#becomingeducational Easter blog

In class this week we spoke a lot about the need occasionally to slow down – to take time – to give the proper amount of time to a task and to our thinking. To follow this up here are a couple of Easter tasks for you to try.

Art for an Hour

Go to a museum or art gallery – find a picture or an object that you like or that you relate to or that moves you in some way.

Now just be with it for an hour.

Yes – I said one hour.

No phones, no talking to other people – no thinking about shopping, work, housework, assignments, friends or family. Just being with your chosen piece or object for one whole hour.

As you sit – you can look – listen – experience. You might sketch, make notes, doodle.

After the hour – write 300 words (no more – no less) on your art work or object.

Share your 300-words in your blogs – preferably with a picture of your art work or object to give a bit of context.

Share your reflections on  what it was like to do this strange thing!

Here’s my blogpost when I did the same activity for an #artmooc that I took: http://lastrefugelmu.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/livearthistory-w4-world-making.html – you have to scroll down to find the piece that begins:  Mostly it’s brown paper: spending an hour with a primitive portrait of my mother.

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Data for an hour!

I think that you can guess what we’re going to suggest here?!

Once you have your Research Project raw data – do not rush to sum it up and dispose of it. Sit with it for an hour (at least!). Be with your data.

If it is written data – read and re-read. Annotate – high-light – doodle upon it. Draw little cartoons and pictures.  For an hour.

If you have collected visual data – again – sit with it. Look at it. Absorb it. Make notes – doodles – sketches. For an hour.

Once you have done your hour – free write 300-words that should be the first draft version of your Findings.

Reflect on the whole experience! Blog about it!

Move on to free write your Discussion – Conclusion – Recommendations.

Then keep revising them till they are actually polished and rather fine!!

AND – have a lovely Easter break!!

#becomingeducational W24 blog: Analyse this – write that: Visual Data!

This week we moved from analysing raw written data – to analysing raw visual data.
The process: we opened the session with an Image Mediated Dialogue (IMD) session – to ‘answer’ the questions:
• What does ‘feedback’ mean to you?
• What does ‘assignment’ mean to you?
• What is your big ‘sticking point’ with assignments?
We had to choose just one picture from a range of rich pictures that for us answered the questions… We had to write a DESCRIPTION of our picture – and move on to an ANALYSIS: the picture answers the question for me because… Following on from the writing – we moved into dialogic triads – where each person in turn presented and discussed their picture.
After a reflection on IMD as a way to start a lesson – begin an assignment – and as a research method – we moved on to analyse a collage produced by a group of staff – on the same assessment-focussed topics. Again – we had to engage in those first messy noticing steps – then gather ideas into arguments – discussion – conclusion and recommendations. And again – the point was not to get to the ‘right answer’ – but to engage in enough of this process so that we would know what to do with our own data – and how to start making sense of it for our own research reports.
If you want to have a go – analyse this picture in re attitudes to feedback and assessment:

A, A, Artefact Mooc December 2010 050

AND FINALLY – given that we conducted our IMD and our collage analysis on the topic of assessment – here’s a bonus activity: a Podcast on Kindness and Assessment:

#becomingeducational W23: Analyse this! Write that!!

The Research Report – a practical session
This week we prepared for writing our research reports by engaging with some real primary data – and going through the stages and processes required to turn raw data into:
* Findings
* Discussion
* Conclusion
* Recommendations.

The Research Question: What does ‘connected learning’ mean to you?
The Method: Collaborative writing as a means of enquiry (viz. Ken Gale)
The Data: A collaborative poem – accessed here: https://titanpad.com/sXgaTJMniP
The Process: first we brainstormed what ‘connected learning’ meant to us… A hard copy of the collaborative poem was given to each group – and we had to annotate, high-light – notice… then discuss – and do that all over again.
This was the messy bit where we were supposed to just jot down observations and ‘noticings’ – without yet trying to impose an order upon them.
After this we were encouraged to look for themes and motifs and the ‘story being told’ in the poem – how would we describe that in a 300-word Findings section? How would we then utilise our various Literature Reviews to discuss the Findings in a 300-word Discussion… And so forth.

The point of this session was to immerse us in the real processes that would be involved in analysing data – and in the struggle that we will engage in when we write our Reports. The point was the struggle and the process – not the ‘getting it right’.

So – this is a short blog post – if you have not engaged in that struggle yet – have a go at analysing the #ccourses poem for yourself! And then reflecting on the struggles that you had in your journey to make sense of it!

London Met Get Ahead Conference 2015

W22 11th March – Get Ahead Conference!!

So – for W22 Becoming became the Get Ahead conference!!

We decided to give precious class time to this event for MANY reasons!!

* It is good to see that University offers more than the lectures and seminars…

* Sometimes we need to be forced – er – heavily encouraged to try something different

* Dom was running a workshop – and it is good to support our colleagues

* There was free food (did I mention the free food?)

* It offered a space where something different could happen – if you let it…


SO – did you let something different happen?


Did you enjoy Get Ahead? Have you BLOGGED about it yet?!



Here’s a post from Sameera who was a Becoming student last year (and who really did enjoy Get Ahead then!!) – and who ran a stall on Peer Mentoring in Practice – with Toni, Sheilah and Noora…

I hope that you visited them on their stall – and that you are all thinking of doing the Peer Mentoring module next year – and that – YES – you did smile a bit and get involved a bit!!

See you Wednesday!!

Confessions of a Student - The Learning Log


Toni, Noora, Sheilah and I held a ‘Peer Mentoring in Practice’ stall today at the Get Ahead Conference 2015 and let me just tell you all that it was an absolute success! So many familiar and new faces approached us, but it was just lovely getting to meet new people and networking with everybody else who was around. Though I do not know whether they were approaching us for the free sweets and chocolates or if they really wanted to know more about Peer Mentoring! I am just kidding guys. It was really enjoyable to meet all of you there and I truly hope that you found the stall useful and interesting. I would definitely recommend this 15 week module for anybody who is interested in mentoring first year students and just wanting to gain more experience in this field. It improves socialisation skills, empowers individuals to work in…

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Exploring the Issue of Play, open invite to contribute to the next CAM issue @academiccreator

#becomingeducational W22 – PLAY – write a short article??

This re-blog is about PLAY in HE. The Post is requesting short articles on the topic – written in friendly and accessible language – with pictures – and even with a doodled self-portrait…

We cannot think of a better bunch of people to think seriously about writing such an article!

You have played to produce your Digital Me’s – you have played as we made collages to learn – and drew to learn… you have played as we wrote our poetry on the topic of cheating… you have played in our Make Week – as part of our reflective learning – you are playing as you work up your live performances… Dom played as he delivered his excellent Zeega workshop at the Conference last week.

What has been the purpose of all this play? Has it promoted active learning? Has it countered the ‘implicit threat’ of those transitional spaces (Winnicott 1971)?

Will you be harnessing play in your own practice later on?

Go on – you know it makes sense – volunteer to write a brief media rich article – we will support you – and it will take your play to a whole new level!!

#becomingeducational W21 Make week!!


Fourth hour – rehearsal room: 12.00-13.00: BP2.22

Writing Club with Mentors: 13.00-14.00: BEL1.09

Get Ahead W22: Weds 11th March – from 09.00: attendance is part of Becoming!!!

Support Dom & Co: http://learning.londonmet.ac.uk/epacks/get_ahead_conf/


Collective reflection – and creative revision


What one activity have you enjoyed the best? Why?

What one ethos (active learning; creativity; PBL;  democratic learning; …?) has stood out for you so far? Why?

In pairs: Discuss your two things: What do they have in common? How do they differ?

In fours: How would you sum up the learning promoted by your chosen things? How do they relate to becoming a successful educationalist? How would you teach *one of* them to somebody else?

Pause: We think that #becomingeducational covered:

  • Belonging
  • Self-efficacy/Self-esteem
  • Academic Writing
  • Group work
  • Digital stuff
  • Drawing to Learn
  • Blogging to Learn
  • Critical thinking
  • Notes/reading .

And embodied:

  • Active learning
  • Question Based Learning
  • Object Based Learning
  • Project Based Learning
  • Inquiry Based Learning
  • Research Based Learning
  • Student as Producer
  • Creativity in Learning

Now – in fours – use the resources in the room and MAKE A GAME about what you think has been the most important or significant part of the course!

 What next? Think essay:

  • What is a good educationalist?
  • What (three) key aspects of the course will you write about?
  • Start writing and re-writing…
  • And collecting evidence…

 AND Think blogs:

  • Three blog posts – submitted W30 – as portfolio items
  • Showcasing your best moments/resources/experiences!
  • Choose three!
  • Make them better!

Becomingeducational W20: Analyse this!!

The research projects are under way. What do you do with all that data? This week we looked at the video ‘Z-A of University’ as (audio-visual) research data – and worked through how we might write that up as a RESEARCH REPORT.


Have a look yourself and try to really SEE and HEAR all that is going on:


This video was produced in answer to the question: Tell us your University story.

As such, for the purpose of this exercise, it can act like raw data to analyse.  This is our analysis journey.



In this example LOOK at and LISTEN to (several times) the video.

Make quick notes of all that you see and hear – without really analysing it yet.

Once you have gathered together your notes on the raw data – you can start to make sense of it.

Gather topics together – what sorts of images recur – what sorts of words are used over and over? What MOTIFS or THEMES seem to be emerging?

Reflect – and then describe your data overall concisely – and free write your first draft – under the heading:



The next step is to analyse the findings: what do they mean? What story are they telling? How does that story relate to the research question?

Once you have started this analysis process – collect your arguments together under the heading:



The next step is to draw conclusions on all this – again – related to your research question. So – in the light of (in this example) all that you have seen and heard – and the way that you have discussed that raw data – what conclusions can you draw? What have you discovered in this research project – via the data you have collected? You write that up in the section entitled:



Last step: in the light of that data – and your conclusions – is there any evidence that the situation you explored is already doing something right? Is there any evidence that we are doing things wrong – and any hints that we can do something better? You would write this up in a brief section entitled:



So – there you have it – a very quick and dirty look at moving from raw data to a research report.

Remember – in our class we only have 1000 words to write this up – so be very concise!!