Becomingeducational: W26: The Report, Essay and Blogs

A quick recap of where we are with the Assignments:

Research Project (30%):

  • Proposal – 1000 words – week 19 (10%) DONE – FINISHED!!
  • Report1000 wordsweek 29 (20%)

If you are not sure about this – scroll back through this blog – because we have discussed the Report in great detail over several weeks!

Week 30 – final submission of at least three portfolio components (30%)

These can be logs/blogs, self-representation, art portfolio, collage collection, reading record, research artefact, Digital Me artefact; Digital Me Poster, End of Year Performance…

You can submit anything that you want to get recognition for!! If in doubt, we did set you several projects to seed your creative engagement:


Reading – Make it fun

Writing – Blogging to learn

Develop a Digital Me

Resource based on your Research Project

End of year Performance.

Portfolio items – through Blog

Some of you want to offer your portfolio items through your blog extracts. Here you might have ONE blog post per thing that you want to submit. In each 300-500 word post, you need to discuss the artefact or resource or activity. Discuss means more than describe! Say something about why you have chosen it – what difference it has made to you as a student and/or you as a prospective educationalist. A good blog consists of concise, effective writing – with pictures – and possibly with links. You will need to PRINT OFF THE THREE BLOG POSTS AND SUBMIT THEM WITH A COVER SHEET.

Portfolio items – where one item = Blog

Some of you are really pleased with your whole blog (or with two or three of your whole blogs!!) – and so you want to submit the blog itself as a portfolio item. Here you might write a brief piece explaining the what, why and how of your blog – with the URL – and submit that…

Then think about the other things that you want to submit – and how you will do that – either through a blog post that you print off and submit – or you may be handing in a beautiful, illustrated note book or self-representation – or reading record… where you actually have to hand in the physical item itself.

Essay 1500 words – week 30 (40%)

‘To what extent has the module ‘Becoming an Educationalist’ prepared you for the reality of becoming an educationalist? Justify your answer with reference to at least three aspects of or activities on the course.’

Things to think about:

  • What does the module Becoming an Educationalist include? Why? What has it asked you to do/think/read/discuss/make? Why?
  • What is an educationalist? What do they have to do? How do they have to behave with their students? What characteristics or attributes would it be helpful for an educationalist to have? What should they DO? What should they NOT DO?
  • What activities have you enjoyed the most from the module? Why? How has any one particular one prepared you for the reality of becoming an educationalist?
  • What aspects of the module have you felt were useful or important for someone who is becoming an educationalist? Why? How has any one particular one prepared you for the reality of becoming an educationalist?
  • What other activity or aspect do you want to write about? Why? How has that particular one prepared you for the reality of becoming an educationalist?


PLEASE ask more questions – but  THROUGH THE COMMENTS box of the blog – then we can have WHOLE CLASS discussions rather than many one-to-one discussions through emails!

Good luck – and enjoy the assignments – Sandra & Tom


#becomingeducational The Assignments Post

Here in #becomingeducational we have encouraged you to follow this blog to revise the course and gather fresh insights. We have asked you to ‘write to learn’ in your own blogs – and to share those blogs with each other. We have wanted the various blog spaces to encourage learning dialogues between us and you – between you and us – and between you and each other.

 Blog it: In this final run in to the end of the course – we want to use this blog rather than emails to answer out-of-class questions about assignments. More importantly – we want you all to start answering each others’ questions rather than relying on us.

 You are Becoming Educationalists – and we are becoming obsolescent!

So here are our notes on the report; the logs; the essay… if you want more, we will be covering the writing in class – and you can help each other out here in this blog.

The Report

The Report part of your Research Project is where you report your findings – you discuss what the raw data might mean – you draw conclusions as to their relevance to *this* context (for you were analysing an aspect of HE study) – and where applicable you make Recommendation for Practice, that is, suggestions for how to improve the learning for University students, based on your analysis of your research data. This is the formal structure required:




Recommendations for Practice


Tip: stop worrying about this as ACADEMIC WRITING; stop worrying about this as an ASSESSMENT: think about it as having something to SAY to REAL PEOPLE.

Of your RESEARCH PROPOSAL readers would have been asking:

So what are you going to investigate? – INTRODUCTION

Why are you interested in that topic? – BACKGROUND/CONTEXT

What have other academics already discovered about that topic? – LITERATURE REVIEW

How will you carry out your own research? – METHOD

Why have you chosen to carry out the research in that way? – METHOD


Of your RESEARCH REPORT readers will be asking:

So what happened when you conducted your research? What are the key highlights? – FINDINGS

What do your findings mean? – DISCUSSION

What overall conclusions do you draw about University teaching/learning? – CONCLUSION

What should we do differently because of what you have found out? – RECOMMENDATIONS

In a 1000 words – be concise and analytical.


  • Talk to other people in the class: what is baffling when we are alone with our worries becomes sensible and do-able when we work with other people!!
  • Read and Model: read the free online journal: Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education covers exactly the sort of research that you are doing – and will offer excellent models for how you should write up your work:

The Learning Logs

The Learning Logs are worth 30% of the overall mark for the course as a whole – so STOPTHINK: what do you think you will have to do to get those marks? What do you think a great reflective log will have to look like?

Three half pages of notes won’t do it will they?

Show you know

The point of the learning log and the blog is to improve the quantity and quality of your learning by making the learning conscious. You do this by engaging in reflection and what we call meta-cognition: realising what we know – how we know it – and how we might apply it and so forth.

Good reviews should indicate an awareness both of the ‘point’ of a lesson – and the ‘point’ of the review process itself. Reflections should be crisp and clear – but relevant and useful. Some of you have already shown some brilliant, detailed and most important of all ENGAGED blog posts, submit those! For those of you who are less certain about what to do – at the very least your reflections should follow a trajectory like this:

What: what are all the different things that we did this week?

Why: for each activity – WHY did we do that – what was the purpose?

Reaction: how did engaging in those activities make me feel? Why did I react in that way? How can I harness my positive reactions? How can I harness my negative reactions?

Illustration: how would I illustrate this week’s learning to make it more memorable?

Learned: what have I learned or gained or become aware of – through ALL of the different activities that we did? How might I apply this learning in my practice now as a student? How might I apply this in the future in my professional practice as an educationalist?

Next steps: what reading, writing or other follow up activities will I do in the light of al these reflections? Then – evidence that you did do some of that follow up work…

Appendices: given that you will be submitting three pertinent log/blog extracts for assessment, add Appendices – where you demonstrate the application of the learning and the follow up activities that you did.

Tips: Appendices might contain notes of further reading that you did, pictures of further collages that you made, links to artefacts that you produced to illustrate your learning, short free write extracts …

The Essay

We have covered the essay generally and this essay in particular over several weeks already – check out

Things to think about:

What is an educationalist? What is an inspiring and empowering educationalist? What sort of educationalist do you want to become?

Why have we designed the module the way that we did? Think about the module contents – and also the teaching and learning style – the different things we have wanted you to think about and do… the ways that we have wanted to you to act and interact… What was the point of all that?

Tip: Check out our Conference presentation – delivered in class in W26 – and delivered at the ALDinHE Conference over Easter – MOST IMPORTANTLY read our summary of how Etienne Wenger-Trayner describes education as becoming:

What THREE things are you going to write about?

  • Did you enjoy the interactivity – all those discussions and presentations?
  • The research project – from participant observation to digital artefact?
  • What about the Developing Digital Me project – where we asked you to engage in #ds106 or a MOOC as part of your ‘reading’?
  • Were you engaged by the Visual practices (collage, drawing, illustrated notes) or the  role playing and simulation or that we wanted students in charge (peer mentoring, conference workshop, student workshops)?
  • Were you surprised by the free writing or the topic mediated dialogue?
  • Was the Music or the Dance workshop the thing that made a difference?
  • Was there anything that you thought was interesting – or well designed – or powerful – or effective…?

Tips: Do not DESCRIBE, ANALYSE; refer to the LITERATURE to justify your arguments; think about these questions: what was the point of that? Did it work? How and why did it work? How might you use yourself in the future?   

Help each other

From now on, we really do not want to be answering individual email queries about the assignments. We have designed all the assignments to promote active learning – they are assessment as and for learning – not just of learning (though do enjoy the opportunity to show what you have learned). We will be covering the assignments as part of our active learning in class over the last few weeks of the course.

BUT – if you have queries, comments, suggestions and examples – POST THEM HERE – so that your class mates could answer – and so that if we answer, that answer is going to every body in the class and not just one person!

All the best – enjoy these last few weeks – and enjoy helping each other in class and here in cyber space.

Becoming W10: Writing Retreat:

·        Creating a space to think, write and think again

·        Tackling our resistance to writing

·        Supporting ‘writing to learn’


Becoming an Educationalist is an extremely intensive course designed to occupy four hours of class time per week plus an additional five or six hours of independent study. The Writing and other tasks that we set are an essential part of your engagement with the ideas and practices of the course. They are designed to promote active learning and critical thinking through writing and other processes.


This week we are having a Writing Retreat where we will engage in real writing to learn – to experience what it is like to make time to write. To write!! To make time to get some writing done.

Overarching tasks – that need to happen every week without reminding:

  • Revision of notes – clear identification of names, theories, concepts and ideas
  • Follow up on the names, theories, concepts and ideas. Do some talking, reading, thinking, writing. Tip: production of personal subject dictionary
  • Reflective learning log – preferably as a blog
  • Review of Becoming blog – contribute a Comment to the blog, adding your blog url
  • All writing tasks set in the Module Handbook – especially if un-finished in class.

By week ten:

Personal Blog, preferably as a Quad-blog. This should have nine reflective learning logs, subject dictionary and possibly all other notes and reflections.

Reflective learning logs: nine – preferably illustrated!.

Six word essay: How to succeed at University.

Free write: What is a successful educationalist?

Collage & Artist Statement:

  1. Explain your process (medium and technique).  How was it made?  Which art materials and approaches did you use and why?
  2. Describe the idea behind your artwork.  What story or message does it get across?  What does it mean to you?
  3. Why did you create it?  What are your reasons for creating that specific art piece?  What do you want your audience to feel and think while observing it?

Digital Project: Developing digital self: write up of your strategy for using #ds106 website – with regular reflections on progress with your personal digital development project. Tip: This could be your Becoming research project!

50-word essays: Either: Successful University writing Or Successful University reading.

Field notes of investigation of the University as a site or sites of learning.

Poster presentation: The University as a site of research and knowledge production; the student as producer of knowledge.

Short essay: How far should our actions depend on our values and beliefs?

Drawings – including of ontology and epistemology.

Written consideration of role of drawing in teaching, learning, research… Construct a possible paragraph for your final essay on the value of drawing and/or art for an educationalist, remembering the paragraph questions:

  1. What is this paragraph about?
  2. What exactly is that?
  3. What is your argument (in relation to the question as a whole)?
  4. What is the evidence? What does it mean?
  5. So what? (Please make a point that relates back to the question as a whole.)

Project: Research an artist, an art movement or a particular work of art – and consider how you might use what you have learned in your studying now – and your teaching in the future – for three-minute presentation, W11. See: and

Key word, illustrated notes from all lectures, activities and workshops:

What is an educationalist?

Who and what is education for?

Socialisation, indoctrination or emancipation: what sort of educationalist do I want to be?

Role play and simulations – and their role on teaching and learning

Enlightened self interest, utilitarianism, moral imperative

Analytical and critical thinking – and how to develop it in the self and others

Image mediated dialogue – and its role in teaching and learning

Topic mediated dialogue – and its role in teaching and learning

Academic writing#1 & #2

Presentations: what, why, how

Self-efficacy, self-confidence and self-esteem – in the academic environment

Positive thinking in the academic environment

Gareth Malone (Choir)

Last Chance Kids – the tyranny of literacy

Research – the university and community

Research – ontology, epistemology, positivism, interpretism…

Drawing for teaching, learning and research

Participant observation

Research project: ideas and draft of Project proposal

‘Digital self’ project.

Also: Bandura; Bentham; Burr; Freire; Giroux; Kant; Robinson; Rogers…

PHEW!! How do you feel now?

If you have a new Writing Strategy as a result of this Writing Retreat – please tell us about it in the Comments section. (To find the Comments section – click on the speech bubble near the title of the blogpost.)