‘Lost Luggage’ was an intensive, one-week material-based learning workshop designed as a student engagement project to open up new learning dialogues across different subject disciplines and different stages of learning. Our purpose was for the students to realise new perspectives on the significance of teamwork, play, taking risks and being fearless.
Students from 11 programmes were invited to collaborate in multidisciplinary teams and select a piece of real, unclaimed lost luggage. The students were asked to respond to the unexpected and random collections of artefacts, rich in real-life histories and hidden narratives, and to co-create a visual outcome, which was exhibited alongside other groups’ outcomes at the end of the week.
The groups started by establishing both a problematic enquiry and a relational objective within the course of the first day of the project, and through the course of the week they engaged in open forums for active play, intelligent speculation and co-creation. ‘Lost Luggage’ encouraged the students to work in new studio environments outside of their regular habits of production and aside from the normal curriculum. The project resulted in diverse and divergent outcomes, made possible by collective creative enquiry and convivial learning.
Osbert Parker, Senior Lecturer in Stop-Motion Animation – Middlesex University
Gavin Fernandes, Senior Lecturer in Fashion Communication & Styling / Photography – Middlesex University
Peter Thomas, Senior Lecturer in Academic Writing and language – Middlesex University
Applied Theatre as Creative and Performative Pedagogy
To tolerate identity differences and encourage cultural diversity in education, multimodal pedagogies involving practice as research can help to maneuver learning processes through conflict, mediation and negotiation. Such challenges are often taken on and catalyzed by methods and techniques in applied theatre, which draws on the pedagogical legacies of Dewey and Freire along with site-specific and intercultural practices. In his exploratory and problem-posing session, Johansson will demonstrate, through practice-based demonstrations as well as verbal reactions and interactions, the intricacy of some challenges in the teaching and learning of contemporary higher education, such as free speech, safe spaces, alternative identity formations and radicalization. The objective of the session is to ask – and perhaps even create a discussion about – whether the mediation and negotiation of the topical scenarios and pedagogical challenges can be appropriately or indeed fully democratically undertaken without practice-led explorations.
Ola Johansson, Associate Professor in Contemporary Performance Practices – Centre for Research into Creation of the Performing Arts (ResCen), Middlesex University
Multimodal Composition in Digital Platforms: Exploring Creative Methods and Research-based Pedagogies for Higher Education
The vast uptake of digital technologies, in combination with the scale of linguistic and cultural diversity in the UK, has opened up debates regarding the kinds of literacies that students need to participate as social actors and engaged citizens. These changes present both opportunities and challenges to develop learning models apt for contemporary learning environments. The project to be discussed builds on current research at the UCL Institute of Education on digital literacies, e-learning and media production, with a specific focus on creative methods and research-based learning theory. This session will elaborate on the project in three parts: (1) it begins by providing an overview of the project as informed by a multimodal approach to composition; (2) this is followed by an overview of the key objectives and aims of the project in relation to the compulsory course and programme for which it was designed; and (3) provide specific examples of students’ work; and within this, consider ways in which they made use of creative potentials of digital platforms to design multimodal texts.
The project comprised two main strands. Firstly, students involved in this project developed resources for the British Library’s History of Language online collection. There were a total of 14 literary artefacts for which labels, both descriptions and metadata, were constructed for a digital heritage archive. The work proposed responds to the recent calls in digital preservation to shape cultural heritage sites that include space for scholarly information to coexist with other interpretations. As such, digital forms of the primary print artefacts were displayed alongside their labels to introduce audiences to their provenance and significance with regards to the history of the English language. Secondly, the students developed reflections and essays to explore their heritage trajectory. This strand enabled participants to examine the primary sources across time and space; and within this, research their aesthetic transformations from print-based to more contemporary, digital representations. How have they been transformed for different audiences, purposes and contexts? What can be said about changes in their multimodal design (i.e. layout, font, framing, colour, language)?
UCL BA in Education Studies students and postgraduate research students were the main and key contributors to this project. They worked collaboratively with scholars and special collections librarians at the IOE and with the British Library Learning team to conduct secondary research about the literary artefacts. Digital designers and educational technology experts also contributed to the development of the project.
Myrrh Domingo, Lecturer in Contemporary Literacies, Academic Head of Learning and Teaching – Department of Culture, Communication and Media, UCL Institute of Education
#howaconceptlooks: Using Instagram to inspire dialogues about sociological theory
- Can photographs taken by students enhance sociological understanding?
- Does photography empower students to make sense of the world around them?
- How can dialogue about photographs deepen student insights?
Oriented in an action research approach and through participatory inquiry with students on an interdisciplinary degree at Middlesex (BA Education Studies), our project aimed to use photography shared through Instagram as a way to bring together students’ theoretical understanding about sociological concepts and their everyday lived experiences.
Through workshops, interviews, surveys and an analysis of the photographic documentation that students make, we worked with students to: 1) explore how HE students can engage with social theory and concepts through visual social media; and 2) create and evaluate new methods of HE learning and teaching that use students’ digital photography and their comments via social media as a starting point for richer discussions and the consolidation of conceptual understanding.
Mona Sakr, Lecturer in Education and Early Childhood – Middlesex University
Carole Davis, Head of Educational Development – Centre for Academic and Professional Development, Queen Mary University of London
Sara Cannizzaro, Research Assistant – Centre for Academic Practice Enhancement, Middlesex University
Troublesome knowledge in 3D
This workshop explores pedagogic approaches to engaging learners with troublesome knowledge (Perkins, 2006) and practices, using LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® as a mediating artefact (Vygotsky, 1930/1978). Participants will build metaphorical LEGO® constructions of their pedagogic contexts in order to:
- share insights into each other’s teaching practice
- enquire into dimensions of troublesome knowledge, perspectives and/or practices within each other’s disciplines/subject areas
- use a process of 3-dimensional modelling as a method of enquiry and discovery, and as a mediator for dialogue
The workshop will be almost entirely participatory, and will be interspersed with short 2-3 minute presentations on approaches to using LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® in Learning and Teaching within Higher Education
Graham Barton, Academic Support – University of the Arts London