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‘ Making the confusing approachable’: evaluating creative approaches to student writing as part of a ‘standalone’ research methods module. . Dr Debbie Holley Reader, Department of Education Anglia Ruskin University. Introduction:.

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Dr Debbie Holley Reader, Department of Education Anglia Ruskin University


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    1. ‘Making the confusing approachable’: evaluating creative approaches to student writing as part of a ‘standalone’ research methods module. Dr Debbie Holley Reader, Department of Education Anglia Ruskin University

    2. Introduction: A cohort of BA Primary trainee teachers anticipated difficulty and struggle in their forthcoming ‘Preparation for Research’ module, and were fearful and hostile to the tutor in the first session. The students identified three areas of concern: • Identifying and overcoming potential barriers to completion • ‘I can’t write’ the ‘blank page scenario’ • Understanding methodological terms This presentation reports on the design, operation and evaluation of the series of creative writing workshops, and their transformative effect on the student learning.

    3. Creativity – a contested pedagogic area Jackson (2006:5] notes, although academic staff might recognise the value of creativity in student learning, they may be reluctant to take on the extra work that is perceived to be associated with more creative approaches to teaching and …..there are institutional barriers that might also frustrate such attempts. Q: for participants – what are your own/ your institutional barriers?

    4. Briefing for creative activity • 10 minute session • Follow on twitter #HEASocSci • Photos later on HEA blog • Come to my session to find out more.. Come with an open mind!

    5. Workshop (1) Identifying and overcoming potential barriers to completion Collaborative drawing and image making activities - can develop communication skills, encourage reflection on experience, professional and personal development planning. (Ridley and Rogers 2010:1) Collaborative drawing and image making activities - can develop communication skills, encourage reflection on experience, professional and personal development planning (Ridley and Rogers 2010:1) http://drdebbieholley.com/creativity

    6. Workshop 2 ‘I can’t write’ Speedwriting and speed dating – www.WriteNow.ac.uk – focuses on the act of writing

    7. Workshop 3 ‘Methodological Monsters ‘Collage seems to work best when we move from the intuitive to the conceptual…..an iterative approach helps students review their thinking over time and reflect on their learning’ Ridley and Rogers 2010:6

    8. Evaluation All the sessions were photographed (with the students permission) and the photos uploaded onto the Virtual Learning Environment, as well as loaded onto youtube as a short video. It is interesting to note that the students then ‘tagged’ the relevant images for their on facebook accounts, and also for evidence for their QTS (team work) and to share the ideas across the whole group. (1) “Helped raise issues that may need to be considered before they become a problem” (3) “Loved the hands on work, makes something very confusing approachable” (2) “This session has really helped me through communication with other students. I have been able to talk to others who I wouldn’t usually communicate with and given useful ideas and help!” Email debbie.holley@anglia.ac.uk for full report & lesson plans

    9. References: Elbow, Peter. (1998)Writing without teachers. Oxford University Press, USA Jackson, H. (2006) Cited in Johnston, G. and Ridley, P.(2007) "What Counts as Creativity?" Creativity or Conformity? Building Cultures of Creativity in Higher Education Cardiff 8/10 January available electronically from: http://www.creativityconference07.org [accessed 06/01/2013] Reid, M; Frith, L; Hill, P; Holley, D; Ridley, P, Sinfield, S; Sentito, E (2010) Engaging subject academics in Learning Development: Different partnerships enabled by different models of LD Panel presentation at the ALDinHE conference, University of Nottingham 29/31 March Ridley, P. and Rogers, A.(2010) Drawing to learn: Business, Education, Management & Social Science Available electronically from http://www.brighton.ac.uk/visuallearning/files/7612/8048/4869/D2L_BusinessEd_LOW.pdf Visual learning CETL http://www.brighton.ac.uk/visuallearning/drawing Write Now CETL http://www.writenow.ac.uk/ Scan QR Code to access website with students images and work