Learning and Teaching Day 2015: creative teaching and risk

risk innovation 2I’m currently reading a book that reveals the findings from a two-year research study into those who ‘hack the city’ – i.e. trespass without causing harm to anyone or anything. I have been reminded of an exploratory project I undertook with an international cohort of researchers at CHI 2014. We experimented in ways to reveal the hidden urban infrastructure and to enable citizens to recode their normalised routines in city space through creatively exploiting the system’s fractures. We called this ‘surprising the system’.

To transgress and take risks, to creatively circumvent rules and expectations, and to probe disciplinary boundaries are at the heart of what goes on in Central Saint Martins’ teaching spaces, such as workshops, seminars and libraries. Continue reading

Are personal recording devices impeding students’ experience of ‘being in the moment’, and if so, does it matter?

Image by Vladimir Agafonkin


Image by Vladimir Agafonkin

Recording, be it audio, video, or simply snapping pictures of everything and anything we think we’ll want to remember, has become part of our routine. For the student experience within the context of an art and design environment, this habit of whipping out our devices every time we want to remember or document something has implications. What are they? And why do we so readily forget to be in the moment and delay our experiences to a time and a place we might feel more comfortable processing the information recorded?

In advance of the ‘Being Lecture Captured’ discussion at London College of Fashion, Sarah Kante reflects on her own experience of being a UAL student, and offers a provocation to the Pedagogic Research Hub. Continue reading

Disruption: art and design higher education futures

Neocraft_Humanising-the-machine-by-Frances-Norris_01Bower and Christensen came up with the term ‘disruptive technologies’ in their Harvard Business Review article, ‘Disruptive Technologies: Catching the Wave’ (1995: 43-53). Disruptive technologies can be viewed as early stage catalysts for change, and fundamentally destabilising of an existing equilibrium – be it a method, technology or product. Today, one such technology heralded as being disruptive is 3D printing*, or 3D manufacturing. In part, what is considered disruptive depends on its context and the scale or type of change; let’s remind ourselves that humanity has a long history of technologies causing radical global change (e.g. wheel, steam engine, Jacquard Loom, Gutenberg printing press, internet).  Whilst 3D manufacturing has yet to happen to any form of impactful scale, and indeed may not do so, its very concept allows us to imagine the implications of post-industrial manufacturing for the ways we might wish to develop future Art and Design higher education (HE). Central Saint Martins’ students are already creating possible scenarios, by connecting the present and the future. Continue reading

Being Lecture-Captured: An LCF Pedagogic Research Hub Discussion

image003Lecture capture as technology has been used in the higher education (HE) sector in many forms in recent years and is being evaluated and piloted at London College of Fashion. Already much material has been generated on its potential benefits and uses in making learning accessible and available in flexible formats. Continue reading

Digital Literacy: socio-technical futures and arts higher education

Digital Skins. Copyright, Jenny Lee

Digital Skins. Copyright: Jenny Lee

Today, the UK’s higher education (HE) system is operating at a time of significant socio-economic and political flux, and rapid technological change. To add to this complex weave, and affecting arts departments and institutions throughout the country, the value of arts education has been under intense scrutiny at all levels. Hence, our current learning landscape is one that is unsettled, and as such, requires us to devote time to study, reflect and debate educational futures and values. Engagement with, or enabling of, multiple forms of digital literacy is a critical undertaking if those involved with arts and design HE are to have a meaningful, sustained and influential engagement with emerging socio-technical developments. Continue reading

Assessment Feedback – Online

online assessment form

Online assessment feedback – tutor view

Together with Technical Developer Sat Anandhan, John Jackson – CLTAD’s Educational Developer (eLearning) – has been involved in UAL’s Online Assessment Tool (OAT) project since its inception. Here he discusses OAT’s journey so far and plans for the future.

OAT is an online assessment grading and feedback tool developed by CLTAD to support the delivery of high quality and timely assessment feedback to students throughout the university. Available to course teams as an optional alternative to using the Word based assessment feedback forms, it was used for the first time on two courses (one London College of Fashion, the other London College of Communication) in late December 2011.

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MOOCs: Daphne Koller of Coursera shares insights

Grab from Coursera site

“2012 was the year of the MOOC” claimed Coursera co-founder and Professor of Computing at Stanford Universtiy, Daphne Koller. This week at BETT she shared an avalanche of stats about massive open online courses (MOOCs), and provided insights into the Coursera platform specifically.

As of 29th January two and a half million people had signed-up to take one of Coursera’s 215 courses; 28% of the student body is from Europe and 35% from North America. Continue reading

BA Fashion Communication and Promotion: Challenging assumptions

Student blog

CSM tutor Hywel Davies and the second year BA Fashion Communication and Promotion (FCP) cohort at CSM have been exploring the uses of blogs to support collaboration within an arts and design environment. The students are working in groups to produce short film responses to a forthcoming prestigious exhibition in London, and they are investigating blogs as part of the project.

In the spirit of my ‘findings on the fly’ open research approach, this article shares insights from the study thus far. Continue reading

Smartphones: ‘connecting to the rest of the world’

Illustration: technology and imagination

Much is reported of the staggering adoption of mobile technologies worldwide. In particular the smartphone is influencing our behaviours in all manner of ways, and for many university students it has become an essential part of their everyday lives. These personal and portable devices are now inextricably involved in how we experience the world.

As educators, how could we, or should we, view smartphones within an arts and design context? Are they extensions of the studio, a form of prosthetic that alters our body schema, or a distraction that renders actions invisible and disturbs continuity and flow?

As part of a study into the ways in which personal digital technologies are incorporated into arts and design education, a second year cohort of CSM undergraduate students has provided insights about their relationship with smartphones.

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