Friday, 25 November 2011
The American Library Association define Information Literacy as the ability to “recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information” . The skills and competencies required for information literacy are the same as those which are necessary for work on literature review.
We have been evaluating a useful resource developed in Ireland – it’s a self managed tutorial taking you through various stages of information literacy. Please have a look – there is much that is useful for your purposes at the moment. In particular look at Unit 2.5 and see how you can apply this to your own literature review.
Wednesday, 16 November 2011
The following extract is an explanation from Facebook:
“What happened to the Reviews and Discussions tabs on my Facebook Page?
We've found that the best way to encourage conversation and feedback is through posts and comments on your Wall, so we're removing the Reviews and Discussions tabs for now. We're working on tools to help you moderate, filter and manage content in one powerful place. Stay tuned.
You won't be able to access your reviews and discussions once they're removed, so please save this content if you'd like to keep it for future reference.
On place pages with a location, fans can still write a recommendation for their friends or others from the right-column that says Recommendations”.
In view of the removal of the Discussions Forum from Facebook – the following is our advice on how approach evidencing your engagement with your SIG(s)
For discussions that you already have had on Facebook we advise that you give an account (written paragraph) of these discussions and how they moved your thinking along in relation to your inquiry topic and questions
The purpose of the SIG is to engage you with a wider professional community to explore questions further – this can be with class colleagues or in the workplace or professional community. As you continue to have these discussions we recommend that you use methods / tools which are most suitable and relevant to you. In view of what has just happened with Facebook we recommend that you continuously document important elements from the SIG discussions. Any future discussions you have about your inquiry can be documented and this documentation be used as evidence of engagement with the SIG(s)
Discussions can happen in a variety of ways such as:
Face to face
Setting up groups on your own Facebook
Monday, 14 November 2011
For Module 2 you are expected to review at least three pieces of literature. The reason for this is to find out what contributions others have made to the topic of you inquiry. If you were planning a holiday you would want to know what others had said about your intended destination. Likewise, finding out what others have had to say about your topic will inform you more and give you greater knowledge about your topic. Once you have located the literature – see Paula’s slideshow on her recent blog about how to get find it – the point is to work out what the key point of the piece of literature is and what contribution it’s making to your topic. The review should go beyond mere regurgitation of the piece and here your voice comes in. Bringing in your voice should relate the piece you are reviewing to your topic. For instance, what angle does it take? Are there any questions which arise from it? Are there any obvious flaws in it? Can you make a judgement about the author’s point of view? Is it clear how they came to this point of view? In bringing in your voice you should avoid the word “Interesting”. This word is in danger of becoming meaningless from overuse.
It’s rare to find a truly objective piece of literature in the social sciences. Authors’ opinions are formed from personal / political beliefs and it’s a skill that comes from practice to identify their particular standpoint. While standpoints are inevitable it’s a useful skill to be able to recognize their point of view. Similarly, authors may have been commissioned to carry out an evaluation / research. Who pays for this research can also influence their stance. Newspapers in the UK can be viewed as a stark example of this. Taking a news item it’s illuminating to see how the same event is reported in different newspapers.
Years ago, I heard an amusing analysis of UK newspapers which has a grain of truth in it.
• The Times is read by the people who run the country.
• The Financial Times is read by the people who own the country.
• The Guardian is read by people who wished they ran the country.
• The Daily Telegraph is read by people who used to run the country and believe they still do.
• The Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who run the country … and so on.
Finding the literature is fun and requires your best detective skills, thinking around the topic and identifying search terms and thinking of alternative words and key terms which can help in the search. One useful way of doing this is to draw out a mind map with your topic in the centre. What other questions emanate from the centre of your mind map – and hence what other terms should you be looking for? When you have located the relevant literature, you should scan and then read more deeply the piece, making notes if this helps. Then, try to sum up in one sentence what the key point of the piece is. The more literature you gather, there could be similarities or themes emerging, or there could be divergences and differences to note.
The Literature Review is an important part of the journey of discovery in your topic questions and what is learned from it will add weight and substance to your work.
Friday, 11 November 2011
Questions should be explored by starting a SIG or joining in conversations which have been started on Facebook. Building up links with your SIG is of paramount importance as you will need to trial and test tools of inquiry. It is of course possible to move outside a class SIG to carry out such a pilot. You can use your own professional network, organization to trial these tools. Testing these tools is a pilot at this stage and you should use it to review and develop these tools for your actual inquiry in the final module (3). You need to reflect on how useful the tools are in answering the questions you need answered for your inquiry. For instance you need to weigh up the kind of information you can gather. For instance how could an interview and an observation give you different kinds of data. Can you be sure that respondents in an interview are not merely just giving you the responses that they think are “right” or what they think you want to say. While on the other hand an observation could produce a different finding. For instance, if your topic was about the protection of data in the workplace you might pose such a question in an interview – “How do you ensure that the information on your computer is secure?”. Their reply might be “I put passwords on all sensitive documents and if I have to leave my desk then I ensure that I log off so that another person cannot access my files”. Observing the same person in a work situation could present a different picture. For instance you might note that they frequently leave their desk in the course a day and do not log off every time they go. You might also note that you heard them onto the computer onto the helpdesk and you actually heard them give their password to the technician. The two kinds of information paint two very different pictures.
You have the opportunity in this module to test the different tools and think about what kind of information each of them will give. Your inquiry plan will then include a review of the tools you have tested and enable you to give an account which tool(s) you intend to use in the actual inquiry. This will call upon you to provide sound reasoning and judgement in coming to your decision.
Tuesday, 18 October 2011
We then went to look at the issue of Professional Ethics and attention was drawn to the Reader where the history of Ethics and the various theoretical standpoints are explained. We discussed the potential conflicts between personal, professional and organisational ethics. We asked people to draw up a Code of Practice for their profession and then compare it with an actual code in their professional practice. The tasks in this part of the module (Part 5 – Ethics) should be attempted about this time and blogs updated.
Wednesday, 5 October 2011
Employer Professional Support
Proposed award title and rationale
We all agreed that there is much to do in this module and in many senses can be viewed as a serious step up from Module 1 in terms of work required.
Clearly, what needs to be focused on is the topic of the inquiry and not everyone present had arrived at this yet. We did an exercise as a stimulant to settling on a topic. Firstly, we considered the Eraut article which has been sent out to everyone doing Module 2. If you have not already read this, please do, as it provides useful context to knowledge in professional practice. A point raised in the article is competency and capability and the distinction between these two. The first, it is suggested, can provide a straightforward yes/no answer. Capability is a quality that has an element of grading about it.
We engaged in a spot of reflective practice and evaluated ourselves in our professional practice. No-one in the room claimed to have professional knowledge at “expert” level, indicating that we all have something to learn. This gap in our knowledge / skills could suggest a topic for inquiry.
We then moved on to mapping out our Professional Knowledge and trying to organize it diagrammatically in a meaningful way. To get things started I drew out a table of Professional Knowledge necessary for a University Lecturer. In doing this we could see that there were certain things a lecturer would need to know, to be able to do which is peculiar to the job as well other more generic skills. These are set out on the table below
Professional Knowledge of a Lecturer
Knowing What: Theories of Learning; Subject knowledge; Pedagogy
Knowing How: Curriculum Design; Setting learning outcomes; Assessment
Hence one way into deciding on a topic could be to attempt the above and ask yourself what in particular do you need to know (Knowing what) to be a professional practitioner in your area. Then, what do you need to be able to do (Knowing how) in order to be part of this profession. Focusing on these two areas and doing a self assessment on capability could suggest a topic. So for instance, in the lecturer’s case, it could be that they feel they could learn and develop greater expertise in say, “Assessment of and for Learning”. Hence, doing a professional inquiry on this would deepen their knowledge. That is what we are hoping you will do in this module.
A few there had some ideas about inquiry topics. One suggested she was interested in “Open Mic’s”. This immediately set off a train of questions – what about them, who participates in them, are they used by talent scouts or as “practice opportunities” for aspiring professionals. One simple question could be the start of a spidergram or mind map of ideas.
One way to hone and shape these questions is to be involved in a Special Interest Group and ask them questions. Getting started as early as possible is recommended on this module – there is much to do.
Thursday, 29 September 2011
Monday, 11 April 2011
Friday, 1 April 2011
Summary of the findings.
On career influences – 78% were as a result of personally known influences whereas 4 out of the 18 were attributed to media, famed practising artiste or no-one.
In terms of a life event influencing a career choice only 40% confirmed that this was the case. Of those events 50% (2) were as a result of seeing a performance while 25% (1) was down to the buzz from performing and the other 25% (1) down to work related illness in the family. These are small numbers from which to draw firm conclusions.
In terms of age, career choices were made before 16 by 80% and in terms of the family influences 90% received positive support whereas school was much lower in this regard at 30%.
When asked about good moments from career respondents recorded this in writing. These answers are coded into types and of the answers 60% describe performance as a career highlight while 20% of replies mention getting a paid job and the other 20% relating to learning and completion of educational course / learning.
Evaluating the survey tool
In reviewing these responses I would have to say that the tool was rather limited in trying to answer my question. The best responses were those which demanded a written response from the participant. The information was just so much richer than that collected in the quantitative part of the survey. On the other hand, the good thing about the survey was that it allowed me to gather a lot of data relatively quickly and inexpensively and it suggests areas to dig deeper in if I was to carry on with this inquiry. To get more from this inquiry I would want to gather more stories from people – therefore I would consider interviews or perhaps a focus group.
Thursday, 24 March 2011
Wednesday, 9 March 2011
Thursday, 24 February 2011
Wednesday, 23 February 2011
How would it impact on us personally?
How would our profession conduct itself?
What would the effect be on our students/clients/audience?
How would our organisation operate?
What would the impact on society be?
We started the session by drafting up personal ethical principles and then looking at professional ethical principles. In comparing the two there was general agreement that considering the professional ethical principles was more difficult. There was an awareness that ethics has something to do with morals and with rules – and we acknowledged that ethics is comparative both over time and culture. We looked at three theoretical approaches to ethical analysis which are explained in Reader 5 as well as by Joanna - and used these to analyse the described scene from Billy Elliot (comes from Ethics Dance resource).
We then went on to establish some ethical issues in three short case studies – which was a prelude to drawing up a professional code of practice for three professional groups – Performers, Teachers & Arts Managers. These have been reported upon by two Js – Joanna (Dance Teachers) and Jo(Performers).
The discussions during the session brought up a range of ethical issues from professional practice:
Healthy eating in the profession see ARTICLE from Ethics Dance
Teaching the person v teaching the body
Inclusivity & Equity
Tuesday, 22 February 2011
Someone at the campus session mentioned they were having difficulty coming to a topic for inquiry. The ensuing discussion showed that this was quite normal at this stage in the module. Inquiry questions can take quite a while to arrive at and inspiration can come from engaging and collaborating with others on the module via SIGs, blogs, facebook, wikis etc. Professional networks - teachers, mentors, places of employment can be muses as well. Some questions are quite naturally driven by personal purposes which is the motivation for an inquiry. A trick here is to consider de-personalising your inquiry and refocus on it from that deeply personal imperative to one that would have wider professional resonance / meaning.
How can I change my career path?
What are the challenges to shifting career from performing to teaching.
Are existing skills transferable?
How can I expand my business?
What are effective marketing strategies?
What are models of franchising?
What are the statutory requirements/obligations on arts managers?
How can I overcome injury and stay in the profession?
How is injury dealt with in the profession?
Are dance masters / teachers too pushy?
How important is a knowledge of physiology and anatomy?
How can I deal with a physically disabled pupil in my class?
How can dance teachers ensure inclusivity?
How can dance teachers ensure equity in learning for all?
The literature can shape your inquiry and reading texts and professional journals can help formulate and hone the inquiry.
Every question you ask has, in all likelihood, been asked (and maybe answered) before. But not by you. And not in your professional context, at this time. In considering your inquiry a good question to ask is who will benefit? Clearly you all want to benefit on the one level by using the inquiry towards your degree as well as learning and finding out things for yourself. But is there a wider audience who can benefit? Can your inquiry add anything to the profession? Could it change your professional practice? Could it change the practice of others in the profession? Could it confirm your existing practice? Can you bring the findings and deductions from your inquiry to a perspective employer and say – look – this is what I found out through engaging with a process of inquiry?
In wrestling with your topic for inquiry you should adhere to the following principles:
Make it personally relevant
This is important to as it’s your own idea and question and therefore you will be motivated to sustain momentum throughout the entire process.
Make it doable
Will you be able to access people / resources in conducting the inquiry? Moving onto the final section of the module should clarify this for you. But you should also be talking as early as possible to employers / professional mentors.
Is it ethically beneficial?
How will the world of your professional practice be a better place as a result of completing the inquiry?
Is your inquiry capable of being argued both for and against? Is there are range of opinion / evidence for your to build up an argument from? This could be answered from the existing literature on the topic.
BAPP thus far is leading you towards an inquiry based learning project in the context of your professional practice and this module sees settling on the inquiry topic and establishing what will be the best way to conduct it taking on board an ethical perspective.
Tuesday, 15 February 2011
This conference explores the philosophical questions raised by and in dance. Relatively under-theorised as it has been in the history of aesthetics, dance presents fertile ground for philosophical enquiry.
The conference will enable dialogue about dance between different philosophical traditions, and will examine a range of themes.
Keynote speakers: Graham McFee and Nöel Carroll (tbc) Supported by the British Society of Aesthetics and the Society for Dance Research.
Monday, 14 February 2011
The diagram above shows the range of questions being posed by you about your professional practice on the blogs. This is not a comprehensive selection of professional questions but the diagram illustrates the range of questions being posed and they all suggest further and deeper questions. What is also noteworthy is that some of the questions are in the same zone and these are identified by the same colours. This is one way of getting a SIG going ..... Some people have already started wikis as I discovered - this is another technological tool to support a SIG which you can use.
Friday, 11 February 2011
SIGs are a vital component to learning in this module and augment the analysis which was carried out in the previous module (3002) on Professional Networking. There are tasks indicated in the Module Handbook where you are asked to work with your SIG, so, it’s a good idea to pay attention to how SIGs should function / develop and be used. SIGs are of course a two way street – not only do you expect feedback and help from your SIG(s) but you should also provide support and feedback. There are responsibilities as well as opportunities. At the campus session people discussed in teams the following questions and reported back to the group as a whole.
- How should SIGs form in BAPP?
- How many SIGs should we be a member of?
- How can we decide membership of SIG?
- Should they limited or open?
- How much participation is expected?
- What responsibilities should we have to the SIG?
- What technologies can we use to support communication?
- Any other points?
There was broad agreement that SIGs should not be limited (at this time) by size nor should there be a limit to the number of SIGs we can join. SIGs should be self forming and managing and can be limited by purpose / time. In terms of participation there was a discussion on whether people should be excluded for not contributing. But Etienne Wenger’s ideas on Communities of Practice came into the discussion regarding peripheral and core participation and that while someone may not be active all the time in a SIG they may get involved usefully at an appropriate time. Jo suggested that SIGs should be checked at least once a fortnight and this seems fair enough considering the length of the module – but policing this could be challenging and time consuming.
The favoured technology to support SIGs was Facebook. It was suggested that initially the discussion tool could be used to start of threads in these discussions. Depending on SIG activity, it was proposed that dedicated blogs on the subject matter could be started, if that proved necessary. Mention was also made of google docs / wikis and using the blogs as well for posting more considered thoughts. Whatever technology is used, (e.g. e-mail, facebook, blogs, skype, wikis) as ever, it is recommended that copies of relevant communications are retained – these may prove useful for portfolios and as evidence of development of ideas.
Paula and I agreed to set up a BA Professional Practice page on the Facebook platform as the SIG incubator. It was set up from my newly created Facebook page – so hook up to the BAPP page and get threading those discussions.
Thursday, 10 February 2011
I have spotted three accounts which provide useful perspectives on what happened and if you were not there please check these out. Firstly Mark Iles volunteered to report back the views of his group on carrying out an inquiry as an insider. What was asked for were 3 opportunities and 3 challenges in carrying out an inquiry in the workplace or in an arena of professional practice and how these would be dealt with. While some of these points may resonate with you may well have some of your own and you should think this through for yourself and check the last few pages 19-21 of Reader 4 on the BAPP blogs.
Nicole Lousie Geddes provided the report back on this from her group, as well as giving a longer review of what occurred at the campus session – many thanks, Nicole - it was good to meet you. Finally, Natalie Less has had her thinking shifted as a result of attending the campus session. The activities made her original question appear less important now as she suspects she already knows the answer. This is a point worth noting and people could reflect back on Adesola’s hand drawn graph at the end of my last blog as well as reflecting on the competent / capability tension which is discussed in Eraut’s article.
We recognised that there is discrete knowledge which is unique to our respective professions and we acknowledged the difference between "Knowing that" (hard knowledge) and "Knowing how" (skill). Some of our knowledge and skills in absolutely bound up in our profession and other knowledge is generic and transferable.
We then considered the distinction between competency and capability - Eraut's article suggests that the first is yes/no outcome (you either can or cannot ride a bicycle). Capability, on the other hand can be graded into various levels of competency. Self reflection can indicate gaps in our knowledge in order that we are professionally proficient and suggest topics that we would like to do an inquiry on in order to enhance our professional knowledge.
After this discussion there were four groups of professional practitioners identified:
- Arts Managers
- Graphic Designers
- Dance Teachers
Each group thought carefully about what they needed to know and represented this graphically. Looking at them can suggest areas for development in your own professional practice or should inspire you to do the exercise yourself.
The Arts Managers drawing above used building blocks with generic skills / knowledge on the base line building up to professional specific knowledge at the top. The knowledge in the top block which is "specialised" does fit in with Schon's proposal of the four facets of professional knowledge - for instance, this knowledge would not necessarily be useful to the Graphic Designers.
The Graphic Designers chose to represent their professional knowledge on a ladder with five key stages indicated. This diagram indicates overwhelmingly that a process is being described. A good question to ask of this representation is that if graphic design was not written on the page would we know what professional knowledge is being represented here?
The Performers representation explosively demonstrates the strands and areas of knowledge required for the profession. Some of the entries invite links to be drawn between entities which could suggest inquiry topics or questions to investigate further. For instance there is a line between technical ability and castability which could suggest an inquiry topic.
The Dance Teachers went beyond the generic and profession specific and introduced transdisciplinary knowledge from other subject domains e.g. Psychology, Business and Finance.
While we all recognised the "knowing that" and "Knowing how" as alluded to by Eraut, Mark Iles introduced the notion of "knowing who" .....
While all this work was being produced, Adesola worked quietly on a graph which she presented at the end of the exercise.
The Y axis (vertictal) shows knowledge while the X axis (horizontal) indicates the practitioner. She explained that as a beginner we set out with a what we beleive is a great deal of knowledge and skill and as our knowledge develops towards an advanced stage we regcognise that there is more unknown than known. This is when we get to the point of where we "just know" or could we call this enlightenment.
This exercise was useful in that it got us thinking about our professional practice - the "discipline" of it, what we need to know both "that" and "how" and what we have yet to know. Reflecting on this activity should stimulate a question in your mind. Which should lead to another question and so on. You are asked to blog about these questions as you can see from the first task set out in the Module Handbook.
Wednesday, 9 February 2011
Work on your own and list the things you need to know in order to be a professional practitioner what do you need to know in your sector?
Join a group and share what you have produced so far and then work together on the graphical representation and present this to the whole group and discuss.
Triggering questions you would like to do an extended inquiry on.
Reflect on these and use them as a stimulus to suggest questions worthy of an inquiry.
Identify any gaps between your competency and capability
Establishing question(s) of inquiry
Find a partner and tell them your big professional question and why it’s important to you. Then listen to their question and why it’s important to them
Move on to new partner and tell them what your previous partner told you and listen to what their previous partner told them.
The report back to the group what their last partner told them.
Listen for your own question reported back – have you changed the question in any way? Make a note of this and use for future reference
In groups – identify 3 opportunities and 3 challenges in carrying out an inquiry in the workplace or in an arena of professional practice. How would you deal with these and report back.
The groups agreed to blog their findings – so look out for these among the blogs
Networking and Special Interest Groups (SIG)
In teams work on the following points and report back to the main group where we will receive the thinking
How should SIGs form in BAPP?
How many SIGs should we be a member of?
How can we decide membership of SIG?
Should they limited or open?
How much participation is expected?
What responsibilities should we have to the SIG?
What technologies can we use to support communication?
Any other points?