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Friday, 16 December 2011

Merry Xmas - outstanding feedback to back in January

I am still going over some of the feedback as it has been coming in a bit later than expected... but I will finish this off before taking my holiday. I will not be giving any written feedback in January.

If you need a strategy over the holiday for submission or for next semester's work - make one. Many of you will be busy with performances and/or formally and friends over the holidays but it is a good time to reflect on the last semester. A strategy is about setting aside the time to complete whatever you need to in the time given. I call these things deadlines - and they help me to complete pieces of work. Write it up on a calendar, remind your family, friends and work colleagues that your degree work is a commitment. Don't leave copying or sending until the last minute. Another trick I use with myself is to set a deadline BEFORE the due date and work to that earlier time. AND SAVE SAVE SAVE - the only thing you know about technology is that at times it can go wrong and computer problems are inevitable. Don't let computer problems affect your work if at all possible.

I am back in January - and will occasionally look at my email over the holiday.

Best wishes and merry christmas everyone!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Trepidation and Rehearsal - managing the feedback process

I was just writing back in response to an email that sent in a draft of Module 1 - this is an extended version of my reply...

Trepidation is a common response to this stage of feedback and assessment - so it is about managing that process. As this is a preparatory stage in the process – I would expect not everything to be perfect! It is a rehearsal and a part of the learning process. I try to manage this side of things by trying to do drafts early so that I can check and check again and edit. Your process might be different. Most people also have a ballpark idea of what they have done – and that self-appraisal is something we can do more of on the programme.

Alan and I went to see Phil Race speak last night about - you guessed it - feedback and assessment. His website gives some advice to people who are students. Remember some of this advice is for conventional programmes where the 'students' are not working, but yuo may find some of the advice helpful:

Thursday, 1 December 2011

An Invitation to follow me if you have not already

There ar some interesting blogs out there now as people are 'catching up' and bringing to summary points their learning blogs.

A few that I have noted (to be added to):

Natasha Arselan's video - using juxtaposed nouns "people, places, things and events" (Nottingham, 2011).

Module 3 & 2 sample piece of explanatory research

Your Critical Review will have a paragraph structure WITH fewer bullet points - but this report talks about it methods and findings - the social impacts of theatre and uses an explanatory approach.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Advice for your Critical Reflection Module 1

Please see below some previous blogs on the 750 word Critical Reflection for Module 1. In the paper and digital version you should still add supporting evidence, well chosen, in the Appendices (you should refer the 'reader' to these in your 750words) as well as links in the digital version. General guidance is that a small added word count is okay (no more than 10%). The text and images you us in this work should highlight the learning you have accomplished during the semester using the structure of the three main themes in Parts 1, 2, and 3. What have you gained? What have you identified in terms of ideas (theory ) and experience (practice) as a way of exploring your practice? Has the learning led you into any particular lines of inquiry that you will be taking up in Module 2? (added 2/12/11).

Past advice posted WORTH READING BEFORE SUBMISSION: 3002 was the previous module code for 3630 

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Drafts and feedback for Modules that submit for 9th January 2012

Everyone please look at the BAPP (Arts) Libguide Noticeboard where I have put up some advice (as Programme Leader) on dates for handing in drafts for feedback.

1. Right now I am now having a look at Module 3 Feedback and trying to get this back to people so that we can continue discussing the feedback and their inquiries and artefact in the next three weeks. We had originally pencilled in a date for drafts on the 14th of November but that was revised to the 21st November. If you have done your inquiry, it is good to do the writing up while the data is fresh in your mind - so get in touch about sending the draft in and discussing individual needs (bit added later 27/11/11).

2. This week I would like to talk to Module 2 learners about their plans and the forms that need to be filled in -for this Module - these should be compete enough to send in as drafts around the 5th of December. Blogs are now up about the planning of the inquiry - they do not have to be perfect because thrashing out ideas is expected at this stage. Try to be as specific as possible in your plan, but it is an individual process so finalising may not include every detail about who you are going to see and what you plan to ask them. If you can be more specific, do so in your plan and you will be able to carry out the plan more easily next semester. There should be some main inquiry questions and you can title your plan (this is different than the title of your degree). You should have looked at some literature (3 pieces is advised) and tried out some sample tools such as interview, observation , focus groups and surveys (these ARE NOT you final ones you will use on your inquiry  BUT sample ones with friends and colleagues to see how the process works). I just found this on the web for surveys for example (added later 21/1/11).

3. Module 1 feedback is the week of the 5th Dec - so sometime that week - it could be toward the end of that week if you are still actively doing parts of the module. Generally on the blogs in Module 1 I would have expected most people to now be finishing up on Part 3 and in a position to reflect on the progress made in the module. I will be scanning blogs again and commenting as much as possible. There is some very good practice out there and also people who have not had the time to engage - so empty blogs that do not show evidence of learning.

Remember, professional practice assessment is not on the work (paid or unpaid) or work-related topics that you do BUT the learning that can be evidenced about the work or work-related topics that you do.

For any of this BAPP (Arts) coursework, you need to show active engagement with the knowledge and understanding gained from the materials, issues, thinking and peer interaction that makes up the course. That means sharing with the community and developing your ideas and thinking toward the goals of each Module. I find myself saying to people that the course is 'about the thinking', that is the level 6 BA Hons) degree level is about putting theory into practice and evaluating your practice using theory. Theory is a general term, mainly we use research from academic or professional sources, or models (like the Kolb cyle) to inform what we do and help us analyse work we do the the real world. Because we do real world issues, things do not always go to plan, and it is thinking through these experiences that can be challenging and frustrating, but ultimately allow the growth in thinking that improves our 'performance' or how we can do things.

I am now advising people about completing the BAPP coursework while negotiating work commitments. I have had a lot of experience with this 'balancing' work and study, but everyone's case is different. For example, some people are running into a busy Christmas period because they are actively performing - if you are one of these consider the time you have left carefully and plan around this time. Do take a look at the Module Handbook to measure your own performance and then get in touch with me to discuss this. I am around evenings and weekends (after hours in other words) - by appointment- so I can make sure to feedback to you what you need.

So please send me an email or phone me to get in touch about feedback.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Paula at Chickenshed on the 24 Nov at 4:30pm

I am coming to meet Natalia at 4:30pm - please let me know if you want to meet up OR come see me there 4:30 - 5:30 in the bit with central space.

Free Dance Research Seminar from Middlesex

Notice from our Middlesex Intranet site...

Home Meets Home

Thursday 1st December 2011, 6.30 p.m followed by drinks reception
The Nehru Centre, 8 South Audley Street, London W1K 1HF
Travel details:

Entrance to the seminar is free, though booking is essential
RSVP to Treacle Holasz at: <>

"Although our first tour of India lasted just ten days it felt as if we had made a journey of epic proportions whose resonance we aim to unpack in this web site. Choreography of course is about journeys of a totally different kind, one which is undertaken in the enclosed spaces of dance studios and in the abstract, elastic and hyper geographical space of the imagination. "  
Shobana Jeyasingh                                                                                               

This seminar is includes a panel discussion and the launch of the website, Home Meets Home. This website documents Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company’s first tour of India in November 2010 and involved performances and workshops in three cities New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore (now called Bengaluru).

Shobana Jeyasingh is a ResCen Research Associate and her company has worked for over twenty years throughout the UK and internationally, producing and touring dance works.

Participants: Shobana Jeyasingh, Dr Jyoti Argade, Dr Avanthi Meduri and Ansuman Biswas. Introduction by Professor Waqar Ahmad, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Middlesex University    Chaired by Professor Christopher Bannerman.

In association with ResCen Research Centre, Middlesex University  ( <>  and <> )

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Sympathy Card - a visual response

                             The mortal demise of the Facebook discussions: ascendance of thought

Monday, 21 November 2011

Where are you now? – an update to help with your Module.

Please get in touch with me for individual feedback by email, phone, skype or in person. I am happy to work ‘out of hours’ but it is often good in that case to make an appointment so that I can prioritise being available at that time. I really appreciate how hard it is to find the time, but I think talking things through is helpful. At the end of the day, the evidence must be provided for the appropriate marks, so it is good to review this before it is time to submit work.

Where are you now? – an update to help with your Module.

This is the 9th week of BAPP Arts) Module.

I just had a look at the blogs to see where people were in terms of their work on the modules, in most instances there is a lot of good sharing going on in the blogs.

Others have not engaged on the blogs with frequency so I cannot answer the question about the BAPP(Arts) coursework through this supporting evidence.

The important thing is that you know where you are now in terms of completing the coursework for the Module that you are taking.

Module 1: your module is about learning to think critically and identifying some topic questions that are beginning to emerge. The module comes in three parts: social media, reflective practice, and professional networking – you are probably working with the third part now in terms of time. There is time to catch up if you are not… We are advising that you send a draft of the 750 words by the week of the 5th or 12th of December (the week of the 12th is the last week before Xmas).  You should contact me, your adviser for one to one feedback, and I am trying to send emails to everyone this week about individual progress.

Module 2: For the module assessment you need to turn in a plan of your inquiry and you need to fill in some of the sheets for ethics, employer form, and the title of your degree that are required by the university.  We are asking all in Module 2 to send a draft of their plan to their adviser by the 5th of December so that discussions and feedback can take place before the end of term, which is the 16th of December this year. Your final submission is due the 9th of January 2012. Advisers will be here but will not give written feedback that first week in January. I will be here to discuss your submission with you that week (not Monday).

There are some who have looked at the inquiry questions they had at the beginning of the semester, and have expanded these and discussed them with colleague on BAPP (Arts) through the blogs and the now ended BAPP Facebook Discussion Groups (if you have read the BAPP Libguide Noticeboard, or received our email, you will know that Facebook took its Discussion feature down so we are suggesting that everyone recall the conversations they had in a descriptive record and capture important interaction from now on through screenshots and start new communications using Facebook groups or on the blogs, through google wikis etc.).

Module 3: You should be starting to send in a draft of your Critical Review (this is a work in progress) and a paragraph describing the ideas around your Professional Inquiry. It is good to discuss the written feedback after I send it back to you about your drafts.

The submission criteria for ALL MODULES is in the Handbook, as are the success criteria that gives you an indication about the quality of the work you plan to submit. I have tried to send out some brief comments about what is up on the blogs or through email correspondence about what I know about your work. Could you please relate this to your assessment and get back to me to discuss your progress on the course and what you might need to do for submission.

Please look at the resources on tutor and peer blogs and on the Libguide under the Modules tabs.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Anna Scher interview on Desert island Discs

I heard a bit of this this morning on desert island discs on Radio 4 - Scher noted that discipline was the first thing she used in theatre training but improvisation was a key skill for young actors. the broadcast is available form the title link.

(BBC, 2011, online)
"Anna Scher
Listen now (45 minutes)
Available to listen.
Last broadcast today, 09:00 on BBC Radio 4.
Kirsty Young's castaway is the drama teacher Anna Scher.

It's more than forty years since she set up her theatre school and it has launched the careers of Kathy Burke, Martin Kemp, Pauline Quirke and Patsy Palmer to name just a few. It started out as a lunchtime drama club - and very quickly grew. Anna Scher says: "There were enormous classes - about seventy in a class - and a lot of those pupils were non-readers and so I fell into improvisation by chance. I found that it was a very effective way of character training."

Producer: Leanne Buckle.

Fri 18 Nov 201109:00BBC Radio 4" (BBC, 2011, online)

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Update on Module 3 drafts to Paula

Module 3 - we have pencilled in the 14th of November for drafts of the Critical Review and ideas for your Artefact - some people may need a later date and can let me know... - meanwhile work on your blogs MOST PEOPLE HAVE SAID THAT THEY WOULD LIKE TO HAVE THE 21ST NOV AS A DEADLINE FOR DRAFTS - THAT IS FINE - SEND ALL THE SECTIONS OF THE TEXT AS ONE PIECE OF WRITING TO ME BY EMAIL AND I WILL SEND YOU DIGITAL FEEDBACK.

WBS3861 Drafts of Chapter 1-3 are due the 24th October - so this week  AND drafts of Chapters 4-6 due the 21st of November - meanwhile work on your blogs (4 are required)

Friday, 11 November 2011

Arts Professional online magazine

I just signed up for a 2 month free trial for Arts Professional - looks interesting for the UK - you can check it out on this link. It has some job information and news etc. - some of which can be accessed and some requires subscription...

Friday, 4 November 2011

Good news about PhD viva

I just wanted to share with everyone that I had my viva (oral examination) yesterday and I have now officially passed my PhD.

The viva meeting was a very positive one. There were two examiners, on ‘internal’ to the University of London and one ‘external’ from a university outside of the University of London (I attended Birkbeck). The examiners have a lot of experience in the field of Higher Education and work based learning and both have a lot of experience in managing vivas for PhD students. The result was for me was that it was more of a discussion than a defense, which was great. My supervisor attended the meeting, but could not say anything during the viva. I still have some corrections to make on the thesis document, but I will hopefully submit that but the end of the year. So a great relief and a lot of celebrating!

FYI before the viva I did look at the information available to prepare for the day, similar to looking at the handbooks for BAPP (Arts), to make sure of what it was I was supposed to be doing.

An example of this is a powerpoint form Birkbeck describing the process and requirements of the viva so click on the link if you are interested. It is always good to go to your own institution for instructions, but other higher education institutions in the UK also have a lot of information that is worth checking out online.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Illustration for BAPP

This was an illustration that Patience did last year for BAPP, it just reminds me of Katharina and Nina's blogs...  I can draw still but it takes me ages to get my head around it...

Dance Organisations and Reports

Mapping Dance

please add to these - I will try to as well...

some of these might also be up on Delicious

The Design Council and other design organisations

Does someone have more organisations that might be helpful to designers - in the UK? In Europe? Who will tell us things (research) about the profession?

Effective Writing (Module 3)

Effective Writing

Hints to improve writing from the workshop that I did with Christine Eastman – Senior Lecturer in Work Based Learning in July 2011. Much of this is from Christine presentations and interaction with the class. The advice for writing relates to both the Critical Review and the Artefact for Module 3.

Many people have had comments on their writing style, Christine put writing excerpts together from well-known literary greats over time to show that reviewing writing style was an essential element to discovering your own style or ‘voice’ One of her main points was that writing for a purpose did not have to be dull and that “good academic writing is alive”.

It is important to combine your own experience in your writing to your discipline (e.g. theatre studies) that enables your to show that you are the expert and shows your wisdom and lived experience. Effective writing is about realising how other literature’s potential  can help you:
·      think critically
·      form persuasive arguments
·      develop writing that is concise
·      explore style and poise

it is important to think critically being informative, concise and with a flow to the language, signposting through words and expressions. In academic argument you ‘argue’ or make points based, not on your opinion, but on evidence from other expert sources. ‘Hedging’ is when you embed caution about your interpretations within the text, referring back to what experts say to develop your arguments using quotes and ‘paraphrases’ (when you use what someone said within your own sentences but with citation).

Learn to identify you key arguments and structure your writing to enable you to write with style. A reference for this is Strunk and White’s  The Elements of Style. Structure your work with a topic sentence that shows the meaning of the paragraph, Key sentences that are short and developed for a certain audience. Finally a concluding sentence that sums up a main idea and leads on to the next paragraph.

Reading out passages aloud helps to identify meaning and helps structure the sentences for meaning and understanding.

It is important to edit your work. Five suggestions for editing are:
·      Does your writing consistently address your topic?
·      Does you opening establish the nature of your response (the first two or three sentences set the scene)?
·      Does you writing disperse your points about an issue rather than forming them into concentrated sustained discussion?
·      Are your quotations and your evidence integrated into the essay?
·      Are your sentences clear?

Writing can appeal to the senses. It can refer to images, sounds, touch, taste, and movement. The choice of vocabulary should address the audience’s need to understand the meaning of what you are writing about. The first paragraph can equate to a ‘thesis statement’ that explains what the entire piece of writing is about. Use specific language to avoid being vague. Explain what your argument is about and bring in counterarguments that you have found in the literature. Your voice should help make the writing distinctive

Paula adds that drafting and editing – fine-tuning – is a process that takes time but helps to shape the wiring and bring out the academic argument you are using based on the literature and the evidence you gather during your inquiry. The Critical Review is more formally structured. The artefact could say some of the same things but use language and style targeted more at your professional audience.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Exemptions for Performing Arts Schools

This is an article (link by scrolling on the title) from the Guardian about performing arts school and the new admissions requirements fro government policy.

Is this the sector you are working in? Could it mean sustaining jobs in the sector?

Friday, 28 October 2011

Risky Business report about UK Creative Industries

This can be downloaded for free - Middlesex is now a member of the Culture Capital exchange and I a following their newsletters.

'Inquiring' into how teachers teach

An interesting site about evaluating teaching form the Carnegie Institute. It is about 'how' to research teaching evaluations....

Joanna Cannon - What Teachers Would Find Useful

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Meeting at Chickenshed Theatre

I will be at the Chickenshed Theatre tomorrow 26th October from 3-6pm to talk to Module 1, Module 2 and Module 3 (or 3861).

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Do you want to do well on the BA (Hons) degree

This is a question that is timely to ask in the fifth week of classes.

Minimal or sporadic engagement is listed in the success criteria in the failure category, so I am a bit surprised when people ask me at this point: What am I supposed to do? If you have any questions about what you are supposed to do, you need to contact your academic adviser and monitor their blog BUT you should also refer to your Module Handbooks and Readers up on the BAPP Libguide.

Using the social media to communicate and engage in your studies is a big part of this final year of your degree.

Please schedule in the time - look at the success criteria in your Module Handbook: Are you doing well?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, 24 October 2011

Interview with Tim Webb, Artistic Director of Oily Cart

"Diana Damian talks to Tim Webb, Artistic Director of Oily Cart, about his company and its work for children with profound and multiple learning disabilities."

Women's careers

Emily has been talking about professional realities and professionalism - reflection is a way of looking at what we do in a neutral way to find out how we can make changes.


I have mentioned this to those at the Campus Sessions, but generally my 'distance' office hours will be Monday and Friday as these are the days I can be in front of my computer all day - however I will generally be on the Trent Park office Tue, Wed and Thurs for face-to-face sessions. This week I am going 'off-site' to see a third year student and take some training in Hendon 3-5 pm. Please make an appointment to ensure a time with me - it is very important for those in Module 3.

Please email, phone and skype me to get in touch - IT IS THE FIFTH WEEK of the 12 weeks - you should look at the coursework and get your materials up-to-date. As the assessment is based on engagement - this is very important.  I will be doing more posts about good examples that I am seeing as I scan the blogs. I do not always leave comments as I would like to give others a chance to get into interesting discussions - these are good to follow.

Module 1 - you have tasks that are given timings in terms of weeks. I can look at a draft of the final critical reflection and Part 3 (for those who need to do it) in late November or early December (28th Nov or the 5th Dec) - meanwhile please work on your blogs

Module 2 - you have tasks that are given timings in terms of weeks - I can look at you draft plans to fit in with this modules scheduling - sometime in late November or early December (28th Nov or the 5th Dec) - meanwhile work on your blogs

Module 3 - we have pencilled in the 14th of November for drafts of the Critical Review and ideas for your Artefact - some people may need a later date and can let me know... - meanwhile work on your blogs MOST PEOPLE HAVE SAID THAT THEY WOULD LIKE TO HAVE THE 21ST NOV AS A DEADLINE FOR DRAFTS - THAT IS FINE - SEND ALL THE SECTIONS OF THE TEXT AS ONE PIECE OF WRITING TO ME BY EMAIL AND I WILL SEND YOU DIGITAL FEEDBACK .

WBS3861 Drafts of Chapter 1-3 are due the 24th October - so this week  AND drafts of Chapters 4-6 due the 21st of November - meanwhile work on your blogs (4 are required)

New Middlesex Student Union Radio MUD in November

There is a link from this website - MUD Radio which should be starting in November - there is now an automatic playlist.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Advice for reviewing literature for Module 3

We covered searching literature previously - please refer to my blog from the last module as a refresher at this link that suggests a strategy for looking and a slideshare on the topic is also at the bottom of the blog.

Also Look in the Reader 7 for advice on the literature review - this means reviewing the literature like you did in the last module.

As described to Natalie in a recent email:

Basically this section/component of the Critical Review is you looking at all of the sources you used to guide or inform you and the links your ideas have with regional, national and even international expertise from professional and academic sources - they should help you analyse the conversations you have had (interviews) with participants and other things you have learned (like your presenting course).

So they all go together in one sections to say - this is what others have said about my topic - and then you compare you 'findings' to this section of your Critical Review.

They can say that there is a debate going on about your topic? You could tell your audience about this and say whether it has influenced you...they could say something that you do not agree with now that you have gathered evidence. They may have helped you (you mentioned you had a very good biography/narrative source) to ask the right questions about your topic. They also help define your terms within the text so that they will be clear.

Your analysis of this knowledge and understanding and using this for your critical thinking is important at Level 6. Usually in a dissertation on a conventional course some sources are given as the experts - in this course you are taught to examine topics of your own choosing so you are also given the framework to carry out your own search of the literature to determine what is relevant. It is a skill to make these decisions. Any time you need to find out something in future - the same basic format can be used.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Module 3 Blogging and questions to review for an adviser update

Blogging is important because it lets you get feedback from your peers. You might work in the SIGs or you might get feedback from anyone on the course. You can use the blogs to see how others have solved certain issues or explored certain topics. Challenge yourself by seeing what peers at your workplace think of your ideas.

Advisers can help if you let them know where you are in the process. They are trying to challenge your work in order that you develop ideas that stretch you and evidence your acquisition of knowledge from the process.

Relate where you are now with your original plan from Module 2 - have some things changed? how and why?

Updated information that can be discussed if you have not already:
what is your title?
what are your inquiry questions and topic?
have there been any ethical issues?
what have you done for your literature review
what have you done to gather data?
who have you seen or observed or surveyed - how, when, where, why?
how are you planning to analyse your data for your findings?

Writing this information down, the act of writing the text helps structure your thoughts and let's you see what you need to do. It is also a way of starting the process of drafting the critical review and give you ideas for your professional artefact.

Module 1 a piece that links Part 1 Web 2.0 and Part 2 Reflection?

I was not sure about putting this article forward as it was in a unconventional source that I came across, but I think Tim Berners-Lee talking about his reflections on the world wide web actually makes sense as we segway to this part of the module. He obviously has a social conscience about the phenomenon he created.

I will add to this any other professional sources that I find that might add to these updates about his hopes for the use of Web 2.0.

All the citation is included - please use this link to the Berners-Lee article.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Any requests for Campus Session 2 for Module 3?

Hey folks - I am still thinking through from questions people asked at the last Campus Session and from emails etc. At the next Campus Session we will look at the critical review format - we think that the journey of discovery is vital for the inquiries. Adesola will be discussing and presenting on Professional Artefacts - fantastic - I am looking forward to that.

Does anyone have any questions or issues that you would like covered?  Any requests??? Please leave a comment and we will incorporate it into the session.

At the last session we discussed having individual advisers set a date for drafts on the review (my group discussed 4th Nov but that is not set in stone) but more importantly lots of people are still now carrying out activities from their plans - so keep up the good work. It is a busy time but the clarity should come as you explain what you have done to others. You can try this out on the blogs (anonymise as needed).

KEEP blogging everyone... It is the third week...

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Blurb books

Blurb is a commercial site that produces books form digital sources.

The British Library Business & IP Centre

I have been to several events with this - good standard.

Graphic Design Lectures

Some lectures have been advertised about graphic design - Ken Friedman has said about them. CLICK the title of this blog to go to the lectures. they may take a while to load... interesting about the copyright issues presented below - advise for those planning online...

Below is what he sent out about them...


Dear Colleagues,

Over the past year, we have been holding our Design Perspectives Lectures on a regular basis. We've documented these on audio and video. When we first announced these, we had requests to make these accessible online, and we committed ourselves to making the lectures available via the web. We are happy to announce that you can now access these lectures via the Swinburne Design web site...

Eight lectures are now available online.

Nigel Cross - Creative Thinking in Design
Nigel Cross - Understanding Design Thinking
Wendy Wong - Chinese Graphic Design History in Greater China SInce 1979
Keith Russell - Chocolate Bread, Sacred Rice: Continental Ways of Looking at Things 
Judith Gregory - Activity Theory as a "Trading Zone" for Design Research and Practice
Kalevi Ekman - The Story Behind Aalto University's Design Factory
Jacob Buur - User Centred Design
Pi'ikea Clark - Expanding Design Education through Indigenous Design

More lectures will be added as we complete the preparations.

In some cases, we only have audio. I regret this, but our legal department informs us that we can't broadcast or publish some images without copyright clearance from the original copyright holder. An image that may be used for an education lecture in a single classroom or lecture hall falls within fair use provisions of the copyright act, while making it accessible online falls under those aspects of copyright law governing broadcasting and publishing. When possible, we now ask lecturers to use images for which they have permission, but the requirements of topic and theme determine the choice of images. At any rate, we make as much available as we can do. We hope eventually to make the lectures available in written form.

Please visit our web site to enjoy the lectures -- five audio, two video, one in both audio and video....

Best regards,


Friday, 7 October 2011

Module 1 3730 Advice for those who have not started...

Go to the BAPP Libguide and go to the Induction tab and go to 'How to get started' that is posted as a pdf on the right of the page. Read this handout. Start a google account and start a Google blog.

Go to the Module 1 tab on theBAPP Libguide. Read the Module 1 Handbook. The Module Handbook is presented in three parts. For each part , there is a Reader that gives you excerpts to read.  Part 1 = Reader 1, Part 2 = Reader 2 and  Part 3 = Reader 3. The Readers help with aligning the theories that we suggest you look at and apply to your own professional practice. The tasks in the Handbook mainly go up on your blog.

Get in touch with me by phone or skype for further help. This contact information is on the Libguide and the academic adviser email I sent you.

I have put up the YouTube summaries form the 3 groups form the first Campus Session Alan led on the 4th October 2011. The agenda from that session is up on the BAPP Libguides under Module Campus Sessions (added 8/10/11).

The key features of project management

Many elements of your inquiry require you to manage a process. 

Here are some helpful hints from a simple but straightforward source with a few notes added into the text. Everyone is encouraged to find your own sources for the processes and products that make up your inquiry work in your final module.

Key features of project management - focus on priorities, track performance, overcome difficulties, and adapt to change (flexible and responsive approach); may be time consuming initially, but in the long term planning will save time, effort, and reduce the risk of failure.
Defined start and end - start up and close down stages.
Organised plan - planned methodical approach is used to meet project objectives.
Good planning ensures a project is completed on time and within budget  - having delivered the expected results. An effective plan provides a template that guides the project and details the work that needs to be done.
Separate Resources - allocated time, people, and money - working within agreed resources is vital to successfully completing the project.
Teamwork - project team [employer, colleagues, professional networks, community of practice] – this might also mean Gatekeepers and your Academic Advisor.
Established Goals - bring results in terms of quality and/or performance. Project may result in a new way of working, or create something that did not previously exist.

Bruce and Langdon (2000) Project Management Essential Managers, London: Doring Kindersley

Steve Jobs and Apple Macintosh computers

Steve Jobs just passed away - he was the inventor of the Apple Macintosh computer and innovations such as the iphone. The Guardian website has put together a number of sites to speak to his importance in today's world of technology.

I remember a time when these were first on the scene. I was doing three part-time jobs: one as an art teacher at an independent high school, one at the university teaching drawing, and one as an assistant at Richmond Printmaking (a non-profit or not for profit art studio). It was at the arts studio that I was first introduced to the first black and white version of the apple computer in 1987. At that time the computers were really word processers as there was no Web much less Web2.0. 

Apples led the way in intuitive thinking about this new technology. Many creatives and designers still use apple macs today because of the capacity they have with working with the creative mind. In Britain, the apple macs were often the computer of choice for universities putting in this new way of working for the students in the design industries. 

Where would I be without the ipod and the iphone to accompany by iMac? I would be very lonely and most likely unemployed.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

1st Campus Session for Module 3 5/10/11

The 1st Campus Session for Module 3 went very well - everyone who is my advisee - it is time to contact me with an update and discussion if you have not contacted me.... Please see the PowerPoint slideshare that speaks to what we did...

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

A Theatre blog's advice about arts management books

What is a WIKI?

What is a WIKI?

Simply put a wiki is just a shared document. Sharing a document can take many forms. In the workplace often several people add to a draft. Someone starts a document about something, a topic such as a Special Interest Group might be discussing. In this case, a WIKI is more of a discussion document. It can take a formal structure, or be more of a collection of words or pictures for a first draft that is later formalised by one or two authors. Generally, all the authors of the work would be acknowledged. People can work in different colours, or simply in the early stages put there initials at the end of sections.

A google wiki is very easy to make, it lives on googedocs, so is in a virtual space. The document can be closed or made public. The convenience of a public wiki is that you will not to give people ‘permission’ to work on the wiki.  The wiki can then put linked to a blog so that there is instant access…
Working with authors on a shared document takes the same sort of skills that commenting on blogs takes, and perhaps too many authors might be hard to then evolve into a later cohesive document. But it is also a going way to put up sections of writing that can then be responded to , more like a continuous chat.

For those working at a distance, you can add to this system through the use of skype chats for discussion on particuarly thrilling or tricky bits.
So try a google wiki in its various forms:
  • ·      A discussion document
  • ·      A continuous chat about particular issues
  • ·      A formal document you have shared with a few authors 
There is mention of wikis in the Reader 1 - how do your wikis compare to this theory? 

A brief and incomplete personal introduction to Mike Leigh’s work.

A brief and incomplete personal introduction to Mike Leigh’s work.

I saw Mike Leigh give a talk when one of his earlier films was being showcased as a part of the Surrey Institute film programme. ‘Naked’ was a very hard-hitting film, one that involved a rape scene, so the viewing public needed to be made of stern stuff. Luckily many of the audience members came were film connoisseurs and were keen fans of the director.  It made it clear that Leigh is not one to flinch from portraying some of the more gritty aspects of life on film.
Leigh is one of England’s own, and his style of work is quite distinct. Trained as an actor (British Council), 2011), his refinement of the process of writing plays and developing scripts is distinct. I understand that often there is no final script at the beginning of the process, but the development of the script or screenplay is shared with the actors (both men and women) so that their own research on the characters create realistically derived scenes where the dialogue in uncannily true to life because the characters are ‘themselves’. While in production, the actors are not allowed to discuss the project as it s still being formed. Having watched a number of the films now, and at least one  of the plays, the ultimately keep your interest because they are not formulaic in the ‘hollywood’ sense, although Leigh’s fascination with the mundane and dark side of life has been a repeated theme for his own work. Risky business for the film industry, but Mike Leigh’s career is a long and successful one in Britiain (BFI, 2011).

British Council (2011 online) Available from
[Accessed 4/10/11]

British Film Institute (BFI) (2011 online) Available from [Accessed 4/10/11]

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Getting started again on studies

Academic advisees and everyone

The surf is up for the new year, and we are all running to ride the waves. I think I need to get my board first and my wetsuit if this is england. It might be worth checking the when the tide is... oh no I missed the wave - typical. Well, that is what experience is about. I will catch the next one and be prepared for it.

I have now sent out to everyone on my list a welcome email and I hope that it makes some degree of sense. This week is the time to read everything through if you have not already, and connect back with me at whatever stage you are in the process. We had a number of late applicants who are still being processed and we have people trying to complete their final inquiry or project, so there is a range.

Remember to put links to blogs on your Google Reader as it helps following those that are unread. Also - check to see if you have ticked the box to allow public comments...

I will try to catch up with everyone who sends me updates by the end of the week - I need to do some planning for the first campus session of 3760 (Module 3).

Several people have blogged about induction , i.e. Michelle Yarwood, and Liam is already of the tasks so he is a bit ahead. We have a number of people who are not based in the UK right now. i.e. Victoria Ellingham is in Canada.

From the continuing folks: Amal I just saw your blogs up, Amal is in the Sept 2009 blogs, Emma Balaam is posting about her inquiry as is Mark Iles and others.

Glad to have almost everyone back - the Web2.0 fun comes from the collective.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Grief at the National

Grief at the National.... I have not been to this yet but Mike Leigh's process is an interesting one and well knownin British film and theatre.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Welcome back everyone

Right - we are back in the office - I passed in my thesis in August! and 2 individuals in my household are going to university this semester.

We are working on the enrolment procedures and will put all the information up on BAPP Libguide.

More later...

Sunday, 24 July 2011

2nd Writing Class July 25 2011

Looking forward to seeing what is in store Monday night... Here is some information that I had in earlier blogs about academic writing

Also - if you have not already - check out the level descriptors that MDX use for assessment.

Here is a definition I really like... 
The idea of being 'critical' is also to talk about what things mean. You might even add an argument. "The word argument in higher education means a proposition or propositions (or conclusion/s) combined with a reason or reasons. A proposition is a statement, a way of thinking, or an idea that you believe to be true. It is also a way of persuading a reader of your views" (Institute of Education, 2008).

Structure in writing is important, because formal structure (sentences and paragraphs) allow you to say what you mean in a way that communicates well. My rule of thumb 'american style' is the classic essay form of an introductory sentence, key points, and a concluding sentence... so at least three to five sentences in the paragraph (you may have more). 

Critical thinking is process that is used to think about topics and issues.

Glaser (influenced by Dewey) said “Critical thinking calls for a persistent effort to examine any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the evidence that supports it and the further conclusions to which it tends” (extract from Fisher 2001).

“Critical thinking is reasonable, reflective thinking that is focused on deciding what to believe or do” (Norris and Ennis, 1989,extracts from Fisher 2001).

Stella Cottrell (The Study Skills Handbook 3rd ed., 1999) says that Glaser emphasises 3 main points about critical thinking: 1. persistence 2. evidence 3. implications

You use critical reasoning to:

• Identify elements of a reasoned case
• Identify and evaluate assumptions
• Clarify and interpret expressions and ideas
• Judge the acceptability and credibility of the claims
• Evaluate the arguments of different kinds
• Analyse, evaluate and produce explanations
• Analyse, evaluate and make decisions
• Draw inferences
• Produce arguments (Fisher 2001)

Cottrell also suggests applying analytical thinking - being able to do things like
• “ looking for possible flaws in the reasoning of evidence, or the way in which the conclusions were drawn”
• “comparing the same issue from the point of view of other theorists or writers” and “checking for hidden assumptions” (Cottrell 1999).

These ideas are linked to what I call critical curiosity, your ability to want to know about something using a framework that is wider than what you already know…(Nottingham, 2009). This means extending your knowledge and understanding to learning that includes sources that go beyond the self to peers, professional networks and academic-related literature.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Writing Class Wiki 1

Please add to the writing wiki about a writing style that you like... Just click on the link that is embedded in the title. It is a public wiki.

Please leave a comment on the blog to say how you are getting on with the writing outside of the workshops.

Also add a comment on this blog if you are having any problems accessing the wiki or contact Paula on

Good luck with the writing.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Where has the time gone?

Apologies for not posting - we have been looking at all the hard work people have been doing and it has been rather intense for the past few weeks.

I saw this blog about a primary school dancing in the am - so it was a bit of a wake up call if you don't mind the pun.

Boards are coming up to finalise marking process, so I will be posting things on the BAPP site soon about when to expect marks, ethical approval, and the next module up.

My thesis work is going into overdrive as I too am trying to complete in before the summer terms ends.


Monday, 16 May 2011

Oral Presentations 19th May 2011

I previously did  blog in January about presentations.

We have done 20 minutes slots to allow for a flow and transition time between presentations, However the presentation is 5-10 minutes. Try to highlight to major things yo want people to go away with for your project. We will try to have read all of the projects by then, so tutors might ask about something more specific.

Please get in touch with you adviser this week if you have any questions.  I am at home reading projects and inquiry plans - so contact me on my mobile, email or skype.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Have you put references at the end of your plan in 3835

this might be a good idea
You will find information about Harvard referencing in your Programme Handbook - it is up on BAPP Libguides...

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Hyperlinks on in documents

I like to keep up with the news - in word documents you go into INSERT and the HYPERLINK to add hyperlinks to your text.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Task 6c WBS 3835 SIG Wik

Task 6c WBS 3835 SIG Wiki far 26/4/11 Paula Nottingham, Rosemary McGuinness, Ross Dunning, Emma Balamm, Cerys Dixie, Natalie Less, Mark Iles

Link  here

Saturday, 23 April 2011

3835 Online Portfolio

From the several online portfolio summaries I have seen - this device (equal to a one page blog entry) successfully summarises the work done on the tasks and the blogs in general. The samples I have seen really work to bring the term's work together in one summary. I would suggest perhaps to try to do more than just signpost to the blogs, although that is important., to add some critical commentary within this summary.

The idea of being 'critical' is also to talk about what things mean. You might even add an argument. "The word argument in higher education means a proposition or propositions (or conclusion/s) combined with a reason or reasons. A proposition is a statement, a way of thinking, or an idea that you believe to be true. It is also a way of persuading a reader of your views" (Institute of Education, 2008).

From the examples I have seen, adding a few more critical statements would help to show the reader why you think the way you do.

Why was the code of practice important? Why did it help you with your research ethical procedures?

How did the Facebook or Blog peer SIG interaction convince you about your topic?

What part of the planning have you found most difficult? Why?

I am always surprised at how little my first drafts of things do this! I always need to have several drafts and then leave some time for thinking about things. I don't always do this thinking consciously but let the ideas come to fruition as I do other things... then sometimes the solutions or rationalisations just pop up in you mind. I am trying to do the same with my writing which has an overabundance of repetition and muddled ideas - it is the process of writing for meaning.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Don't forget the Wiki for 3835 References

Ross - thanks for adding to this - more please. 

3002 questions use of I and referencing a source in a sentence

A couple of questions that I have responded to...

1. Can you can use the I in the critical review (?) which is a bit of more formal writing and 2. Asking about how to reference a source within a sentence. 

1.Yes you can use I (as opposed to the third person - one), but as you explain thinking processes and experience it is good not to 'overuse' I as you talk to the Reader. Your academic adviser will most likely review your draft and can be more explicit within your writing.

2. Usually sources from your literature or web sources are referred to using the author's last name e.g. Nottingham said... And then in brackets the year (2011) like other Harvard sources. If you are talking about someone from the BAPP group within your commentary, first names should be fine. Whenyou have siad to someone that you going to anonymise- you use a psuedonym, their role e.g. he Director said, or Dancer A, Dancer B.