’s simulation we shared out some of the 25 moral dilemmas collected by the Team.  We were asked to read our dilemma – then think it through via a drawing first and then discussion. We were also given links to various open source online resources so that we could represent our problem and our solution via an animation or some other more visual – or more audio – representation:

Voicethread: http://voicethread.com
Storify: http://storify.com/
Xtranormal: http://www.xtranormal.com/
Pixton: http://pixton.com/uk/
Issuu: http://issuu.com/
Storybird: http://storybird.com/
Weebly: http://www.weebly.com/
Animoto: http://animoto.com/
Prezi: http://prezi.com
GoAnimate: http://goanimate.com/
More ideas: ‘50+ web 2.0 ways to tell a story’: http://50ways.wikispaces.com/

We were shown one of Sandra’s Go-Animates as an example. This is a reflective ‘log’ on #edcmooc: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfx1_fVZbyI

De-brief

One pair were brave enough to show their drawings and discuss their dilemma in the de-brief:

In 1842, a ship struck an iceberg and more than 30 survivors were crowded into a lifeboat intended to hold 7. As a storm threatened, it became obvious that the lifeboat would have to be lightened if anyone were to survive. The captain reasoned that the right thing to do in this situation was to force some individuals to go over the side and drown. Such an action, he reasoned, was not unjust to those thrown overboard, for they would have drowned anyway. If he did nothing, however, he would be responsible for the deaths of those whom he could have saved. Some people opposed the captain’s decision. They claimed that if nothing were done and everyone died as a result, no one would be responsible for these deaths. On the other hand, if the captain attempted to save some, he could do so only by killing others and their deaths would be his responsibility; this would be worse than doing nothing and letting all die. The captain rejected this reasoning. Since the only possibility for rescue required great efforts of rowing, the captain decided that the weakest would have to be sacrificed. In this situation it would be absurd, he thought, to decide by drawing lots who should be thrown overboard. As it turned out, after days of hard rowing, the survivors were rescued and the captain was tried for his action.

If you had been on the jury, how would you have decided?

They decided that the captain and the remaining crew were guilty of murder – not least because the captain had a duty of care to *all* his passengers and crew… It was interesting that discussing this allowed us to explore to what extent our solutions were context-dependent, and typically influenced by our emotions as well as our values; and how far they are dependent on our over-arching moral or ethical codes, and thus are more philosophical and independent of context.

Image

This relates back to issues that we discussed W2: Kant and the moral imperative and Bentham and Utilitarianism. It also seeded thoughts about how far our perceived understanding of our ‘role’ in particular situations legitimises actions that in other circumstances would be counter to ourselves as *human* beings. For example, the prison guard and the prisoner, those that torture suspected terrorists… And given that we are becoming educationalists – how do we see ourselves in an educational role? This led on to discussion of the behaviour experiments of the late 20Cth:  Rosenthal and Jacobson and the self-fulfilling prophecy; the blue eye/brown eye class room experiment; the electric shock experiment…

In the Workshop

The workshops diverged slightly this week – one at least went on to continue discussing the moral dilemmas in  detail – and linking that to the way we need to use argument and evidence in our academic writing.

The others seems to have spent some time looking at active notemaking – and how that also prepares us to engage with ideas: to have a dialogue with the theories, concepts and case studies that we study – and come to our own conclusions…  See: http://learning.londonmet.ac.uk/epacks/studyhub/note.html Much was made of just how active we have to be to make our ideas memorable.

The workshops all covered Academic writing in a more formal way than in our first introductory Writing Workshop – that introduced us to free writing – and to Winnicott (1971)!!

The Essay: What; Why; How

…  with real writing:

To what extent is the response to the moral dilemma a question of values? To what extent does it rely on analytical and critical thinking?

We looked at the essay as the formal, discursive and more theoretical form of academic writing. It is the space where we wrestle with ideas – and struggle with them – and write to learn – as we organise our own thoughts – and discover what we think. See: http://learning.londonmet.ac.uk/epacks/studyhub/writing.html

We did think that essays were about finding our own voice – but obviously there is the dark side of academic writing! We write and it is measured, assessed and judged. Philosophically we may accept that any system that offers certification will measure and stamp progress… But awareness of being judged can inhibit our thinking and engagement.

We also thought of different ways to assess – by presentation and by the production of digital artefacts that ‘reflect’ on a part of a course. In #edcmooc (E-learning and Digital Cultures), assessment includes the production of a digital artefact PLUS the peer review of three other artefacts.

Here’s a Prezi Poster Presentation on Academic writing – critiquing institutional over-emphasis on ‘skills’ rather than ideas and knowledge-construction: http://prezi.com/essebcrx47jr/not-a-key-thought/

Talking of – #edcmooc: Just for the heck of it…

Here are a couple of blogpost reflections on learning from fellow students of ours from #edcmooc:

Glidden’s post reflecting on learning itself: http://morethanjustcontent.wordpress.com/2013/05/02/what-does-my-learning-look-like-octel/

And another on what it is to be human – which relates to our early discussions on our values and ethical behaviour: http://morethanjustcontent.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/what-is-a-human-edcmooc/

W7: Becoming an Educationalist: What is a Conference?

This was our Enhancement Week and we explored Universities as places of research and knowledge-construction and dissemination. 

  1. What is a Conference?
  2. Poster Presentations
  3. Planning Get Ahead 2014 

What is a Conference?

First we were asked to draw our concept of research – and to use the drawing to seed our notemaking for the session. Sandra’s and Quaco’s notes were displayed to the class and we could see the slightly different interpretations of research through the similarities and differences in their drawings. 

Sandra’s had an eye scoping out the ground – then bubbles for thinking and light bulbs for ideas. Another eye signified the research process itself – then more thought bubbles to indicate interpreting data. Finally there was a mouth indicating that we need to tell people about the findings of our research. 

Quaco’s drawing included pictures of houses, rooting research in real life – and real communities and with real life outcomes. All the ideas gathered from the research in Quaco’s drawing ended up in an essay. This shows that our own studies are also research – and that we tell people about our findings in our assignments. 

Tom then discussed various aspects of Universities – with a focus on their research role:

  • Research
  • Ethics
  • Knowledge-construction
  • Social constructivist model
  • Dialogue (Freire, Bakhtin)
  • Staff and Students
  • Dissemination: teaching; papers; conferences. 

There were plenty of ideas to note – and to follow up later. 

We then moved on to thinking more about how students can become actively involved in the ‘business’ of a University – including through their research actions. We briefly discussed Lincoln (Student as Producer), Exeter (Student as Change Agent) and Birmingham City University Student as Partner). We were invited to think about what model we might want to develop here at London Met – and invited to think about developing an HEA Bid to take our ideas forward (deadline 2nd December): 

LincolnUniversity: http://studentasproducer.lincoln.ac.uk/

Exeter – student as change agent

Students as Change Agents – Academic Services – University of Exeter

as.exeter.ac.uk › … › Current Projects

Students as Change Agents is an ambitious scheme that lets you take an active part in making your time at the University of Exeter even better. You can identify 

Students as Change Agents – Current Students – University of Exeter

http://www.exeter.ac.uk › Studying › Current students

Students as Change Agents. So you want to make a change? We know you love studying here, but there’s always room for improvement, and we think you’re the 

Students as Change Agents – University of Exeter

projects.exeter.ac.uk/integrate/saca.html‎

Themes > Students as Change Agents. “In a world where the students’ expectations of their university experience will only increase, the need to gauge student 

The Design Studio / Students as Change Agents 

[PDF]Student Academic Partners – Birmingham City University

www2.bcu.ac.uk/docs/media/celt/SAP_Brochure_Spreads.pdf‎

Academic Partners scheme – which teams staff and students in an equal  ::::::Creating the Learning Community through Student Academic Partners. Student Academic Partners – Birmingham City Students Union

http://www.bcusu.com › Learning › Academic Partnerships

Hello and welcome to your Students‘ Union, here at Birmingham City University! As a Birmingham City University student you are automatically a member of 

[PDF]Student Academic Partners Birmingham City University – Higher 

http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/documents/events/…/rebecca_freeman2.pdf‎

Student Academic PartnersBirmingham City UniversityBirmingham City University (BCU) sees effective learning partnerships between students and staff as 

[PPT]Academic Partners Programme Birmingham City University

http://www.qaa.ac.uk/…/QAA%20conference%202011%20-%20Amy%20Jess…‎

Academic Partners Programme Birmingham City UniversityStudent Academic PartnersStudent Academic Partners: The Scheme; The Pioneers; The Projects. 

HEA Bid: Students as partners in the Curriculum

We were invited to get involved in the following HEA Change programme:

Students as partners in the curriculum 

“Applications are being invited for the latest HEA Change programme, Students as partners in the curriculum. This programme will help HE providers develop their capacity to work with students to enhance the curriculum and engage students with learning and teaching processes and will build on the successes of last year’s inaugural Students as partners change programme

At least half the members of participating teams will be students, with the rest made up of academic staff, professional support staff and senior managers. Last year’s programme included teams from ManchesterMetropolitanUniversity, University of Oxford and University of Ulster with projects such as reducing distress and improving achievement amongst students, students at the heart of curriculum design, and students as partners in a transformed university. Further details about last year’s programme, and the mini case studies, are available here on the HEA website. 

The deadline for applications is Monday 2 December 2013More information, including how to apply, is available on the HEA website.” 

What is a Conference?

We moved on to think about what role a Conference plays in the life of an academic and a student – by exploring some of the Conferences that our Team are currently working on – or that they have attended:

Look – Draw – Make: Using the Visual to transform pedagogic practices 

Due on 3rd December. It will be a one day for 50 people with just one strand to attend. 

“Learning Developers are invited to our one-day conference, hosted at LondonMetropolitanUniversity to explore how Visual learning practices are becoming mainstream in the digital age. Drawing upon experiences of ‘Draw to Learn’ (from the LearnHigher CETL); MOOC participation; and recent classroom practice – we explore the embedding of a series of Visual tasks in classrooms across the disciplines. This day will inform, challenge and offer you practical ways to transform practice. 

9.30-10.00 arrival, coffee, registration 

10.00 Welcome from Associate Professor Digby Warren 

10.15 Welcome from Pauline Ridley, Sandra Sinfield, Debbie Holley, Tom Burns – and Chris O’Reilly 

10.30 – 11.30 ‘Draw to learn’ 

11.30-12.30 Science and Social Sciences: using the visual for qualitative research methods and to (re)conceptualising science (Philip Howlett and Debbie Holley)  

12.30-1.30 lunch and networking 

1.30-2.30 ‘It’s more than just drawing!’ Using collages and Cabinets of Curiosities; Memory envelopes and installations; Digital artefacts and Animations – for LTA. (Sandra Sinfield, Tom Burns & Chris O’Reillly) 

2.30/ 2.45 shuffle & comfort break – reconvene in main hall 

2.45- 3.45 MOOC madness: digital tools, activities, exemplars – and table tasks. 

3.45- 4.00 summary, thanks, depart.”  

Other Conferences often have multiple, parallel strands – with lots of things happening and many opportunities for participants to meet, talk and share ideas with others interested in the same topics:

Coda

We were asked to think about our notes and how they had changed over the course of the lecture. Our notes are supposed to be a dialogue with the information that we had heard. They are supposed to be active and interactive… With things to do. 

Seminar time

Our Peer Mentors had been invited to our seminars to act as audience for the Poster Presentations we were giving on our field research – where we had explored the University as a site/many sites of learning. This gave us a taste of the Conference experience – we had undertaken some research and we were presenting our findings to our peers. 

There were great presentations from everybody – not just with posters, but using Prezi as a poster form – and with some creative use of PowerPoint and  embedded video interviews (conducted as part of the initial research process). Hopefully participants will post links to their blogs – and their presentations – in their own blogs. There were definitely a few ideas emerging that could be worked up in to an HEA Bid! 

And finally – planning Get Ahead 2014

Our final task was to think about the possible shape and size of the next Get Ahead Conference at London Met. Get Ahead is designed to be a Conference for students organized, and in some case delivered, by other students. In the past, Events Management students seem to have taken the lead with this Conference – and typically final year students at that. This year we have been asked to come up with some ideas – and to seriously consider taking on the planning, advertising and delivery of the actual event. Of course it will be hard work – it will require real time and effort – and if we take it on we must mean it and deliver. 

The typical Get Ahead has a focus on student success: success in their studies – and success in finding employment. Previous years have had strands on Study and Academic Skills: Managing time; Developing memory; Drawing for Learning; Making great notes. There have been strands on Academic writing – with some workshops delivered by Writing Mentors – and sessions on Dissertations delivered by staff. Student Services have run sessions on CV production and preparing for Job Interviews – and also sessions on developing self confidence. 

We were invited to shape a new Get Ahead – and to think about the practicalities of budget – and of how we night actually get time-poor students to attend. 

Watch this space to see if after a week’s further thinking about it – there does emerge a group that offers to run Get Ahead with and for the Centre for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching. If we do it – we will blog about it!

W6: Writing is easy – you just stare at a blank piece of paper till your eyeballs bleed!

Agenda:

  1. Writing Workshop #1
  2. Presentations: what, why, how
  3. Positive thinking in the academic environment
  4. Peer mentors – and getting Poster Presentations ready.

 

The Writing workshop

Structure:

  • Writing activity
  • Reflecting on the activity
  • What we can do …
  • Next steps
  • Useful resources. 

We started the interactive workshop with a question: What are your hopes and fears about University level writing? And there seemed to be a general disquiet about the thought of finally committing words to paper – for assessment. So this gentle unease launched us into an activity designed to get us all experiencing the hopes and fears and pain – and pleasure (?) – of University writing. 

Free writing

Each person was asked to have in front of them:

  • Two sheets of paper:
  • One, ‘Writing’ – blank, to write upon,
  • Two, ‘Commentary’ – to note reasons for not writing
  • Pens or pencils. 

When asked, we turned to our ‘Writing’ page to write for ten minutes without pause on the extremely difficult and challenging question we were then presented with! If we did stop writing for any reason, we had to write that reason, no matter how trivial or insignificant on the ‘Commentary’ sheet. 

The Question: 

Winnicott  (1971) argued that play is necessary to counteract the implicit threat that occurs when we are in transitional spaces – between worlds, between classes, in alien educational settings.  Discuss in relation either to becoming a successful student or becoming a successful teacher

Once we had struggled through what was perhaps the longest ten minutes of our lives – we were lead through three reflections on the process itself: 

Reflection (1)  What was your reaction to that writing?

Most of us were slightly horrified by the question. There was fear and anger – and perhaps even despair in the room! Obviously it became clear that we were not supposed to stay in that fearful state. We were urged to try and realise that the biggest writing block that most people have is their own lack of belief in themselves. (This refers back to Bandura and the self-efficacy point raised some weeks ago.) Whilst some tutors and many students worry about ‘problems’ like spelling, punctuation and grammar – the biggest problem for most people is just starting to write. Just to write anything. Just to get words down. Just. To. Get. Anything. Down. On. Paper. Once we have some words down, we can change them. Till then – we stare at that blank piece of paper till our eyeballs bleed. 

We also discussed the question itself. It was noted that the question was describing our activity. We are in the transitional state of becoming educationalists, of becoming academics – and of becoming academic writers. This activity was asking us to play with writing as a way of tackling our fear of writing… and our fear of being in this transitional space. Education sadly instead of encouraging us to learn by trial and error – punishes mistakes. So, we fear failure; we fear that we will pay a bigger price for ‘failure’ than others; we fear changing; we fear being judged; we fear losing contact with our friends and families… We feared not knowing who Winnicott was. We feared that this looked like a statement and not a question! Was this a trick? A couple of reassurances followed. Assignments are often called questions – no matter how they are written. We did not have to know that Winnicott was a psychologist who argued that it is only when we play that we are wholly, fiercely truly alive and ourselves (tutor); because we could leave the lecture theatre and look that up. We were encouraged to change. To let go of our instinctive fear of failure and give ourselves to the activity… and to keep trying that. 

Reflection (2)  Why did you stop writing?

We then moved on to discussing our reasons for not writing:

  • Thinking
  • Searching for a word, spelling, tense
  • Uncomfortable
  • Couldn’t see the point
  • Distracted
  • Don’t know enough yet. 

And considered some solutions:

  • Get into a good physical & mental space:

             Be comfortable – your way

             Accept the task – or fake it!

  • Brainstorm & plan before you write
  • Once you start – go with the flow
  • Don’t stop!
  • Free write: Do not search for the right word – re-draft and improve later
  • Leave gaps – read more after writing. 

Here there was much emphasis again placed on writing and writing and writing – and not stopping to re-read and revise and improve. We need to write till we drain all our ideas and thoughts and random mental flashes on to the paper. This sort of writing is described as free writing – and as a ‘brain dump’ and can be a really good way of just getting ideas out and on the page – for study and development. 

The Paragraph Questions as free writing

Another more formal free writing and that was mentioned in the seminars was to use the Paragraph Questions to help shape our ideas – to draw our thinking out. Remembering when doing so to write BLAH BLAH or NEED AN IDEA HERE or NEED ANOTHER REFERENCE… So that again the writing flows – and the assignment can be developed later. 

The questions are as follows – and we are invited to write as though answering those questions:

  1. What is this paragraph about then? Introduce your topic
  2. And what exactly is that? Define or clarify
  3. Tell me more – give me an argument… Make a case
  4. What is the evidence for your argument – and what does it mean? Offer and discuss evidence (refer to a source – discuss a practical example)
  5. So what – who cares? Make a point. Take the paragraph back to the Question. 

The big tip of the day was to write these out on to an index card and stick that to the front of your PC. 

Reflection (3) What do you like about your own academic writing practices?

Despite all the pep talks that went before – there was still not much joy on show about the thought of academic writing – so the session moved on… 

This is what staff tend to say about their writing:

  • I discover what I’m thinking
  • I never quite know where it’s going
  • I puzzle out my ideas
  • It’s an exploration
  • It’s exciting
  • I am concise and effective
  • I try to be helpful and useful
  • It’s teasing out my thinking
  • I’m incredibly organised
  • I just plunge in and see where it goes 

And this is what students say – even those who have got really good degrees:

  • I am still not sure if my work is considered academic, I still don’t know what makes one of my essays better than another. 
  • I have been humiliated in ways that I would never have put up with anywhere else! 
  • Academic language, the kind of language that doesn’t readily flow off my tongue: the type of language I rarely use when speaking to my peers. The type of language that I don’t readily understand and the type of language that means spending hours at a computer turning something quite simple into something that sounds moderately impressive with elitist results. 

We discussed the reasons behind the different statements – and how hard it can be to hear formative feedback in the positive light in which it may be offered. Typically when tutors feedback to us, the intention is that we improve… If you fail to score a goal you do not leave the pitch and never play football again – you can shrug and carry on. We need to learn some of these normal survival tactics in our studies. 

To start to feel more positive we could try to:

  • Treat writing more like a sport or driving or cooking… We will get better if we practise.
  • See writing as a process not just a product.
  • Develop the craft of writing – rather than expect to pour out perfect essays first go.
  • Make ‘safe’ spaces to write – at home – and with friends.
  • Practise, practise, practise…
  • Write for half an hour every day! 

Write – Read – Think! Tips:

Try CORNELL notes: http://coe.jmu.edu/learningtoolbox/cornellnotes.html

Try a blog: http://thesiswhisperer.com/2012/12/12/turn-your-notes-into-writing-using-the-cornell-method/

Try Binge writing:

http://patthomson.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/dr-jekyll-writes-binge-writing-as-a-pathological-academic-condition/

Try something really creative:

http://www.arts.ac.uk/cetl/visual-directions/

Try being a diver writer: http://learning.londonmet.ac.uk/epacks/studyhub/introduction.html 

Writing resources:

EXCELLENT site for linking phrases and for WRITING:
http://www.phrasebank.manchester.ac.uk/

Ten steps: http://prezi.com/cbaj9e5kised/copy-of-ten-stages-of-assignment-success/

Academic writing month: http://www.guardian.co.uk/higher-education-network/blog/2012/nov/01/academic-writing-month-acwrimo-research

The writing pages on the Study Hub – with PACKS!: http://learning.londonmet.ac.uk/epacks/studyhub/introduction.html

750 Words: it does what it says on the tin:
http://750words.com/

Written Kitten – new kitten every 100 words! 
http://writtenkitten.net/

Essay planning animation – Portsmouth:

http://ondemand.port.ac.uk/central/One_way_to_write_an_essay.wmv

Our writing mini-site:

http://learning.londonmet.ac.uk/TLTC/connorj/WritingGroups/

 Essay/report quiz:
http://learning.londonmet.ac.uk/LMBS/study/reports_essays/

Our Preventing Plagiarism course (also in WebLearn):

http://learning.londonmet.ac.uk/TLTC/learnhigher/Plagiarism/ 

In the seminar

We took on the notion of becoming writers – and becoming successful students. This week we also explored successful presentation strategies (http://learning.londonmet.ac.uk/epacks/studyhub/presentations.html) and how to harness positive thinking in the academic environment (http://learning.londonmet.ac.uk/epacks/studyhub/positive.html) – all to facilitate the design and delivery of our Poster Presentations (on our field research) – for next week… and this continued with our Peer Mentors in the fourth hour. 

In the process of discussing just what sort of presentation we might like to develop – and what the differences might be between presentations and teaching – we also returned to Freire and we explored the ideas of Carl Rogers … and we discussed ways of being creative in a presentation to help people engage and concentrate – and just to be more interesting…

Imaginary Friend

Becoming… W5: Study Week: Participant Observation; field research; and field notes

This week the Becoming blog is coming to you courtesy of Mo Abdullahi – one of Quaco’s seminar group students.

Mo got out and about the University – he observed – he took great pictures – he made observations… and already we can see some possible avenues for further research.

Support Mo: read his blog; be inspired; give him some feedback; share your blog posts by adding them in the Comments box on Becoming.

Becoming an Educationalist

Week 5: Participant Observer

Imaginary Friend

Whilst reading the module handbook, I discover that it’s study week. I can’t deny that I’m relieved. I’ll be at work the night before Wednesday’s lecture, so it looks like a nice lie in is on the cards. I continue to scan the handbook and the next line jumps out the page. It says  “In pairs..” Great another group task. Having missed a fair portion of the lectures and seminars due to my employment commitments, I find that I do not know any of my fellow students to pair with.  Looks like I’ll be doing this alone. Feelings of annoyance and regret start to grow in me. I do my best to repress these emotions because I will end up procrastinating and make excuses not to do it.

The task is to explore the University’s different learning spaces as participant observer. Taking pictures and…

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