Friday, 16 October 2015

#creativeHE – W3: the hermeneutic space

It’s the third week of the #creativeHE course:
 – and that clever Chrissi Nerantzi has organised this as a Peer Learning week… And in practice it’s become a space in which to realise that you can join in, it’s not too late to catch up…

So this week we have been doing just that. Several colleagues from work were thinking about doing this course, so we had a F2F lunch meeting and decided that, yes, it was still possible to join in. In our sub-group we managed a small Hangout – declaring an interest in exploring the use of social media with students to help them to curate their own PD experiences… and in exploring social media in the workplace to help staff bond as a CoP across courses and Faculties. I saw that another group were going to explore creative ways of capturing lecture content - a big visual/multi-modal strand is emerging – and I’m really interested in seeing where that goes.

In our first year module this year, we are experimenting with getting our students to be much more multi-modal in their presentations – leaping beyond the Poster Presentation to a whole new level of challenge. After their first scoping of the university as a site and sites of formal and informal learning, each group has to present their findings in a different MODE – choosing the one that challenges them: Comic book; jigsaw puzzle; Pack of cards; Marvel Comic; Song; Dance; Poem; Newspaper article; Memory envelope; Cabinet of curiosity; Short story; 3D object; Pop Art; Patchwork; Something knitted or crocheted; Painting or drawing; Collage; Academic poster; Installation; Animation…
More ways students can show what they know:

On the subject of our students
The W3 effect is something to think about in our F2F teaching too perhaps – is it about this week that all our students are feeling overwhelmed, swamped… feeling that they are already too far behind to catch up?

We start our first year with a deceptive simplicity with questions, role plays, drawing, discussion... they survive a nuclear apocalypse and re-build the world.

We plan this to be creative and dialogic … and as they are wrestling in deep ways with key issues, they get to learn about each other, they form friendship groups and bond as a cohort.

We found that this third week did in practice slow down a little bit… there was time to draw, to talk, to think, to present and to listen. Hopefully this still felt productive – but also perhaps, it helped the students to think that the course and their degrees were do-able.

Get creative with us?
Our programme exists in dialogue with the blog that we write each week – and where we extend the sessions with links to key articles, useful Webinars and so forth:

If you have any suggestions about activities to use with our students – do get in touch… AND if you have suggestions as to useful blogs, webinars and other online resources that we could flag up in our class blog… please let us know about them also.

And finally – it’s only W3 in 'creativeHE - it’s been a great hermeneutic space – and it’s not too late to join in!!