Thursday, 21 October 2010

Catching up with Module

It’s early days yet on the programme and some are further on with the tasks than others. There are a lot of good reasons for that but it’s important right now to try and catch up, if you are behind, before you feel overwhelmed. It’s worth recalling that there are 3 strands/themes to the module. The first is Professional Communication Technologies, the next is Reflective Practitioner (which is where we are right now) and finally there is the Networked Professional. Each one of these has the following elements:

Campus Session
Tasks to do

All the readers are located under the module tab on libguides. The campus sessions have been reported upon on many of the blogs and indeed the blogs also contain many of the tasks. The tasks to do for Part 1 – on Page 8 of the Module Handbook. Tasks for Part 2 – are on Page 14 of the Handbook. It’s good to remember that each theme is underpinned with a reader which introduces the topic to you at greater depth and contains suggestions for further readings for you.

The campus sessions have been reported upon on many of the blogs and indeed the blogs also contain many of the tasks.The First Campus session is well described by Mark & Anthony. Paula has posted the student work produced in that session as well as my blog. Joanna's account of Professional Communications Technologies drew in a range of comments from colleagues and is well worth a look as are the comments. The tasks, in particular, the video clip produced some real creative and entertaining gems. In the realm of photos, Melissa provided a professional overview of her professional practice as did Ross. The videos gave opportunity to fulfil those cinematic urges. Stacey’s video clip is a mixture of the scarily imaginative at the outset transferring to a straight to camera piece. Other clips which cleverly conveyed the message were Joanna’s (who also provides technical advice, Hayley’s & Alana’s .

My earlier post provides an overview of the exercises we did with short video clips for those who were not there. Natalieprovides a good account of Campus Session 2 (Reflective Practice) while Mark’s follow up piece in Reflection in and Reflection on Action is well worth reading.

The sources of learning are becoming evident and they are building up into resources. There are examples of all stages in Kolb’s Learning Cycle (see Reader) contained within these blogs.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Refelction - theme of Campus Session 2

This was meticulously planned by Adesola – and the theme of the session was Reflection which is in the reader for this section of the module. It was a pity that at the last moment, Adesola had urgent family business and so it fell to Paula and I to run the session on her behalf. One of the exercises we did was to imagine another professional practice as follows:

Professional Partners

Partner with someone who does not do what you do - think of ‘what you do’ choose one thing! And put it as a title on your notebook (i.e. choreographer), then swap with partner and list all the things they experience / do. Swap back and read what is said. In the discussion afterwards there was more reporting on the content of what people thought their partner did rather than on the process.

Scary story

The next exercise involved telling a scary story as follows: Scary story – with a partner, tell story then do it with different partner…talk about the experience
In the feedback this time which was more about the process than the content of the story points were made that you had to react quite quickly with little time to think.

Moving with sticks

Using Sticks, in threes (or four) the class had to move from one side of the room to the other and turn inside out. The feedback on this was that teamwork, communication and co-ordination were necessary. The groups merged naturally to try another level of difficulty unprompted.

We then asked participants to jot down one thing from this morning’s activity they could identify with in Kolb’s Learning Cycle which is the Reflection Reader which is part of the module.

Silent Tour

Everyone was asked to plan their own, including three things using three pieces of card. They could include sound, smell etc…. In groups of four everyone to both lead a tour and go on one. In the feedback afterwards, everyone said how much they enjoyed this and the main difference was that they had time to plan this.

The discussion turned to journal writing which is the nature of the next set of tasks – as on Page 14 of the Module Handbook. We asked people to revisit the points they had identified as having experienced in Kolb’s Learning Cycle and after a few days to revisit this and see if anything new could be recorded as a way of stimulating reflective practice.

During the campus session, everyone was asked to make a contribution to the graffiti wall as thoughts occurred to them

Friday, 15 October 2010

Music on the web

As it's the weekend you might wish to chill with some music - here's a link to a search engine called MUNDU on the web I discovered - you can find

Sound Files

I've tried it and it's pretty fast...

Monday, 4 October 2010

Technologies in Professional Practice

The opportunities and threats in relation to the above formed the theme of the campus session on 1st October. Teams were formed and asked to consider the issues and prepare a group presentation toward the end of the session. I hovered around the edge of a four person team made up of :


I observed them develop and prepare their presentation. They started out by talking around the topic – working to achieve a common understanding of what was meant by both professional practice and technologies. They added theoretical underpinning to their ideas as each of them spent 20 mins scanning and digesting one article from lib guides which they brought back to the group discussion. They developed their original thoughts as a result of this activity and drawing upon the literature they added weight to their argument. Two of the papers, they looked at were:

Lorenzo et al, (2006)

Ullrich et al (2008)

The other papers are all available on the Specific Links tab for the Module

At the end of this process they worked on their story board for the presentation and agreed a structure. In designing their presentation they agreed to frame their ideas in a metaphor of the sea. This dimension brought the presentation into sharper focus and contributed to the professionalism of the team. In the 2 hours 20 minutes available, the four of them traded experiences and knowledge, read and made notes from four articles, constructed a coherent presentation and here is the result - a very good morning’s work indeed.

Lessons learned from the process

Spend time clarifying the issue/scoping the problem(s), settling on definitions
Team working is more effective than working individually
Digesting other ideas (peers & literature) is worthwhile
Backing up ideas from published work is essential
Deeper learning occurs when ideas are discussed, iterated, explored in texts and applied
Time spent editing and shaping work is necessary

The team made a short video summarising their points (apologies for the dodgy voice sync)

Other teams made very good presentations as well, but I do not have their material to post. A very enjoyable morning indeed - well done everyone!