Reflections on Week 5 Formative Presentations 24th of October

This week we had a peer review of the work we have done so far. During the course of last week, I have encountered new challenges on the SIP.

This week, I have my last lecture of the term with Stage 2 students. At the end of lecture, I talked about the tutorials with me next week and used that as a starting point for my questionnaires.  The feedback was 50% reply from the group. The response was a bit overwhelming for me! I am looking through the responses now and constructing a “Word Cloud” to see areas of “concentrations”.

The next step after gathering feedback, is to start to put together an online form for this scheduled tutorial.  I used this format below:

Name:

If you want to be in a group, put your names here:

Time:

You agree that if you missed the time slot, you are not guaranteed to have another.

List your reading/ research references here:

1.

2.

3.

Upload your work-in-progress sketches/drawings/illustrations here:

List down your questions to discuss with tutor / group:

1.

2.

3.

List down possible next steps:

1.

2.

3.

My intention is that this online form starts to pin down some of the issues that I have doubts on:

1. Readiness – the mindset of student and how he/she approaches the work. Being self-reliant or waiting for answers?

2. Preparation – the pre-reading, gathering useful research and collating them in a concise manner.

3. Focus on project/topic – giving a heads up on the upcoming tutorial, and when the tutorial is ongoing, steering the tutorial to reach the next step (in the project.)

4. Willingness – how receptive they are to attend and discuss? This can be an ongoing issue with student attending tutorials, especially students from Confucius-Heritage background.

Lastly, some feedback from my peers for the Formative Presentations (my reflections):

Identify a topic for enquiry, justifying its professional significance. [Analysis]

1. Perhaps more academic references /pedagogy theory around tutorials in Art and Design context.

2. Question about “Mass Intellectualisation”

(KC: I have started to explain “mass intellectualisation” in my Week 4 reflections (link). This terminology has now been dropped off my Inquiry as I find it too difficult to explain to undergraduate students in a very short time. I have listed a few academic references in my readings and perhaps that has been overlooked at the end and being last person presenting. I have also started to read HEA’s Pedagogic theory (link) which might further inform my inquiry.

Investigate methods of enquiry appropriate to the specific contexts of the topic. [Experimentation]

1. Question about what the questionnaire data will be used for?

2. Lots of methods > how did you decide on them and do you need to use them all?

(KC: For my inquiry, the questionnaire can reveal a general understanding and provide areas of focus from the student’s perspective. The various methods that I have discussed in my presentation might change slightly as I progress. i.e. for PhotoVoice, I see that less relevant. I am replacing that with asking students where an ideal place for tutorial would be….)

Conduct a scholarly enquiry. [Research]

1. Lots of evidence given about methods

2. How do tutorials work in other departments / courses?

(KC: understanding the teaching methods away from my course is an interesting thought ! I have done a literature review on the way tutorials are run in Liverpool hope business school (link) This was also the reason why I think doing a peer observation with another tutor doing a tutorial in a different course might unpack some insights.)

Present project findings in a coherent, context-sensitive manner. [Communication and Presentation]

Clear presentation.

(KC: Nice compliment! …..after an intensive session)

Reflections on 4th Week Work-in-progress Seminar

Last week, I been working on my question and title and I have narrowed down to two possibility so far:

“How do students benefit from tutorials in this age of mass intellectualisation?” &

“How can tutorials one effective in a student’s learning process?”

In our session, we shared our work in large A3 project paste-ups /pin ups and my peer feedback were:

1. I don’t understand what is meant by mass intellectual in this context

2. This looks like a lot of work in a small space of time.

3. Personal issues / sensitive comments are sometimes discussed in tutorials

Mass intellectualisation is a term that I have come across in a book by Hall, R and Winn, J. (2017) Mass Intellectuality and Democratic Leadership in Higher Education (Perspectives on Leadership in Higher Education). An excerpt:

“The university is being restructured and refocused as the driver of and for competition, markets and the short-term economic needs of the state and corporations. Central is the (re)production of students as customers and consumers (with degree programmes as investment projects (Lawrence and Sharma 2002) focused on ‘employability’ (Chertkovskaya et al. 2013)), staff as service providers and research entrepreneurs (Kelly 2013), and both as forms of academic labour (Winn 2015b). As ‘edufactories’ (Edufactory Collective 2009), universities are businesses with CEOs, corporate strategies and branding, business plans and partnerships, cost-benefit analyses and key performance indicators (Bok 2009); and all labouring within this set of relations are reified and valorized as human capital (Bourdieu 2010) ……. They are not merely complicit in, but initiate and promote ‘the academic capitalist knowledge, learning regime’ (Cantwell and Kaupinnen 2014).”

This trend / phenomenon has an impact on my inquiry. I guess what I am trying to say is that tutorials in a large cohort can be demanding for the tutor and not beneficial for the student as the contact time is short.

During this session, we also discussed about effectiveness and what are the ways to achieve that. This prompts me to think about the expectations of a tutorial from a student and tutor’s perspective. These can vary and my questionnaire replies should unpack the initial views about this myth I always have on my mind.

I want to re-iterate that my rationale for choosing my/the methods for this inquiry is dependent on the ability to predict and generate a set of data that forms the basis to build a case study/understanding. My peer’s comment about too little time to complete this enquiry comes at the correct time where I start to think PhotoVoice might not be needed as I start to use a question to replace “a good location for lecture?”

In the last part of week 4, we discussed the triangulation approach to draw various viewpoints using many methods. In general, this seems to work for my enquiry. To prove, I will start to research into how I could do that with my Questionnaire and Backcasting method.

For ethics in our research, we were shown the Milligram Experiment which reveals the dire consequence of a person with authority (researcher) inflicting bodily harm on to participants whom are too afraid. In a subversive way, I empathise yet enjoy watching this. Perhaps it was a combination of “I-have-not-seen-this-before” and also how we (humans)  can be so obedient at times and completely opposite the next moment !

Lastly, during the course of this week, I have also been shown a document which illustrates the academic/communication practises in China which leads to the Confucian-Heritage Educations having social cultures disparities with UK Higher Education. In this document, I see some interesting topics (silent seminar, diligence, authority and participation) which I can draw upon.

Reflections on 3rd week’s session using PBL tutorials (10th October)

Reflections on 3rd week’s PBL tutorials

I have been continuing to tweak my working title for this enquiry. So far I have firmed up on these:

How do students benefit from tutorials in this age of mass intellectualisation?

How can tutorials be effective in a student’s learning process?

The most valuable thing I got out from this tutorial is our expectations of a tutorial through the eyes of a student vs tutor? If I can position this enquiry starting with stating/defining what a tutorial could/should be about.

I have looked at a case study from Liverpool Hope Business school where tutorials are not effective and they have turned into mini lectures by tutors. I have also made connections of this with my own tutorials with students where they use the session as a answer to technical questions. So, is there a way to formulate a set of “rules”.  In that case study, the students were expected to read materials, write questions and participate in discussions within the tutorials

I started to think what could help me in setting up student tutorials as the large cohort can be repetitive, confusing for me and restrict my ability to spot distinct individual works.

1. Set up a tutorial form and let them know they need it before tutorial

2. Ask student to write down concise explanation of project

3. Ask student to write what have they read, researched

4. Track their individual progress in a chart, document folder.

5. I need to decide if group or individual tutorial is appropriate.

6. How about student-led discussions? Set time limit for each?

7. Can be a challenge to encourage active participation.

Methods

I have researched various approaches and started to formulate initial questions for my questionnaire/survey.  Having access to a large cohort of students, it is intrinsic to gather initial feedback from them. As I recall this PBL session is also a tutorial, the use of a SIP tutorial form in here also allows me to reflect on it’s meaning and significance for the student that is preparing for this session. The ability to prepare depends on the willingness of the student and this disposition comes into play here: A SIP’s success can be based on this !

Next steps :

Consider removing effectiveness? But before I do that, I want to be able to look at what that means from a student’s point of view. Currently, my research question is based around how students view and use their tutorials in their learning process.

My rationale for choosing the methods lies in the ability to predict and also generate a set of data that provides a basis to build a case study or understanding.

Methods i am using includes:

Questionnaire

Backcasting

Behaviour Mapping

Peer Observations

Focus Groups

There is also a discussion of making/using appropriate tools within tutorials. I am going to identify and research further into these as some of these methods can have implications on the participants. I have added my action plan and I will refine and tweak if my methods has shifted.

My ethics form will need some work and reiteration. I started off with something very generic and I have to foresee/pre-empt if the methods can have any dire impact on the participant. BERA seems to be a good place to start and I would have to look into the peer observation implications if I want to continue in that area. I will also need to sort out the participant information sheet and consent form.

Reflections on 2nd week’s session on Methods of Inquiry (3rd October)

After leaving the RCA for more than 12 years, today is the day where I get a recap of all the methods used in academic research.

Yes, it’s all coming back now……..

We discussed methods as tools and methodology as approach. This is pretty good to describe what we are going to do in the next few weeks where we will be using multiple methods to do research and collect data. Our discussion includes:(my comments in brackets)

Questionnaire: Specific, intended for the masses and generate metadata study

Photovoice: Open-ended and subjective approach. (Quite like to think that this can provide some sort of grounding for my work in situating the physical context)

Interviews: Permissions from conversations, Visual cues and links for interviewers.(Need to use this to gather my primary data)

Email Interviews: Non real-time and can be done in various languages (Possibly useful for my approach to gather interests in very early stage.)

Observations: Natural Settings (I read about participant and non-participant type where i can use either to gain understanding)

Photo Elicitation: John Berger’s Ways of Seeing Book, Inspire/trigger and choice of images is important. (This can be the outcome of Photovoice and i can use this in Focus Groups later)

Focus groups: Importance of Transcripts and Participation. (Something that I need to read up)

Case studies: Various inputs and a range of data can be collected. (Most suitable/relevant method for my enquiry so far)

Ethnography: People in natural setting. (In the consultancy that I used to work in, we do this often)

Auto ethnography: Self-reflective. (Interesting read: Paris is burning.)

Practice based research: Related to discipline. Practice also means making? John Wood’s 2000 History of Writing in Art Book.

User Journey: Mapping process.

Drawing: Visualisations.

Cultural probes.

Narrative enquiry.

Action research: Problem solving to a certain extend.

My group discussions is with Jenny, Josef, Matt and Laura. We tackled

Questionnaire

and Photovoice.

At the end of the long day, I have started to rethinking my working title and the methods I might use: Photovoice and Observations has their pros and cons. I have also started to think about Sub-questions and biases that I might have during the inquiry.

Focus Groups seems quite a good way to summarise and position the data collection. This session will have to be recorded. Participants have to be informed before start of session and I have to remember to request permission to use their words. I need to come up with a Consent form.

We concluded the day with us being Insider Researchers, which does provides an empathetic perspective on our inquiry which can be challenging…

Reflections on Ebert, J. E. J, Gilbert D.T., Wilson T. D. (2009) Forecasting and Backcasting: Predicting the Impact of Events on the Future.

Some excerpts from the article (link):

“How do consumers predict their feelings following a future consumption event?”

“Forecasting, as an approach to predicting the hedonic impact of a future event, has been widely studied in the literature (Coughlan and Connolly 2001; Dunn, Wilson, and Gilbert 2003; Finkenauer et al. 2007; Gaunt, Sindic, and Leyens 2005; Gilbert et al. 1998, 2004; Kahneman and Snell 1992; Loewenstein and Frederick 1997; Mellers 2000; Read and Van Leeuwen 1998; Snell, Gibbs, and Varey 1995; Wilson et al. 2000, 2005).”

“A second approach that we propose for predicting the hedonic impact of a future event—backcasting—is one that has received much less attention. In backcasting, the consumer first considers how she is likely to feel in a future period (“I’m going to be happy in a few days because my birthday is coming up”) and then considers the effects of the prior impacting event and the passage of time  (“And if the Red Sox lose today it won’t change that much”).”

“Why Do Backcasters Predict a Greater Impact of Events on Their Future Feelings than Forecasters? Backcasters make more extreme hedonic predictions primarily because they consider the impacting information to a greater extent than forecasters do.”

“Similarly, people may use backcasting and forecasting when regulating their feelings in future and current periods, respectively. Consumers frequently use consumption events to regulate their mood—for example, buying gifts for themselves or listening to music to improve their mood (Chen, Zhou, and Bryant 2007; Gould 1997). Research shows that mood regulation can be anticipatory, used to cause a particular mood for a particular situation, or reactive, used to alter an existing mood (Erber, Wegner, and Therriault 1996; Gross 1998).”

KC’s reflections:

I hope to have an insight into student’s behaviour (in T&L) and how I can draw connections using these predictive methods of inquiry. There appears to be a conscious effort of students signing up and attending tutorials but no proper outcomes documented from them. I hope to use these predictive methods to shape the mindset of students prior to attending a tutorial as there are always expectations that attending one of these would “solve all my technical issues within my projects.”

Reflections on Quista, J, Vergragt, P (2006) Past and future of backcasting: The shift to stakeholder participation and a proposal for a methodological framework.

Some excerpts from the article (link)

“The origin of backcasting is in the 1970s, when Lovins [6,7]  proposed backcasting as an alternative planning technique for electricity supply and demand.”

“The focus of energy backcasting was on analysis and deriving policy goals, while the backcasts  of different alternative energy futures were also meant to reveal the relative implications of different policy goals.”

“Backcasting for sustainability.”

“The shift to participatory backcasting using broad stakeholder involvement started in the Netherlands in the early 1990s. Participatory backcasting has been applied in the Netherlands since then, first at the governmental programme for sustainable technology development (STD) that ran from 1993–2001 [3,27]  and in its EU funded spin-off, the research project ‘SusHouse’ that ran from 1998 to 2000 [4,5] .”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“ It has also been found that backcasting can refer to a concept or philosophy, a study, an approach, a methodology, an interaction process among participating stakeholders, an analysis (sometimes referred to as a backcast ) or the specific step of looking back from the desired future within the overall approach. This means that backcasting is used to refer to the conceptual or holistic level, the level of social or multi-actor processes, the level of overall approaches and methodologies containing of multiple steps, methods and instruments and to the level of specific steps, methods or instruments within such an overall approach or overall methodology. However, it also shows that backcasting is slightly differently defined in different places and reports, which might be confusing in the present debate and when comparing different backcasting studies.”

KC’s reflections:

As my SIP is a small scale inquiry, I have stayed away from the overarching approach to back casting’s methodologies and focused on how I can use the method by looking at STD’s approach. In my SIP, I have focused on Short Term actions. i.e. tutorial forms, giving advance notices and developing self-reliant mindsets.

I have chosen this article from Delft University of Technology as I see my area (Technical Studies) of teaching bearing a close resemblance to what I see in Delft, which is described on their MOOCs. (link) Although it is an engineering school, I should also emphasise that I would look at this article more from a process overview instead of a technical perspective.

Reflections on Ziniel, Curtis E. and Ghalib, Asad K. (2016) Student-led tutorials and their implications on learning and teaching. Liverpool Hope Business School, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, United Kingdom.

Link to text here

(This is presented at Mixed Methods International Research Association Conference (2016), 4th August 2016, Durham University.)

Overview

This study uses sequential mixed methods to conduct a study on how tutorials can be part of teaching & learning for 1st and 2nd year students. In the first instance, students can mistake tutorials for mini lectures and this can confuse the main purpose of a tutorial. Here, at these tutorials, students are expected/ supposed to lead discussion. Students start as a pair and then subsequently speak on their own. Students have to come prepared with questions for discussion. The study reveals that first year students were appreciative of this model and allows them to build confidence speaking in front of the class. First year students are also much more receptive to such teaching than second year.

Tutorial attendance and active participation.

There are also discussions on how the awarding of marks for attending a tutorial can be an incentive and spur engagement. IMO, this could also challenge the learning behaviours of a  student where they will spend more time on this preparation instead of focusing on discipline specific projects/tasks. I think if this is a final year student attending this tutorial, this could be beneficial for their final outcome of their project as preparation could help them position their work and rationale.

How it is conducted.

This studies research into practicalities and how it is carried out starting with a questionnaire, then a focus group.

“The survey instrument was administered towards the end of the academic session in the form of printed questionnaires. These were distributed and collected during tutorial sessions by the relevant tutors. Complete confidentiality and anonymity were guaranteed as no student details were captured. Moreover, the tutor left the room to return towards the end to offer privacy………For our study, we used the structured questionnaires as instruments to capture the quantitative element, whereas the focus groups led to the generation of qualitative data. “

The focus group reveals that tutor ’s subjectivity and how some tutors may mark differently than others. This is true when it comes to my  own personal experiences as some  students tend to stay away from certain tutors when they tend to have less expertise in specific topics/areas of studies. However, in this study, students acknowledge some differences in tutor marking is inevitable.

Reflections on Topping, K.J., (1996), The effectiveness of peer tutoring in further and higher education: A typology and review of the literature Higher education Vol. 32 no. 3 , 321-345

link to text here

Here, peer tutoring  is seen as a form of cognitive interaction with a more experienced peer (Vygotsky 1978), leading the task or discussion .

Barbara Rogoff (1990) also talked about Apprenticeship in thinking. (EXPAND)

There are also discussions about how student can learn by reading the material provided by tutor and teaching it to a peer (as documented by a study (Antis, 1983) provides high order conceptual understanding.

Reflections on Marton, F., Hounsell, D. & Entwistle, N., (eds.) …  (1984), Chapter 12: Enabling and Shaping Understanding through Tutorials (by Charles Anderson).

link to text here

This text focuses on the nature and quality of student experience of a tutor led discussion group. Certain parts of the text also bring my attention to tutorials being a common staple of the British higher education, so how do we make it inclusive , especially for international students.

After reading this, one of the question that I have is the role of tutors in a tutorials?  How do I enable tutorials to become active learning and encourage students to start to think critically. Perhaps, the ultimate aim for a tutorial IMO would be to encourage independence and gain confidence as you progress.

Work by Ambercrombie (1974 and 1960,p70) has set the precedence of how tutorials encourage spontaneous expressions by students  where they become a climate where all participants can listen and speak  (Nias, 1993, p117)

One of the key aspects I uncover is that In tutorials, teachers are supposed to “teach” which makes me slightly nervous. Students look upon you for expert knowledge in in the discipline of Product Design. Students prefer tutors whom are Empathetic with their problems, not someone who is too “clever” to care about students work.

Tutors inspires and constructs and build upon students problems, allowing the student to think independently.

To conclude, I really liked what Charles wrote here:

“While some students stressed the value of tutors insisting on the very clear and precise formulation of statements, including the exact use of technical terms, others commented favourably on tutors who widened out and enriched discussion, introducing new aspects to debate and encouraging a more differentiated view of topics which had surfaced in discussion.”

Reflections on the 1st Week of Self-Initiated Project (26th September)

I started to think about this small scale inquiry which can be relevant to my job i.e. teaching product design undergraduate students. There is a lot of focus on my practice and my chosen project which is a question about how tutorials can be effective.

During this session, I had a discussion with Sophie, Makbule and Josef. (Makbule and Josef has been in my same T&L module so we sort of know each other well and I also have peer-observed Josef and vice versa) Our discussion touches on the possible methods of learning, knowing yourself and your student and also how our disciplines teach students (in general) I have the largest teaching cohort and I see this as quite different from theirs.

The image above captures my research problem and how my peers contributed to the discussion. (This act of “crowdfunding” my work is very enriching and I could use these method in my teaching too!) There were comments about who/what has written texts on tutorials and YES, I did EXACTLY this prior to this session.

1.  Ziniel, Curtis E. & Ghalib, Asad K. (2016) Student-led tutorials and their implications on learning and teaching. In: Mixed Methods International Research Association Conference (2016), 4th August 2016, Durham University. 

2.  Dienes, Z. (1997) Student lead tutorials: a discussion paper. Falmer: School of Experimental Psychology, University of Sussex

3.  Collier, K.G. (1983) Management of peer group learning. Syndicate methods in HE, Guildford Society for Research in Higher Education.

4. Marton, F., Hounsell, D. & Entwistle, N., (eds.) …  (1984), Chapter 12: Enabling and Shaping Understanding through Tutorials (Charles Anderson).

5. Topping K.J., (1996), The effectiveness of Peer Tutoring in Further and Higher Education: A typology and review of the literature Higher Education 32, 321-345

(Some of these texts are old and I have actively searched for recent ones to see if I can unpack more interesting readings.)

I see the mass intellectuality as a main issue in my pursuit of this topic. Since I do not necessary have a good research question, I have started to generate a few, which I have listed below (my comments in brackets):

1. How tutorials can inspire creative Product Design education?

2. What happens after a lecture? Answer: tutorial?

3. Why tutorials is an effective learning method?

4. Tutorials in mass education(intellectuality)?

5. Can learning be achieved through tutorials?

6. In what ways can tutorials be a way to learn in creative education?

7. Exploring methods to enable tutorials to be part of a student’s learning process.

8. How can the use of tutorials enhance the students’s learnings?

9. What is a tutor’s role in tutorials?

10. Understanding tutorials in creative education. (too broad)

The intent is to reinforce what I am thinking: about tutorials, student-centred and what Brian Eno (via our tutor) said about knowledge acquisition through Shared gENIUS (SCENIUS). The comments written in red about what effective and actionable means does make me stop and think what I want to enquire about tutorials.

My Problem Based Learning group consists of 3 students. We started to concept map our projects individually and mine looks like this below:

The mapping allows me to think about a tutor being a facilitator in a tutorial and also what it means to be inclusive in a tutorial. I understood some international students is not familiar with this learning method. On another note, I am intrigued by student-led tutorials and I have been reading more about this method.

The keywords I have used to search for articles are:

1. Peer Driven Tutorials

2. Tutorial Policy

3. Documentation in Tutorial sessions

4. Small group tutorials

5. Discussion Groups

6. Constructive tutorials