#becomingeducational W30 – so you’re still worried about the essay?

Becomingeducational: Essay Tips

The essay is 1500 words – this probably means ONE introduction – about 200 words – THREE paragraphs – about 300 words each – and ONE conclusion about 400 words…

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 WHEN PREPARING THE ESSAY:

FIRST – notice that the question is asking you about the module – so say something about Becoming: what was it trying to achieve? How was it trying to do that? What theories or beliefs underpin the module Becoming an Educationalist?

What is an educationalist? What do they do? What characteristics or attributes would it be helpful for an educationalist to have? What should they DO? What should they NOT DO? What theory or theorists would you refer to, to explain the sort of educationalist that you want to be?

Tips: Mention these in the INTRODUCTION – saying which THREE aspects of the course you are then going to focus upon.

WHAT WE THINK WE HAVE COVERED ON THE MODULE – CHOOSE THREE:

Simulations & role play – for critical thinking – belonging – learning through discussion – active learning

Rich pictures – when you drew your new world after the apocalypse – thinking though images…

SLOW reading – in groups – with collage and presentations – to help you crack the code of academic reading – and learn how to enjoy it.

IMD; Collage; TMD – all used to get you thinking differently – and usually talking with each other – dialogic engagement – learning in action that learning itself is socially constructed (Burr) – ALSO – each of these also a qualitative research method/

Exploring formal and informal learning spaces – to SEE learning, teaching and assessment differently – to start to critique taken for granted practices – and come to your own understanding of education.

Multimodal exhibition/Exhibitions & showcases – show case YOUR creativity and learning – self-efficacy developed – pride and joy?

REAL Research – modelling what all good teaching is – and discovering something new from your own actions – also preparing you for second year when you have to have a Dissertation proposal.

Free writing & peer review – overcoming writing blocks – discovering new ways to APPROACH writing – and discovering the value of peer review and feedback – towards taking ownership of your own writing rather than being over dependent on the tutor.

Music w/shop – enjoying a new process – help to prepare your own performances – but also learning a new way of thinking and expressing ourselves – music also has its own grammar/logic/rhetoric – that is – its own way of communicating ideas. What can you take form that into your own development?

Performance weeks – to showcase your learning – what you think aboyt good classroom practice – what you wanted to teach other people – and HOW you wanted to teach it…

Group work – all the time in all sorts of ways – but hopefully also with space to work individually… The value of making friends and finding collaborators!

Digital stuff – making brilliant digital things – to show you and everybody else that you do not come into education empty – but with skills and talents and just waiting to b stretched! Different to THE ESSAY – which can be very disempowering as so formal and rewards already existing cultural capital…

Blogging to learn – reflecting in own voice and space – to take op=wnership of the learning – to make the final essay writing easier…

Active learning; Question-based learning; Object-based learning; Project-based learning; Inquiry-based learning; Research-based learning; “Student as Producer”; Creativity in learning; and Critical thinking – all designed to develop Belonging; Self-efficacy/Self-esteem!!!

AS SAID – CHOOSE THREE – AND WRITE ABOUT THEM:

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 theory or theorists would you refer to, to argue for that activity?

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 theory or theorists would you refer to, to argue for that aspect?

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? What theory or theorists would you refer to, to argue for that activity or aspect?

WRITE A CONCLUSION

Remember to CONCLUDE your essay! Revisit the WHOLE question and prove that you have answered it: to what extent has the module ‘Becoming an Educationalist’ prepared you for the reality of becoming an educationalist? How do your three aspects of/or activities on the course demonstrate that?

TIP: BE CREATIVE? As you should have gathered by now, we hope that #becomingeducational has helped you to think more creatively about teaching, learning and assessment – so – if you want to attempt something more creative than a traditional written essay – we would be interested to hear from you – and see what you want to o and whether it could work!!

PEOPLE TO READ:

DEWEY – for a democratic approach

Freire – on education that is designed for justice and action

hooks – for a critical pedagogy approach

Holt – on the problems with education/schooling

Illich – for the need to ‘de-school’ society

Robinson – on the problems with schooling

Rogers – on the need for unconditional positive regard, empathy and congruence.

HAVE YOU CHECKED THE READING LIST:

#becomingeducational: https://becomingeducational.wordpress.com/

Buckets and fires – teachers’ blog http://bucketsandfires.blogspot.co.uk/

Burns, T & Sinfield, S (2012) Essential study skills: the complete guide to success at university, London; Sage

Burns and Sinfield resources (also see the Journal articles that accompany each chapter) http://www.uk.sagepub.com/burnsandsinfield3e/study/default.htm

Buzan, B. & Buzan, T. (1995) The Mind Map Book BBC

Creativity – The Curious Creative:  https://flipboard.com/section/the-curious-creative-b5vmw7

Chloe’s blog: https://noblechloe.wordpress.com/

Develop a Digital Me:

Jeffers, S. (1997) Feel the Fear and do it Anyway London; Century

Hybrid Pedagogy blog – see especially this post on classroom design: http://www.hybridpedagogy.com/journal/discovering-natural-classrooms-hybrid-collective-learning-spaces/

Isaacs, S, Blundell, D, Foley, A, Ginsburg, N, McDonough, B, Silverstone D & Young, T (2014) Social Problems in the UK: an introduction London; Routledge

Last Refuge Blogspot: http://lastrefugelmu.blogspot.co.uk/ Academic blog and essential reading for all Becoming students.

McIntosh, P (2010) Action Research and Reflective Practice: Creative and visual methods to facilitate reflection and learning London; Routledge

McIntosh, P Postgraduate nursing students – drawing-only reflective log: http://qmul.academia.edu/paulmcintosh/Papers/731108/Creativity_and_reflection_An_approach_to_reflexivity_in_practice

Malone, G The Choir episodes

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b008y125/episodes/guide

Play in HE: http://www.creativeacademic.uk/uploads/1/3/5/4/13542890/cam2__part_a.pdf and

http://www.creativeacademic.uk/uploads/1/3/5/4/13542890/cam2_part_b.pdf

Robinson, K. (2006) Ken Robinson says ‘Schools kill creativity’ (speech) ONLINE: http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html accessed 10.12.10

Robinson, K. (2009) ‘Changing Education Paradigms’ (speech) ONLINE:

http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_changing_education_paradigms

Sentimental education? The school that Tilda built: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/jun/13/education-school-tilda-swinton-scotland Schmidt, Laurel. ‘Great Teachers Don’t Take No (or Yes) for an Answer: Teaching by Asking Instead of Telling’ in Classroom Confidential: The 12 Secrets of Great Teachers . Portsmouth: Heinemann, 2004. 

Shuh, John Hennigar. ‘Teaching Yourself to Teach With Objects’ in The Educational Role of the Museum: Second Edition . New York: Routledge, 2001, pgs. 80-91.

Study Chat:  – https://www.facebook.com/LondonMetStudyChat   *Like* and follow #studychat for tips, trix and study ideas

Study Hub: www.londonmet.ac.uk/studyhub – for study tips and tricks – and calendar of study support events including Writing Clinics

Teach Thought blog: http://www.teachthought.com/

Thornburg D (2007) http://tcpd.org/Thornburg/Handouts/Campfires.pdf Tracey – journal: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/aed/staff-research/research-groups/drawing-visualisation-tracey/

Victor, B https://vialogues.com/vialogues/play/23929/ – 1-hr video on representations…

Visual Directions – sketchbook site: http://cltad-web2.arts.ac.uk/cetl/visual-directions/index.htm

Visual practices in learning and research: http://www.utpteachingculture.com/unflattening-scholarship-with-comics/

http://www.utpteachingculture.com/youve-got-to-draw-it-if-you-want-to-see-it-drawing-as-an-ethnographic-method/

Wheeler, S Educational Theory blog: http://steve-wheeler.blogspot.co.uk/

Workshops – preparing them: http://youthwebonline.com/teachers/activities/culture/index.html

Good luck – and enjoy the assignments – Sandra & Tom

 

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#becomingeducational W19: Research Reports

Big CHEER!!!

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A big cheer goes to Natalie and Selina and Dan and Megan for developing and running w/shops at Get Ahead …

 

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– and for Mandy for tweeting!

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How brave you all were…

AND – if we have #GetAhead next year – perhaps you will be the ones organising it? Hope so!

Happy dance!!

Reports on the visual data

We had started to analyse different forms of visual data: Maze; Cabinet of curiosity; Staff collage; Student collage…

After a brief re-grouping and final discussions – each group reported back the rough ‘Research Report’ they might produce given the raw data they were analysing.

Tip: Reflect on this PROCESS: did it help you better understand the form and function of a Research Report? Did it leave you feeling a bit more prepared to write and review your own Report? What will you take from this into your own practice as a student now – and an educationalist in the future?

Action Groups!

We wanted this to be a busy and productive session that helped everybody work towards their Research Report – all happy that they REALLY understand the task – and how to put together their own Reports.

So we asked:

Have you written something? Get into a pair and Peer Review your writing – remembering that the Report needs:

  • Summary of the data collected – THEMES = Findings
  • Analysis/discussion of findings – what they mean. Refer to own Lit Review = Discussion
  • Implications for university learning and teaching = Conclusion
  • Practical suggestions for university learning and teaching = Recommendations

Have you got un-analysed data? Work alone or in pairs and start to write it up – talk about what you have discovered and what it might mean. Have a go at drafting something – then be happy to rearrange and change it.

WARNING: You will want to write it all out in one blurt: Well they said this and it means that so the conclusion is and we should all do this differently… ONCE you have done that – go through it all again more slowly – and start to put the different bits under the right headings – and to say a bit more about each. Be quick and fast – and then slow and deliberate… and enjoy it!

Have you still to get data? Find some volunteers and start collecting data – right here right now! And – wow – some of you did just that –how cool are you?!

Busy Busy Busy

So – it was a busy session altogether – but we loved the buzzy hum of the second half of the session with people doing different things – with engagement levels high – and the sense that questions were asked and answered – and that all sorts of different positive things were happening.

Thank you, #becomingeducational, for being such a happy and rewarding group to work with!!

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BONUS: #creativeHE could be your PROJECT!!!

Join #creativeHE during #openeducationwk

7-11 March!!!

Hello everybody,

We are back!!! And we are very excited!!!

The distributed facilitation team of #creativeHE decided to offer a mini version of #creativeHE during Open Education Week.

It is an interesting change for us as we offered the last two times over a much longer period (the last one was offered over 8 weeks). We won’t try to cram everything into 5 days. So, please don’t worry. Our approach will be, less is more 😉 and our focus is on the interactions we can generate and what we can learn through these.

All you need to do is access the Google + community and start participating. No registration is required and everything is wide open.

Warning! A wide open mind is needed as well as generous commitment during the week to get the maximum out of it. If you have sorted this out, please join us at

https://plus.google.com/communities/110898703741307769041

On Twitter we will be using the hashtag #creativeHE > Feel free to say hello there as well.

We really look forward to learning together soon,

Chrissi Nerantzi (Manchester Metropolitan University), Sandra Sinfield (London Metropolitan University), Sue Watling (University of Hull), Dr Nikos Fachantidis (University of Macedonia) and Prof. Norman Jackson (Creative Academic Lifewide Education)

#becomingeducational W16: Analyse that – now this

These sessions are designed to get you wrestling with DATA: audio, written and visual data – so that you can make sense of whatever you are doing now for your first year projects – and so that you hit the ground running when you think about your final dissertations… and you start thinking about them NEXT YEAR!

Last week we analysed Kevin Hodgson’s (@Dogtrax) poem ‘Steal this poem’ as raw data – generated in response to the same sort of TMD questions on ‘CHEATING’ that you responded to. Here’s a quick reminder of the poem that Kevin wrote:

Steal This Poem

Take these words
Steal this poem
NO — go on now –
make it your own
Break it / Fix it
Rip it apart / Remix it

Defy my intent
until all meaning is spent
and then use your tools and tricks
to rebuild it

Cheat my meaning in ways
that make sense to YOU –

Tinker against type
don’t believe my hype
I’m a painter not a poet
using words as ink as I write

I refuse to shackle this work
to paper or screen
or that nebulous world in-between
in hopes that maybe later YOU’LL appear;
watching my words tumble down the spine of my lies –
made up only to be broken / spoken / a token of truth

No, you’re no cheater
you’re a seeker
a keeper of stories in this literary landscape
just like me

So, go on:
Steal this poem
Give it a home
I’m already off writing something else
and I’ve left these words all alone
waiting here for YOU

Peace (in the poem),
Kevin

(If you go here: http://dogtrax.edublogs.org/2014/01/16/rhizo14-steal-this-poem/  – you can hear Kevin reading it …)

Analyse all that!

This week we asked you to get out your own poems – and to read and critically analyse either your own poem – a friend’s poem – or Kevin’s if you had not already done so:

  • Read someone else’s poem – or ‘Steal this poem’:
  • What is it saying overall?
  • What is it saying in each line?
  • What themes or motifs are emerging?
  • Find FIVE themes and write 20 words about each of them…

Elesha’s poem:

Cheating is a shameful act

Makes you look bad and in the spur of the moment

Gives a bad reputation and spies and secrets of all kinds

Holds you back from what you’re really expecting

It takes time to be honest when you need it most.

Esin’s poem:

Cheating and teaching

Conflicting each other

Do you think cheating is easy?

What you feel when you cheat?

Shameful… Deeply in your heart.

And scarlet kiss on your cheek

What about eyes?

Poor eyes!

Glooming and trying to catch something

From someone else’s work

Ears?

Feel hot! And hearing some voice that whispering you:

Don’t do! Don’t do!

Cheating is unfair and not respecting…

So why are you doing this hard job?

Grab life by handling right bar…

To be honest!

It is easy! Isn’t it?

 

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And we argued a bit like this

Esin’s poem – themes: senses and (self-) betrayal:

Senses – ears, eyes, cheek, skin, touch:

Cheating engages the senses – seeing, hearing, feeling. Senses are there to help us engage with/understand the world around us… BUT – here all the senses are burning with shame – there is no joy – just pain. Are we mis-using our senses? If not – what else is going wrong – is it education itself?

Who tells us that such and such is ‘cheating’ as opposed to learning? Who wants us to feel this shame?

If we are misusing our senses are we misunderstanding the world? Are we misunderstanding the ‘point’ of education? Or – does education itself get it wrong if it forces us to misuse our senses – to feel THIS way!

Leads on to…

Betrayal – scarlet kiss on the cheek:

Scarlet kiss on the cheek – as with the scarlet letter – the adulteress… Again we can see the individual internalises the shame and the blame of this academic offence… It is written on their bodies. We feel that shame, that blame…

Given that learning is messy – and we are told to work together – to share ideas – to form study groups… How come suddenly we are told that working together is collusion or cheating? Why should we feel this burning shame?

Again we might ask – is this the fault of the education system or of us? How can we ‘know’?

Well – in research you would look at some of your other data – and compare and contrast. So here it might be useful to compare those poems with ‘Steal this poem’ – and particularly his use of the senses:

We are told to: ‘rip it apart – remix it – make it your own’

There is no shame here – this is an exultant engagement with ideas – with learning. We are invited to glory in this vision of learning:

‘Cheat my meaning in ways that make sense to you’ …

‘No, you’re not a cheater

You’re a seeker’

The body here is not shamed and blamed – it is not broken or humiliated into submission; but is harnessed to enjoy the destructive, constructive and messy business of learning.

This could be seen as an implicit criticism of an education system that is broken; that forces us to internalise individual blame and shame for what are issues of power and control.

NEXT – you might compare the different themes that were emerging from YOUR data – and compare them to the ones that emerged from the literature that you read to put together your LITERATURE REVIEW.  You would bring the ideas from your Lit Review in when DISCUSSING your FINDINGS.

Now – if those poems were YOUR data – how would you bring those different perspectives together in your FINDINGS; DISCUSSION; CONCLUSION; RECOMMENDATIONS      ???

And finally – we got into our Performance Groups – with Perry Campbell!!

NEXT WEEK: Visual Data

NB: Success Coaches – BEL-109

Weds 12.00-14.00

Take any work with you – get some support…

#becomingeducational W15: TMD this- analyse that

There’s something in the air… STRESS!!

In response to the strain that we saw and felt – we asked you to find and LIKE our #studychat FaceBook page: https://www.facebook.com/LondonMetStudyChat/ – we post study tips and advice there – all designed to help you study better – lose your stress – get those grades… For example:

STRUGGLING TO KEEP UP? TRY THE SWISS CHEESE METHOD:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEyRuTe3A-0

Sometimes you have to forget those weeks where you did not do it all – do not go back there and try to catch up – you will feel like you’re downing – you will feel like you can never succeed – so just STOP!!

Catch up with THIS week – and NEXT week… and if you do have some time – choose which sessions that you have missed to catch up with… Start managing your studies TODAY – – stop drowning – start smiling – form that study group!!

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Quick re-cap – we’re preparing for your RESEARCH REPORT

So we are spending a few weeks on DATA ANALYSIS. Analysing your data well makes all the difference to your final report – and to the final grade that you get. Every one of these analysis weeks is important! So – make sure you pick up the analytical tools that you need to do well. Last week we looked at analysing data collected from Topic Mediated Dialogue (TMD) – and this is ALSO HOW YOU WOULD APPROACH ANALYSING ANY WRITTEN DATA.

Collecting data from TMD

  • Record and transcribe the discussion
  • Make notes whilst listening to the discussion
  • Transcripts from digital discussions (such as via email or whatsapp)
  • Ask the participants to summarise their discussion in some way – in writing… E.g. write a paragraph, write a poem…

Analysing written data:

  • As you would a poem …
  • SLOWLY – spend time with it…
  • Hi-lite key words and phrases
  • Look for themes and motifs
  • Check your analysis with participants.

Last week’s TMD included the prompts

  • How does the notion of ‘cheating’ help you think about and understand assessment: the what, the why and the how? 
  • What does the notion of ‘cheating’ say to you about learning – and about teaching?
  • What does ‘cheating’ say to you about the relationship between students, teachers and the university – and about the purpose of higher education?

We then asked you to produce your own POEM – these become the written data that we will analyse PLEASE BRING YOUR POEMS TO W16 CLASS (Weds 3rd Feb – back in our usual classroom)? BUT FIRST – we explored a poem written by Kevin Hodgson.

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Steal this poem

STEAL THIS POEM: http://dogtrax.edublogs.org/2014/01/16/rhizo14-steal-this-poem/  was written by someone else in response to the same sort of prompts as you… And we asked you to:

  • Read on your own – hi-lighting key words and phrases
  • Discuss in pairs and small groups:
  • What is it saying overall?
  • What is it saying in each line?
  • What themes or motifs are emerging?
  • What does it say about teaching, learning and education?

And finally – to consider: If these were your data – how would you write up your Report: Findings; Discussion; Conclusion; Recommendations?

Bye bye Mentors

After a lively discussion – we prepared to say good bye to the Mentors – but first – we were asked to bring in an OBJECT that represented the Mentor relationship to you… Can you see this as another QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHOD? I can…

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#becomingeducational W13: Happy new year and all that

So we started with our quiz – and that led on to discussing the what, why and how of the Research Report (1000 words – due in W20), the forthcoming PERFORMANCE weeks and assessment. Oh – we handed work back also!

Qualitative Research

You gave some great replies to the opening question: What are the advantages of qualitative research? Qualitative research allows the gathering of the feelings and experiences of those who have lived the phenomenon that you are investigating. It is interpretist – as opposed to Quantitative Research – which is positivist. Postivism suggests that things, including people, can be fixed and knowable – interpretism suggests more fluidity – and therefore hints that change is possible. We argued that a qualitative approach is more suitable when investigating people’s experiences of social phenomena and that includes their experiences of the various educational forms and processes that you/we are investigating.

The Research Report

This led to a discussion of the forthcoming Research Report where you demonstrated that you knew that:

Findings: is where you summarise the key themes that you identified in the data that you collect from your participants.

Discussion: is where you discuss your themes – against the key ideas that you had discussed in your Literature Review.

Conclusion: is where you summarise the key themes discussed… and

Recommendations: is where you might suggest actions to be taken – by staff or students – in response to what you have discovered.

We noted that in a longer research project, like a dissertation, the production of interesting data might reveal that the Literature Review was not as useful as it might have been – that it offered no relevant ideas to use. In that case a good tip is to engage in more reading – and to improve the Literature Review… This shows that a good dissertation emerges from a cycle of reading – acting – reflecting – reading some more… Oh – just like any successful essay or report process, then!

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The PERFORMANCES

We took some time to get into embryonic groups and to discuss ideas for your performances in weeks 23, 24, 25 and 26. YES – they are starting a bit earlier than we said in the module handbook – and we are having one more group this year. (If you missed the class – do find a group to join!)

The performance is where you take over the class – and it’s your opportunity to be really creative around the notions of teaching, learning or assessment. It can be a literal performance – we would love to see a LondonMet focussed version of Educating Rita – or you can design a session or a series of activities that make us think about education in new ways. It is up to you… and we hope that you have a great time – that you enjoy the challenge – that you surprise and delight us and each other. This can be something to reflect on in your portfolio and/or in the final essay – but much more than that – it is your time to shine!

 

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Assessment: why oh why?

We moved on to consider the role of assessment in the life of a student… part discussion – part lecture.

What is Assessment?

Assessment of learning: designed to be a measure of what the student has achieved – against the course Aims and Learning Outcomes – and any specific Assessment Criteria for a task. Links to positivism in that it suggests that it is possible to achieve one accurate measurement – and that how, in society, one measurement can often be used to define a person: their ability, their IQ and often there worth as a human being.

Assessment for learning: designed to prompt students to actually take steps to learn the material with which they are engaging. We linked this to the opening quiz – and the fact that the quiz did indeed prompt people to revise their notes and to look up new terms and learn them. Although an extrinsic motivator for learning (in that it comes from outside of the learner) – once students see for themselves that such revision works, it can lead us to more active learning.

Assessment as learning: where assessment activities are seen as part of the learning process: that actively preparing an assignment means that people engage with the ideas and make sense of them for themselves – especially as they struggle to communicate effectively. Seeing assessment as process and as learning can help us to embrace the potential of the activities in which we engage – rather than just been focussed on the grade and the mark… It should help us see that one grade is not the measure of who and what we are!

Why do we assess?

Well – bodies that award qualifications that are portable and seen as valid and reliable require evidence upon which to base their awards – that is the function of assessment at the institutional level.

How do we assess?

Through portfolios, essays, reports, projects, dissertations, exams, presentations … each one has its own genre ‘rules’: its what/why/how – and these should be thought about when preparing an assignment. Tip: when we are preparing for the assignment itself it helps to consider the task – the question – the module aims and learning outcomes – and the rules of the genre with which we are engaging. All this can help us make the most of the assessment opportunity. As Tom says: it is the opportunity to show just how clever we are!

All of the thoughts on assessment we hope are useful to you now as students – and in your future roles of educationalists… not least we hope that you reflect on the different ways that you may want to assess your future students.

Feedback!!

You cannot have a discussion on assessment without some discussion on the role of feedback. Good feedback is designed to show where we have done well in a particular assignment – and where we have not perhaps done so well. Errors range from practical things like not referencing properly – to deeper issues like missing out on key parts of the question – not reading the ‘right’ sources – not understanding or writing in sufficient depth. The best thing to do is to reflect on both our strengths – so we repeat them in other assignments – and our weaknesses – so we do something about them. Although feedback can provoke profound emotional responses (oh how we cried!); usually the tutor is not trying to destroy us – but is rather hoping that we notice their comments – and that we then do something about them.

Feedback is particularly useful in an iterative (repetitive) education system:  where we visit information in lectures or workshops – discuss in seminars and through our coursework – and then develop further to discuss again via synoptic exam answers. This is why examinations are so popular in some circles… although they are typically not enjoyed by students.

Ta daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

And after all that preamble – work was handed back – grades were focussed upon (!!!) – but we also had the opportunity to speak with people to discuss what they had done well – what they could do differently next time…

Well done everybody!!

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Week 10 – Free Write and Develop a Digital me

Dom’s Story

This was a different week compared to the monotony of going to university and learning from lecturers for I had a different role today, I was not in fact going to be sitting in a seat listening to a lecturer but instead become the lecturer. It struck me this was a reason I got myself onto a course like this because I wanted to become an educator and right here was the first big step.

The lecture was designed to recap the idea of free writing from last week, using the zig zag method – where one member of the group starts to speak – points to another – and the conversation continues around the room in this free form way.

Educationalists can utilise this zig zag method when free writing a creative story – which is what we did today – and it can also be used as yet another creative, qualitative research method.

The zig zag in research

If gathering data through interviewing people, rather than interviewing people one at a time, in isolation – you can set the interview in motion with a group of people – and ask them to point to the next speaker – and let the interview zig zag around the room.

It can start with the interviewer asking a question, one person answers the question and then in quick succession points to or names another individual … who also answers the question, or responds to something someone else has said, and points on. This goes on until all the interviewees have answered in a random order.

The zig zag story

I (Dom) used this method with some success with the 2014 ‘Becoming an Educationalist’ students. With the 2015 students a more than interesting story emerged:

 “There once lived Lucy in Madrid and she was 25 years old and was studying Sociology and she hated it so she drank Sangria.  One night she got very drunk and she called her boyfriend from the other side of the world but unfortunately he didn’t answer she didn’t know what to do at that moment so she began to play Adele song (Hello). While she cried, she took time to compose herself and then she woke up from this terrible dream where she found her boyfriend decapitated, with a bloody knife in her hand.

Then David Beckham walked in his boxers looked at the dead body and walked out again and she decided to follow him, and she questioned him what they did last night.  Then David Beckham grabbed the knife and stabbed her so she got the phone and call the police.  The Police comes rushing down and David Beckham said it is a fair cop it I can’t tell a lie, and pointed at Lucy she did it.

The police officer brutally murdered Lucy. The End!”

An interesting story to say the least, Stephen King should fear the stories these students could bring to the creative world! I wonder if it had anything to do with the fact that their/your first formal assignment was to be handed in the next day?

Develop a Digital Me

After a quick break we plunged into the most important aspect of the day – the Digital Me!! As you know everybody is supposed to get involved and produce some sort of Digital Me artefact: animation, video, Zeega… and in W12 there is to be an Exhibition with Posters that reflect on the process of being involved with Developing a Digital Me – and an opportunity to showcase this year’s digital artefacts.

Here are some examples from last year’s Becoming student;

http://learning.londonmet.ac.uk/epacks/posters-digital/

This week’s task:

Using a selection from the sites listed below, find the perfect digital form to use to present a key aspect of yourself and the course, or an area you have struggled with and then overcome. Share with everyone! Help your peers with their own journeys on the course.

We’ll be working on the Posters next week – and you can use those to represent your digital ‘journey’ – introduce your artefact, give reasons why you choose that particular topic, mention how you went about it and why you chose that format to present it to the class.

Websites used by Previous Years:

www.Zeega.com

www.Powtoon.com

I’ve been Dom – you’ve been great. Thanks for having me and good luck with your Develop a Digital Me’s!!

#becomingeducational W9: Getting down to the Research Proposal

This week’s session was particularly intense – after a brief re-exploration of pedagogy, androgogy and heutagogy as respectively the science of educating the young, the adult and the self, we got down to writing.

The first segment focussed on discovering our own attitudes to writing and our helpful or unhelpful writing habits, approaches and feelings. This was not about banging on about how much we should have done – or you should do this or that… but an invitation to explore in reality and in practice what we do, feel and think about academic writing – and then work out some ways of being more successful with our writing.

The next segment of the class involved dividing in to two groups – with Peer Review for those who had produced something and brought it with them – and a writing group for those who were stuck.

Reader, be warned, real writing took place!! But no animals were harmed in the making of these proposals.

By the end of the session everyone had progressed – everybody had had some sort of feedback on their work – and everybody said that they felt better than they had before the session started. Excellent!

We are now really looking forward to all your Research Proposals next week!!

Good luck one and all…

Useful resources

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

Referencing app: https://www.refme.com/uk/

Ten step to assignment success Prezi: http://prezi.com/cbaj9e5kised/copy-of-ten-stages-of-assignment-success/

The writing pages on the Study Hub:  http://learning.londonmet.ac.uk/studyhub/writing.html

750 Words: invites you to write 750 words – why not start every day with a free write?:
http://750words.com/

Our writing mini-site:

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

Our Preventing Plagiarism course:

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

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