N°13- Kaospilot

At the beginning of the term I was lucky enough to see a tutor from Kaospilot speak about their school’s philosophy. I was really inspired by their whole concept as a school. I later visited their website and jotted down a few key points from their philosophy page that resonated with me.

Look at the students strengths and weaknesses, and find unique support for their professional and personal development

Experimental Teaching

The aim is not only to acquire and transfer existing knowledge, but also to develop new knowledge and new perspectives.

Experiment

In conjunction with the choice of projects and methods, most of our teaching is intended to be experimental, like a research-oriented laboratory. The aim is not only to acquire and transfer existing knowledge, but also to develop new knowledge and new perspectives.

Exploration

Our approach is goal-directed and rooted in reality. All of our programmes explore current and potential trends within their fields of study. At the same time, students and participants are encouraged and supported to find their own fields of interest, imagine their own desired futures and values, and test theories and methods to achieve that change.

Experience

Learning primarily comes from first-hand experience, and the active participation of students is central. Learning is supported and enhanced by reflection on these experiences. Practice within real-time environments encourages not only an increasing level of aptitude, but also a new understanding of the world.

Enterprise

An enterprising approach empowers students and participants by taking the individual as a starting point and developing a learning environment in which they can move themselves towards new learning, rather than be directed as such. Our programmes and culture are strong on imagination and initiative, and encourage our students and participants to show the same qualities.

Kaospilot (2017) Kaospilot Philisophy. Available at:http://www.kaospilot.dk/philosophy/ (Accessed: 22 July 2017).

N°12- Atelier method in Teaching

Since starting teaching I have realised that I have not analysed or tried to understand the method of teaching that we practice within the womenswear course. I was recently at a teaching day and one of my colleagues was giving us a presentation and mentioned the “Atelier Method” in teaching. A lightbulb went off and I thought surely that’s the method I use and made a mental note to look into it further.

 One the strongest points that resonates with my practice in the Atelier method is that there is a close educational link with the professional world. Formed not by the students going into the practitioner’s office but by the practitioner coming into school. This link is important in the fashion industry and when planning the UHB I try to maintain this by drawing upon my experience as a practitioner in the industry to formulate the lessons in an order that would be similar to that of the industry.

 The crits instilled in the Atelier method help prepare the student for professional life. This is done within my practice, there is both a formative crit and a fitting within the term. This is where students show their work in progress to both tutors and sometimes industry professionals. Within our practice consistency and parity is needed amongst our crits. I have looked at the crits recently and some involve industry professionals and others do not. The students really value that link to industry and to improve, this should be consistent throughout all crits. Also mentioned in the Atelier method is that students from other Ateliers can attend the crit. This is something that I would like to implement. Right now only students within the same group (Atelier) can attend the crit however it could help their learning to see the feedback given from other tutors and industry professionals from other groups.

 The assessment within the Atelier method does not the average mark at the end. This is allows for the students achievement to be transparent. This idea is interesting as in our practice we mark the student in individual categories but then assign them a final cumulative grade at the end. I have had referral tutorials with students and noticed that they do not pay attention to the individual grades but only the final mark, which insinuates that they are not looking at each area to progress. Perhaps only assigning a pass or fail would alleviate this. Within the Atelier teaching method the assessment is done with a panel of judges from the different ateliers and they establish how the marking criteria has been applied in each specific case. The students speak to the panel and then the panel reaches a decision after a deliberation. This encourages the tutors to debate what criteria should be applied. This allows for the work in each atelier to be compared and the tutors get to know the work from all of the students. This is contrast to our practice where we ask students to submit work and mark them on an individual basis. We benchmark within the group with all tutors present so that we have the comparison of the work however the debate on criteria rarely happens with the tight timeframe we have to assess. I like the aspect of getting to know the students work this well. In year one we currently have 5 groups and as the unit leader I feel like I struggle with knowing each student.

Weaver, N. (1997), “The Atelier Principle in Teaching”, Reflective Practice, pp. 35-44.

N°11- Identity

 

The last session we had in TEL was regrading online identity. It was given by a guest lecturer who gave a lecture with some examples of how online identity could go well and how it can be used poorly. It was then followed up with a group task where we had to establish our own online manifesto to reflect our discipline.

We were already sitting in the groups we had made from our collaborative project so we continued working in these groups. Since our group already had an instagram for TEL we spent the first 20 minutes planning our manifesto. We decided that we wanted to focus on breaking free from technology. We would show this through images of people around the school tied to technology. Once we were happy with our manifesto we set off to find our subject matters. It was pretty easy to walk around the school and snap pictures of students on their phone during lectures and in the library. We then realised we might encounter some privacy issues so we decided to blur the faces in our images. I had an app on my phone that could do this so I took over editing and uploading the photos and Liz and Emmanuel edited the captions simultaneously whilst Thomas added our final photo to demonstrate our manifesto. It was a great activity to see how you can use instgram to portray a manifesto and thus your identity online. It shows how strong image sharing can be in terms of your identity.

N°10- Collaboration

We were set a task to do a collaborative group task towards the end of our TEL unit. There was a selection of project briefs. I unfortunately had to leave the session early and picked my task before I left. I chose to do task number 2 which was to:

Curate 15-20 images that reflect your thoughts about the discussion and activities that you have engaged with during this unit. Publish these on a suitable platform. Each person must contribute at least 4 images. These can be found or generated as appropriate. The reason I chose this task is because image sharing is a vital part of the design process that we teach and iI wanted to see how this could be curated and done collaboratively.

Since I was not present in the session I was not able to initially discuss the task with the rest of this group. This however did not hinder me. Liz who I previously collaborated with was in my group and she imessaged me that we would be communicating using email. This was the easiest method since we all had our staff email accounts and we did not want to set up something more advanced for communication as it was such a short project.

In the email the group had sent a link to a Google Docs which was the space for our collaboration. We would use this to upload our images to. We decided to then take the images from this document and upload them to Instagram. The reason for this was whilst the Google Doc was public and the images could be seen they could not be hashtagged and offer us the visibility. We also found that instagram presented our images nicely in a grid format which was desired and the visibility with hashtags would be greater.

We found that with the google docs set up the images fell into place and connected with each other very well. Once Liz had uploaded her images I inserted mine to coincide with these and so did everyone else in the group. I was the only one in the group that uploaded my own generated photos. I did not want to encounter any copyright issues. The other members in my group were not bothered by this and uploaded found images. Once the images were all in the google docs Emmanuel uploaded them into instagram. This proved to be a bit difficult as you cannot do this on a computer without using a separate app so he had to do it using a mobile device. This meant saving the images to his phone and uploading them this way. In hindsight sending the images through imessage or starting a whatsapp group may have been more efficient.

Once the instagram was finished we chose to meet to discuss our findings. This method was preferred over using skype or facetime as we found we could make decisions and easily discuss the project this way. We all agreed that more prep time was needed before starting the project to reduce the difficulties we had. We however were pretty satisfied with our final result. See below:

N°9- Networked Learning

 

The theory that I would like to focus on in this post is constructivism. Driscoll states that Constructivism assumes that learners are not empty vessels to be filled with knowledge. Instead, learners are actively attempting to create meaning. Learners often select and pursue their own learning (Driscoll, 2000, p. 376). This is the theory we use in Art and Design. The student should take responsibility for their own learning and create meaning from this through analysis of the design process.

This theory needs to be taken into consideration when modern technology is introduced and how was can maintain this approach with the introduction of technology.

Can the students create meaning in doing their process digitally or can this only be done by hand?

Can a combination of the two create a balance that progresses the process whilst also creating a connection between the students?

This is where connectivism comes in. Connectivism is the integration of principles explored by chaos, network, and complexity and self-organization theories. Learning (defined as actionable knowledge) can reside outside of ourselves (within an organization or a database), is focused on connecting specialized information sets, and the connections that enable us to learn more are more important than our current state of knowing Siemans (2004). This allows the students to potentially learn more through these connections. These are two theories that I would like to encompass in my teaching when introducing a TEL task.

N°8- Inclusivity

I would like to reflect on the above quote in terms of introducing a TEL task into my teaching. I do believe that students anxiety and frustration can be reduced if they understand why the TEL task is being introduced. I would like to make the pedagogic focus of the task that I introduce to my students be, collaboration. I will balance this out with a quick 10 minutes demonstration on how to use the platform that I am introducing to them.

I will also take into account not only the students anxieties but also their familiarity in using the platform and access to the internet and a device to load their pages onto. This is why I have chosen to use workflow as they have previously used this and all of my students have a laptop or smartphone they can use to create/load their pages. One must also consider privacy and creating a safe sharing space to nurture their work digitally. I will need to look into how to monitor this using workflow.

N°7- Peer Meeting

To help us initiate our TEL task our tutor set us up with a study partner to discuss and get feedback for our task. I found this a great way to kickstart us in thinking about the task. It gave us accountability as we had to set up and meeting with our partner and it also allowed us to collaborate and get to know one another better. Previously before this meeting I had felt disconnected from everyone in the group as I had missed one lesson and did not interact with anyone in class. 

I was paired with Liz who was kind enough to initiate the meeting through email. We decided to meet at High Holborn and this is where Liz was based and I had a meeting there that week. Prior to the meeting we were sent an 3 step outline to help us outline our focus, investigation and sharing. See my response to this below. When I shared my outline with Liz she suggested that instead of doing an advanced project of creating a blog that I use the worklfow software created by the University. She advised me to book in a tutorial with Andrew to help me with this. I found meeting with Liz very helpful and this was a great way to encourage collaboration amongst the group and get us started in thinking about our project. 

Step 1: Focus

  • What do I see in my teaching practice or student learning that might present opportunities for digital engagement?

There is an opportunity for sharing resources using digital engagement either through moodle or other platforms

  • How do I understand what I see? Why is this an important aspect for me to consider?

Pattern cutting and 3D development is a very open subject. There is not right or wrong way of doing it so sharing resources and different techniques with each other would help to develop one’s mind and work further

  • What would I like to achieve?

To create a platform where pattern cutting techniques and resources can be shared

  • What could I try and why? What difference could this make to my learning and/or teaching experience?

This would increase my learning of integrating technology into learning. This can be done through videos (jointly with technicians), blog posts and online sessions which would make my teaching experience more modern and relevant to the time.

  • What do I need to find out more about?

I would need to learn how to create a platform and find ways of integrating this with moodle i.e. weekly breakdowns of course material. Furthermore I would need to learn how to create videos and demos.

Step 2: Investigate

  • How and where am I going to find answers?

By doing research, consulting other platforms and blogs

  • What will I do? Who do I need to involve?

I will need to involve the students and the technicians

  • What are the main steps?

To conduct research

Create the platform

Crate the content to upload to the platform

Engage the students to be involved

  • What time and resources do I need?

A computer with a camera

  • What help or support might I need?

Support with how to create a web session and how to create a video

Step 3: Share

  • How am I going to document what I do?

This can be documented through notes and a journal

  • How will I present my reflections / learning?

Learning’s and findings will be presented in a written format after feedback has been given

N°6- Tweet Chat

To understand how social media can be used for learning we were asked to participate in a tweet chat. The focus of the activity was not the platform itself but how social media can be used to enhance learning through sharing of practise as well as forming as connection with others. I believe that the idea of connecting via a social platform does work and was keen to see if I could make this connection using the Tweet Chat.

The Tweet Chat that I participated in was the Learning an Teaching in HE . This was a regular chat that takes place every Wednesday. This particular Wednesday was a discussion on Personal Pedagogies https://lthechat.com/2017/03/07/lthechat-78-personal-pedagogies/. I found this really engaging as I struggle with my own pedagogy so not only was I able to practise an aspect of TEL but I was also able to learn about how others in education foster their own pedagogies.

I of course was super keen and joined the chat 15 minutes early to avoid being late and missing anything. In hindsight I have realised that it is not necessary to be on time as you can pick up and join the conversation at any time. That is the great thing about chatting digitally. I found it was beneficial to introduce myself to the group. Without doing this I would have found it hard to form a connection and would have perhaps gotten lost amongst all of the other participants.

The opening question asked to us was “what is your own personal pedagogy”. I responded with the “I was working on mine.” I was relieved to find out that many people on the chat were also in the early stages of establishing their pedagogy. From the tweets it was evident that there was a diverse group of participants in various levels of teaching. Some were just starting out like me and others were at a senior level. This helped to keep the chat going and kept my interest for several minutes.

After a 15 minutes when the conversation moved to an academic and less casual approach was when I lost interest. You can see below the tweet photos of a few participants with the definitions of pedagogy. While I found these definitions helpful it made me lose the connection with the group clicking on them and reading such lengthy posts and then trying to go back to the chat and follow was very hard to do. For the chat to really be successful for me it needs to be kept informal and short, only using the 140 character restriction of Twitter. This restriction is what makes twitter beneficial for conducting a chat and longer image posts defeat the point of this. I did try to look at the Storify of the tweet chat when I had lost track of the conversation and left but the link did not work which was disappointing and shows that technology can fail.

N°5- Moocs

What is a Mooc? I had no idea until this was introduced in my Technology and learning session a few weeks ago. I quickly looked it up and learned that is it

“an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web.”

(“Massive Open Online Course”)

A free course that anyone can take online… imagine the possibilities for learning? I learned that the first MOOC emerged from a movement by Dave Cormier of the University of PEI. Considering I am from Canada and in education one would assume I would have heard of it. I was then intrigued, can this online platform of free education really work?

We were asked to investigate this by taking a Mooc ourselves. I decided to do something that was completely foreign to me, “Dog emotion and Cognition.” The reason being my dog walker had recently quit because of my unruly bulldog. So I set off to learn about her emotion and cognition and hopefully improve her behaviour as a result. The course was through a Coursea platform. I found the layout of this very easy to follow and user friendly. See image below:

On the left hand side were the individual lessons that you could click on and every week there was a quiz to complete to get to the next week. You received email reminders of the upcoming quizzes so you could stay on top of the lessons. The lessons were taught via an uploaded video. See below:

This for me was engaging enough to keep me interested. The tutor compared dogs with other animals and explained what cognition was. I however lost interest after two weeks. The reasons for this were mostly due to the lack of free resources available. The course was based on a book written by the tutor which I did not want to purchase and to test my own dogs cognition alongside the course material I would have had to purchase a app called “Dognition.” Whist they offered two free dognition activities, the rest needed to be purchased for 19 dollars, something I was not willing do when the course was advertised as free. I also lost interest due to the lack of community, none of the other students communicated with each other. Perhaps had we been able to discuss our own experience with the material present I would have stayed on to finishing the five weeks.

I would not say my Mooc experience is negative despite me not completing. The coursea platform has inspired me to look at creating something in a similar layout for resource sharing with my students. I have also really understood the importance of community amongst the students and would like to create a platform that can bring a sense a community through this resource sharing.

N°4- Values and Knowledge in Teaching

Since becoming a teacher I have struggled with the concept of pedagogy and acknowledging what values and knowledge are needed to teach successfully. One would assume that since I have been teaching without issues it would come inherently based on my own values and knowledge I have picked up from life and from working in the fashion industry.

My own values are to:

Believe in people, have respect and to take initiative

What knowledge I believe is needed to teach:

To know who your students are, to have industry experience and to be able to advise.

According to the The UK Professional Standards Framework, the core knowledge and Professional values are as follows:

(The UK Professional Standards Framework)

I found the knowledge and values to be more academic based in comparison to my own. I felt that the knowledge was not detailed enough in terms of the students and who they are. It seems to be heavily based the methods for teaching and for assessment. With regards to the values they were on par with my own personal values to respect the individual learners, and to take initiative by continuing professional development. I read further in the standards frame work and they outlined three descriptors using this framework: the associate fellow, fellow and senior fellow. I believe since only just starting teaching a year ago and recently going from an Associate lecturer to a 0.8 role that I am at the Associate Fellow level. I do know the subject material and appropriate methods for teaching however I need to appropriate the Professional values and continue to gain more of the core teaching knowledge.