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:


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


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

List your reading/ research references here:




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

List down your questions to discuss with tutor / group:




List down possible next steps:




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.


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:



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


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…