Archive

Author Archive

test

test

Advertisements
Categories: Uncategorized

Test

Test

Categories: Uncategorized

Students devise creative ways of displaying their work

Helping a cohort of 52 business students to design and curate their exhibition of the 11 week Reflective Practitioner module provided an interesting opportunity for students to come up with imaginative ways of displaying their work.

Task   The exhibition design, artefacts and curation represented a piece of course work, and two streams of students were asked to make a joint exhibition. The two groups worked independently until week 10, only being able to liaise in week 11 and on the day of the event. Students elected to take on specific roles and tasks, and had responsibility for devising and making displays. A very large number of artefacts needed to be displayed.

Venue   The Drysdale Lecture Theatre, lobby area and boardroom. We had access one and a half hours ahead of the exhibition opening to the public.

Process   From week 2 students were introduced to the idea of the exhibition, and over the course momentum built, including a vital integrative workshop in week 10 when as many exhibits were prepared as possible. Students also worked in groups on a plan of the space, producing some excellent space designs. Students were mindful of providing a space that would enable up to 60 guests to circulate, plus a reception table, and space for visitors’ feedback.

How students came up with creative solutions

Living  Exhibits  Each student elected to wear a badge inviting guests to interact with them on a particular theme of the module.

Gazebo  For a fantastic central focus, the basic framework of a small garden gazebo was used to display 52 three-dimensional story cubes, representing the special qualities of each student but also, symbolically brought together into a single organisation.

Bathroom suckers We sourced plastic sucker “towel” hooks to suspend lines of cord, from which visitors added their handwritten feedback on luggage labels.

Boxes Large Cardboard boxes were designed by students to display quotes, images and photos.

Lessons Learned  

The opportunity to display their work afforded the learning from the module to be made visible to external guests, to the wider institution, and to prospective students and  parents (it coincided with an open day.) Our students have great ability to understand and collaborate together on designing and enhancing learning spaces. Given the success of this exhibition perhaps we should ensure that any future learning spaces build in to their design ways to display work. Simple ideas can turn a space into a display area, including hooks placed at the top of walls for hanging work, more flexible spot lighting that can be used to illuminate displays and better designed mobile display boards.

   

 Image

Categories: Uncategorized

Students come up with creative ideas for displaying their work

Helping a cohort of 52 business students to design and curate their exhibition of the 11 week Reflective Practitioner module provided an interesting opportunity for students to come up with imaginative ways of displaying their work.

Task   The exhibition design, artefacts and curation represented a piece of course work, and two streams of students were asked to make a joint exhibition. The two groups worked independently until week 10, only being able to liaise in week 11 and on the day of the event. Students elected to take on specific roles and tasks, and had responsibility for devising and making displays. A very large number of artefacts needed to be displayed.

Venue   The Drysdale Lecture Theatre, lobby area and boardroom. We had access one and a half hours ahead of the exhibition opening to the public.

Process   From week 2 students were introduced to the idea of the exhibition, and over the course momentum built, including a vital integrative workshop in week 10 when as many exhibits were prepared as possible. Students also worked in groups on a plan of the space, producing some excellent space designs. Students were mindful of providing a space that would enable up to 60 guests to circulate, plus a reception table, and space for visitors’ feedback.

How students came up with creative solutions

Living  Exhibits  Each student elected to wear a badge inviting guests to interact with them on a particular theme of the module.

Gazebo  For a fantastic central focus, the basic framework of a small garden gazebo was used to display 52 three-dimensional story cubes, representing the special qualities of each student but also, symbolically brought together into a single organisation.

Bathroom suckers We sourced plastic sucker “towel” hooks to suspend lines of cord, from which visitors added their handwritten feedback on luggage labels.

Boxes Large Cardboard boxes were designed by students to display quotes, images and photos.

Lessons Learned  

The opportunity to display their work afforded the learning from the module to be made visible to external guests, to the wider institution, and to prospective students and  parents (it coincided with an open day.) Our students have great ability to understand and collaborate together on designing and enhancing learning spaces. Given the success of this exhibition perhaps we should ensure that any future learning spaces build in to their design ways to display work. Simple ideas can turn a space into a display area, including hooks placed at the top of walls for hanging work, more flexible spot lighting that can be used to illuminate displays and better designed mobile display boards.

   

 Image

Using Cultural Spaces for Learning

February 9, 2013 Leave a comment

An exhibition with the theme of death may not immediately spring to mind as place for teaching and learning but proved to be a rich source of ideas for a group of MAAP students (Masters in Academic Practice) as part of their Leading Change in Higher Education Module.

I led this session at The Wellcome Collection, partly centred on the extraordinary exhibition Death, a Self Portrait and also in their permanent exhibition, Medicine Now. Students completed tasks which firstly asked them to closely look at the exhibits and find ideas  that can be incorporated into their own teaching discipline and practice. These included Law, Learning Technology and Psychology.  They were encouraged to find at least one artefact that stimulated some kind of profound connection.These ideas were shared in the final discussion and were wide-ranging, here is a sample:

  • Death and change, the death of  old processes leading to the new (innovation, and change management)
  • How visual information can be memorable, and meet the needs of those who best learn visually
  • Using a powerful painting on war and its destructive outcomes as a basis to discuss war crimes, human rights and build case studies
  • How our perceptions of death and the passing of time change according to our age and the era we live in (The Psychology of Time)
  • Skeletons as a positive cross cultural “object”, based on the saying” beauty is skin deep”, under that skin we are all bones. Focusing on commonality not difference.

For the second task we looked at the Medicine Now exhibition for interesting ways that could be used to display and exhibit student’s work.

In the final plenary we also discussed the idea of using these types of spaces for teaching.

Some barriers were identified including:

  • The logistics of bringing a group of students out for a two hour class.
  • Fitting in a visit during a 10 week module when coursework has to be covered
  • Would students get enough out of such a visit.

It happens that the day before this session I had taken two separate groups of 25 and 29  students on an external visit to another cultural  location. This was session 2 of an eleven week elective module The Reflective Practitioner. We had full attendance and  packed and productive sessions using  real time tasks, followed by student presentations.

MAAP students at The Wellcome Collection

Of course it does entail careful preparation including detailed advance briefing, giving the students relevant readings beforehand and sticking to a tight timetable during the visit. Over several years now I have developed ways of taking groups of up to 30 students on external visits and the resulting quality of coursework and positive feedback from students more than justifies the effort.

Categories: Uncategorized

Artist helps students to visualise Learning Space design at City

January 16, 2013 1 comment
Artist Susie Howarth sketching student's learning space ideas

Artist Susie Howarth sketching students’ learning space ideas

Quick fire sketches of student's ideas for learning spaces

Susie Howarth’s quick-fire sketches of students’ ideas for City University learning spaces

 Dont Walk Away, Have Your Say! was an LDC event at the end of last term on the main walkway, aiming  to capture student views and promote three of the ongoing LDC projects. I invited artist Susie Howarth to visualise students ideas on learning space design. With major building work scheduled at City and imminent redesign of several existing spaces, this was an opportunity for students to put their views across.  So whilst I interviewed passing students, Susie did quick-fire real time sketches of their ideas. This created quite a buzz and interestingly a  high proportion of their ideas resonated with the LDC’s  design principles for all learning spaces at City. These include having a full menu of different, inviting, dynamic and flexible spaces that communicate the pride we have in learning at City University

Everyone  interviewed had strong ideas and feelings about our current and future learning spaces. Here is just a small sample:

Circular design of some classrooms and lecture spaces, so students can see each other and the lecturer is central, not on a distant stage.

Small outlets for snacks and drinks placed just outside large lecture theatres, for students who need to quickly get to the next class and have no time to queue in the refectory.

Circular tables, furniture on wheels and easily moved

Swivel chairs in lecture theatres, so we can do group work activities

All walls with write-on surfaces in classrooms

Comfortable seating

Public celebration of student excellence: students’ work displayed, either physically or on screens

More curves please! In walls and furniture, not just rectangular boxes

Bright contemporary lighting, maybe use lighting in some way to change the colour of the walls to reflect different types of learning activity: reflective, active etc.

Small soundproofed pods for quiet study and individual work

Having an artist present to make instant sketches gave the students a great stimulus to put their ideas forward and led to much  animated discussion on what is clearly a hot topic for students and paramount to their experience of being at City.

Think, create, innovate: new types of learning space in listed buildings

November 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Image

Like many universities, City University has a number of listed buildings and spaces.  When learning spaces are at a premium the question is what best to do with these spaces within the strictures of say a Grade 2 listing.

The Grade1 listed Anatomy Theatre and Museum at King’s College is a case in point.  Part of their Strand campus these historic spaces were refurbished in 2009 by Overbury. Converted to an atmospheric and multifunctional learning space, this suite of rooms has retained a distinctive quality.

They are used for talks, lectures, research and exhibitions and have state of the art audio visual equipment that allows transmission to other locations. The original iron galleries are retained, with five large suspended screens beneath. The five digital projectors also drop down from the ceiling on expanding pantograph scissor arms, similar to those used for lighting in television studios.

These linked spaces are also used for public events and ongoing research into what part performance plays across disciplines and practices, and how digital innovation can enhance scholarship.

The aims for these spaces could be considered as a benchmark for some of the proposed new and refurbished learning spaces at City.  The listing of an historic space is no bar to innovation in its design and use.

Exploring and inspiring performance and e-research across disciplines and domains

Support existing and stimulate new communities of practice

Think, create, innovate

Collaborate and communicate

Conduct world class teaching, learning and research

Engage with the public and bring new audiences to King’s

%d bloggers like this: