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  • David Barnett 4:58 pm on September 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    TDP UKPSF framework mapping 2 (end of project) 

    Here is the link to my second attempt at mapping the project to the UK PSF – this time at the end of the project

  • David Barnett 5:44 pm on September 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Nick Healy comments on my tdp sent 26/9 

    Hi David,

    I’ve looked at your report and summary video and they both read well for me.

    Anyway, your piece is well referenced which is a requirement but did your intervention have a negative or positive outcome? – I could have missed it, mine for example was neutral – no noticeable effect.

    I did not realise your students made so many films as primary content I had thought
    they were mostly wordsmiths.

    Ed Webb Ingall runs a lot of those theatrical game playing workshops for Fine Art in the South London Gallery – quite lively, perhaps we should visit them with your students one day.

    >> Thanks Nick, yes you didn’t miss it the actual full-size session will be in a few weeks time but this tdp covered the development of a lesson plan which included prototyping feedback and direct student planning as well as my own. The only way I could run this at full scale was to wait so I decided to ask a couple of students to help me hone it down in one session and then in the next (afterwards) we took the class between us in order to troubleshoot it for later use. So there was an outcome of sorts although not the classic model I agree. I was a victim of my own energies on this project – I had a two projects this summer and the diversity tdp was better timed for me and I was able to contact a good spread of students for feedback on that one leaving me less time and available students – ah well its the ideas and the teaching development ideas ive found the most useful. I now have two lesson plans I can use this term!

    Yes know Ed and did have a chat or two with him on this earlier on and yes be share a love of trying to bring physical theatre into the classroom.


  • David Barnett 10:05 pm on June 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    reflective summary: Inclusive Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Participation 

    I found these posts to be a useful opportunity to focus on areas which were covered well in the class sessions and Ive enjoyed the engagement. However there there has been a shift in my perception of Inclusive Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Participation since starting this unit. I had always taken the reflexive approach to inclusivity, diversity and disability and this has got me so far. My approach to some approaches like rich learning materials online and centralising and tailoring these resources related to the courses I teach on seems to have been validated. Also applying technical workshop teaching alongside the academic curriculum has worked well for deep learning rather than technical teaching as an extra unrelated undertaking seems to be a good strategy. Both of these examples are related to dislexia support and this remains a key issue for my area of teaching so in this sense I felt I was moving in the correct direction.

    However I work on a course with very few BME and WP students and only one who I understand has a hidden disability, I had thought that the lack of the overt presence of some of these protected areas were the job of recruiters and college marketing but my reflexive approach now seems a little underdeveloped and myopic. I had perhaps thought that nobody could teach a course so rounded that it spanned the entire spectrum of these issues and that trying to would be of no use to my particular cohort.

    So whats changed? Well after a engagement with the subject area and an examination of my own approaches I think it was also a comment I made on a post by Daisy that turned the key. Without going to deep here it was the realisation that as educators we can tend to problematise those who have different needs. The comment was about institutional racism and white economic and cultural power and that it was the responsibility of the white majority to deal with this issue and that the root of the issue was actually a white problem and not the problem with people affected by these attitudes. If we also take this as a template for areas of disability or economic or cultural disadvantage then its our responsibility to wherever we can to make our academic approach more outward facing and inclusive and project this message as much as is practically possible. It is not the responsibility of students representing ‘minority issues’ to be the champions of this change – we need to do this in advance and build an inclusive practice that all can learn through and be catered for.

    In terms of our tutor group Ive found Thomas Elliot and I have had more and richer exchanges because our teaching areas are somewhat related, with Daisy i’ve had more contact in person talking through her ideas of change in her new working environment and sharing and comparing best practice we have seen and would like to bring in. Reading Annas blog again earlier I think she has an honest approach to her development and wants to extend her practice in this area and has a pragmatic approach to how to do this which I think is a healthy approach – we cant perhaps instantly change to meet all the needs we need to but we have started here a process of ongoing change.

    • vaping 10:18 am on August 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      What’s up i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anyplace, when i read this paragraph i thought i could also make comment due to this brilliant post.

  • David Barnett 8:11 am on May 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Inclusive Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Participation in activities Disability. Task Three. 

    Inclusive Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Participation in activities
    Disability. Task Three.

    Universal Design for Instruction

    The first part of this months task was to read..

    McGuire, J (2013) Is universal design any of my business? AHEAD Conference, Dublin March 2013
    Read Page 10 -13

    I was nearly finished reading when I realised the extended list of methods was confusing me and my retention had stopped, like most people I would assume, the process of ‘chunking’ our brains go through to make sense of bits of text to comprehend sections of information and try to break them down into meaning had become over-stretched. We are taught to scan these texts rather than read them as we would a book or a story. So I turned to the search engine for an alternative method of comprehension and context for this term UDI – Universal Design for Instruction. As it turned out this approach was highly appropriate to the subject and I found my more rounded experience by watching an 18 minute film over at the University of Washington’s DO-IT home and by the end of the film I had comprehended in much greater depth than the initial text had allowed. Not surprising as i’m a graphic designer so give me pictures and words together and deep learning results for me much quicker.

    In my searching I quickly realised that this UDI area has been a hot topic for quite some time and all the major university’s had posted guides to it and based teaching on it – these 9 steps from Principles of Universal Design for Instruction, by S. S. Scott, J.M. McGuire, & S.F. Shaw. are a common way to go about the challenge of meeting the diverse teaching methods that different students need to understand any given subject which is the starting point for UDI. Here they are from Castleton College (Vermont – USA) guide for example..
    (I have made red the thrust of each point for clarity)

    Principle Definition

    1. Equitable use Instruction is designed to be useful to and accessible by people with diverse abilities. Provide the same means of use for all students; identical whenever possible, equivalent when not.

    2. Flexibility in use Instruction is designed to accommodate a wide range of individual abilities. Provide choice in methods of use.

    3. Simple and intuitive Instruction is designed in a straightforward and predictable manner, regardless of the student’s experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level. Eliminate unnecessary complexity

    4. Perceptible information Instruction is designed so that necessary information is communicated effectively to the student, regardless of ambient conditions or the student’s sensory abilities.

    5. Tolerance for error Instruction anticipates variation in individual student learning pace and prerequisite skills.

    6. Low physical effort Instruction is designed to minimize nonessential physical effort in order to allow maximum attention to learning.Note: This principle does not apply when physical effort is integral to essential requirements of a course.

    7. Size and space for approach and use Instruction is designed with consideration for appropriate size and space for approach, reach, manipulations, and use regardless of a student’s body size, posture, mobility, and communication needs.

    8. A community of learners The instructional environment promotes interaction and communication among students and between students and faculty.

    9. Instructional climate Instruction is designed to be welcoming and inclusive. High expectations are espoused for all students.
    There are a number of ways to implement diversity and while these 9 provide a guide the challenge is to find as much of these as possible for our own practice. Take the Washington movie mentioned earlier – its available as text, audio description, a movie, subtitles and even in a chaptered format that can be skipped from point to point and a variety of digital deliveries. See here in the youtube version how the audio description takes someone without sight through the film..

    I think this well illustrates the challenges of this approach to diverse teaching – just how many ways would we have to slice and dice our teaching in order to meet all these outcomes?

    I teach a technical area of design and for the most part that means demonstrating software and design process and then helping those who are carrying it out in practice. For me I have two major issues with my teaching and materials,

    1. The first is in designing the context for learning – if I am to teach a piece of software and there is no academic task linked to my teaching there must at least be a project task that I can set them in order for them to practice what I am teaching. Its a little like learning everything about say, washing machines, inside and out in a classroom setting and then a year later you see one for the first time and you might have forgotten nearly everything. I plan this with the academic team in advance so my input is not wasted on teaching non-relavant practise out of time with their needs.

    When dealing with software such as Adobe Photoshop there must be a connection with what the students are using it for and in that context I teach software for its explicit use rather than teach everything the package can do in case they ever need to know it. I do this by listing typical use cases for myself that (in this case) graphic designers would need the package for and work out workflows based on their likely needs and teach these first before covering more comprehensive elements if there’s time.

    2. Teaching notes. The Lecture format can be a boring one if over-extended as people get physically tired although sometimes information has to be related that is just too difficult to ask students to read  because they would have to cover so much more material while in a classroom you can make these connections for them and they can have this physical memory timeline and their own notes to latch on to later. While we all like to expound on a subject and enthuse, the minute the students leave they are going to be on their own with perhaps the backup of and the internet and the notes they made in your session be a lecture format or a workshop scenario. For my practice this is where teaching notes come in. Everything I teach I put into a notes system that supports internet links and text  – these notes I use to teach from and can change quickly to fit the needs of any class – I can copy and paste parts of these notes and their links in a modular way to fit different types and length of class. I also have these in the cloud so while teaching I can cross reference between subjects if needed mid-stream and have these available on my phone, ipad and computer so I can use either one as a script for teaching while using the digital projection at the same time for showing my materials. All of these I archive in one place and the students know the URL and its mentioned at the start of the class so they can follow along if needed. I’m just re designing the site at the moment but heres a a couple of images to show how the students access the materials after the sessions..

    Screen Shot 2013-05-31 at 08.44.03


    Screen Shot 2013-05-31 at 08.53.15


    I also make my own small instructional movies showing how to perform various software tasks..

    Screen Shot 2013-05-31 at 08.53.38


    ..i’ll post the latest URL for the site after the end of year shows in june when I’ve finished renovating..

    This approach to making relavent materials for the students and then clustering them in one place online gives them access to my teaching and notes after the session but also a place to go back to in subsequent years – I even have alumni who ask me for it because they’ve forgotten things.

    I also often send my notes for each session as a pdf format with clickable links and films I have made directly after the sessions.

    Many of my designer students seem to respond to this approach of mixed media and because of the subject area are all computer literate and own laptops or have access to these formats. Dyslexia is common amongst the design community and this approach seems to fit well (and was asked for in previous feedback) and while I fall short of designing all my handouts and websites strictly adhering to the colour schemes suggested by our Dyslexia awareness training I dont ‘over design’ resources or use reversed out text too often and because they are viewed online they can be enlarged quickly and translated where needed.

    • Thomas Rodney Elliott 4:42 pm on June 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Hello David
      I found this post incredibly interesting.

      I sometimes teach the Adobe programs on some fashion courses. I thought your comment on how the instruction in the use of programs needed to be in ‘connection with what the students are using it for and in that context I teach software for its explicit use rather than teach everything the package can do in case they ever need to know it’ is something that I whole-heartedly agree with.

      In the earlier years of my teaching career I was often being asked to teach ‘Photoshop’ with no further instruction, I was never informed as to how the students on that specific course (as I teach across a wide number) would need to directly apply it and whilst it was easy enough to create a two hour session that would keep them engaged on a surface level, when I would encounter the group again the following year I would soon realise that nothing that I had taught had been deeply embedded. Now I make sure that I have an understanding of both would the course learning outcome may be and also how what I teach fits within the timings for specific projects.

      I think the content rich approach you have taken to teaching is something that I am definitely planning to take into account when planning my lesions, as you seem to have utilised a range of approaches that would be useful for a range of learners and abilities.

      • David Barnett 8:30 am on June 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        thanks, like you I have been teaching a while and was also asked to teach photoshop as an entity with no correlation to needs or project work. I ended up at the time teaching it for a full term (2 hour sessions) and by the end was still finding extra features but also started experimenting with having the class draw each other with mice and graphics tablets as a life class with all the tables turned it and finding ways to build in mini projects that made sense to the fashion skills of the students – it gave me room to experiment. These days I make a sheet of things I think students will most need so for the first year I might setup a one day project with a studio and shooting task and teach it that way where in a third year class they would just need the pinpointed issues and the links to follow later – here’s a random example and this will be revamped and added to for each next time I do it so these are organic developing sets of notes and prompts for me to show more on the screen.

        Notes from today’s stage 3 (2 nov 12) session updated ragarding compositing related issues for mocking up objects like books or creating photocomps for visualisation.

        Notes from today’s session updated ragarding compositing related issues for mocking up objects like books or creating photocomps for visualisation.

        1. what’s the image being created for?
        a. Does it need to have text over the image to allow for?
        b. Does it need extra space around the outside (if its an object photographed in a studio) so you have the latitude to play with it in indesign?… Will you have to increase the canvas size in Photoshop and clone in some extra backroll or create a graduated tone outside the objects by using a soft masked selection area over the object and to do this or will you just pull back slightly in –camera to include some extra backdrop?
        (these issues arise when using a d&ad gdc template for example – at this point went through lots of examples and tips for things to avoid and attempt when comping images for gdc projects.)
        These included compositing glass reflections over the top of shop windows and matching saturation levels between two files being joined in pshop for the first time.

        2. Shoot in RAW where possible and import using Adobe bridge or Apple’s Aperture or Adobe‘s Lightroom
        a. These last two will also talk to most modern cameras – not to take over control like Canon’s eos utilities but to act as a tether so when images are shot they travel straight to your image editor.
        b. here’s a list of Apertures supported Cameras…
        …tethered aperture shooting
        c. Rankin and many pro photographers use this software..
        it acts in a similar way to aperture but also allows immediate transfer to ipads for preview and control of the light themselves remotely.
        d. Save in tiff or psd format (not jpg)
        e. If possible shoot all still and moving footage with the same lighting during the same setup, hd stills may not be print ready at anything much over A4 size. Until we get a 4k RED camera to do it all – shoot both at the same time or soon after.

        3. Colour balance your images..
        a. either balance on entry via the raw bridge importer in >cs5.5, or for destructive changes use in photoshop go to image/adjustments and use levels or curves to adjust the tone.
        b. For non-destructive layer based colour changes click below the layer menu on the create adjustment round black and white circle – these can be double clicked and changed later or use the adjustments panel.

        c. Watch out for hot colours on the very saturated matte printing process we use here in the college. Bright colours will pop even more in print and will unbalance your image or tonal variance may be limited if you don’t reduce high colour saturations. RGB screen based outputs are not affected.
        To change sauration leveles in an image go to image/adjustments/hue & saturation.

        d. If you are outputting to cmyk then balance in rgb, convert to cmyk and rebalance slightly again rather than converting and hoping for the best.

        e. for comparable colour online for use in blogs like cargo then go through the photoshop exporter (save for web and devices) make sure you choose srgb and tick the include colour profile option – use jpeg or you can also use png.

        f. when using colour balancing options in image/adjustments, use the edit/fade option afterwards to make fine post adjustments between the last step you made, using the slider to undo.

        4. Steal a grade from a pro..
        Find an image from a magazine where you like the way they have coloured the image – take a quick phone picture of it or find online and open in pshop. Have your own full quality image open also and go to image/adjust/match colour.. here you can use your fashion pic as the source and it will use the colour values and spread them over you image. Now adjust until happy.

        5. Using photos as a starting point for imagemaking;
        you can use blank books, low res web images with strong lines of perspective which you can use as an underpinning and delete later, sketchup files can be made (sketchup has a web library of thousands of common objects which photoshop doesn’t have) or use a 3d programme like cinema 4d to produce a starting point. You can use illustrator and photoshop for 3d but the results will be basic in terms of modelling…

        6. Using HDR
        a. High Dynamic Range can be a good way to make composite photographs from 3 or more photos taken with different camera settings some darker and some lighter, some correct. For example where a room has bright and dull areas all in the same shot or bright light sources change make it hard to balance the shots. There are three different ways to shoot these images either by varying shutter speeds, or exposing 2 stops above and below normal or by using the bracketing functions on some cameras which will do this for you. Open 3 or more raw images in Bridge and use pshop/tools/merge to hdr, now click on remove ghosts and adjust the image in 5.5 to bring out shadows etc. (also in cs4 under automate)

        tutorial for this:
        source file to try with..
        b. you can also do this by hand in photoshop by bringing the images in on different layers and using the eraser tool with a % opacity on each layer to make areas reveal themselves as desired’

        8. Photo-retouching tips..
        a. smooth skin healing and median:
        image is: (2 pages)

        b. in 5.5 a new tool (from AE) edit: puppet warp – drop pins then move them to warp images

        c. zoom in (cmd+) and then use the space bar and mouse to look for blemishes or dust and scratches and marks to correct. Using the clone stamp tool (alt click to select a source area) and paste over from nearby areas but use 50-70% opacity on the brush so that layers can be built up. This option helps where content aware tools can look a little mechanical.
        d. patching and filling is now content aware.
        In 5.5 the spot healing brush now has content aware and so does the edit/fill tool after a selection is made. In the spot heal options use proximity match and content aware as options to fill spaces with cloned material..
        Spot heal:
        try on this file and remove the post (drag onto desktop then into pshop): demo of content aware..

        9. Extraction then and now,
        a. traditional method with ultimate control using quick mask and alpha channels.
        (all other selection tools can be used with this method)
        basic guide:
        b. pro tip for using channels to create alpha mattes for hair extraction:
        c. manipulating selections:
        d. the new quick selection tool – first in cs3/4 and now in 5.5 has the option to refine the selection but theres no absolute replacement for quick mask.

        10. 3d text in photoshop – buy a render farm for this one (repousse)é-photoshop-cs5-extended
        repousse samples..
        ground plane shadow catcher..

        UPDATE!!! Repousee has been lost in cs6 and has been brought into the 3d section of pshop – although the results may still be the same the name has changed..

        11. image processing made easy: the aperture way.

        a. aperture airbrush& retouch
        b. movies of photographers using aperture..

        12. A retouching agencies folios..

        13. The opposite to photoshop: Gregory Crewsden – a photographer that uses full size sets and film lighting

  • David Barnett 10:53 am on May 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    TDP UK PSF framework mapping 1 

    link to the document on google’s live drive..

    this is the first mapping a second will follow at the end of the project..

  • David Barnett 7:09 am on May 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    TDP – Geoff Coupland 

    Been looking at Geoff Coupland’s TDP blog for this unit, very intrigued to see his literature review.
    (as of monday 13th may Geoff’s blog is down)

    other development parts to his tdp online..

  • David Barnett 12:54 am on May 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    TDP update 2 (Flies in Urinals: The Value of Design Disruptions) 


    Andrew Shea from…

    I stream the news on my phone most mornings as I wake up, taking it from bedroom to bathroom, from kitchen to wherever. In January I heard a report about behavior change that stopped me in my tracks somewhere along the way. I think a lot about how designers can tweak their process to produce positive behavior change. That report on NPR, “What Vietnam Taught Us About Breaking Bad Habits,” helped me think about the topic in a new way. In it, reporter Alix Spiegel investigated why people break their New Years resolutions.

    Spiegel started her report by reviewing how the US government helped heroin-addicted soldiers who served in the Vietnam War. I was shocked to learn that 15 percent of them got hooked on the drug. President Nixon created the Special Action Office for Drug Abuse Prevention to deal with the problem and appointed Dr. Jerome Jaffe to head up the effort. As part of their agenda of rehabilitation and prevention, the soldiers were required to dry up before leaving the country. To me this sounded like too simplistic of an approach to tackle such a big problem. However, Dr. Jaffe charged psychiatric researcher Lee Robins with the task of surveying the soldiers to learn how many relapsed after returning home. According to Robins’ finding, that number was only 5 percent. In contrast, nearly 90 percent of heroin addicts who live in the US and try to quit end up relapsing. Could a design initiative produce similarly successful results?

    I have had many conversations with designers and educators who are dubious of the recent surge of what some call “social design.” They claim that these projects rarely lead to real behavior change and provide arguments to back up their claim: the limitations of the 16-week semester during which many of these projects take place, the strategic flaw of designing for, not with the people they are trying to help, and the fact that many of the outcomes are inherently difficult to track and measure. Some of the results may not be measurable at all, especially in instances where the design is not being used commercially. While these are good arguments, Spiegel’s report provides more clues that might help designers craft solutions that influence behavior.

    Spiegel interviewed psychologists Wendy Wood and David Neal, both of whom research behavior change. Neal pointed out that public awareness campaigns generally work for actions that people perform infrequently, like giving to a charity or donating blood. However, these campaigns do not work well when it comes to habitual actions, like smoking or eating. The reason for this is because our environment comes to shape much of our behavior. According to Wood, 45 percent of our behavior throughout the day is repeated. She describes us as being “integrated” with our environment; we spend most of our time in just a few locations where it becomes easy to form complex routines and a myriad of habits. Neal highlighted a familiar scenario that demonstrates how environments can shape our behaviors: “For a smoker the view of the entrance to their office building — which is a place that they go to smoke all the time — becomes a powerful mental cue to go and perform that behavior.” He suggests that the best way to create behavior change is to “disrupt the environment” in a way that might help to “alter the action sequence and disrupt the learned body sequence that’s driving the behavior,” which allows us to snap out of our learned behavior and “reassert control” of our actions. So smokers who want to kick their habit might use a different entrance into their workplace in order to eliminate that cue. Vietnam veterans beat their heroin addiction by leaving the place where heroin was easy to get, by changing their social circle, and by adjusting to a new daily routine. All of these changes in environment helped to modify their behavior.

    Before I Die

    Before I Die
    Before I Die is an interactive public art project by Candy Chang that invites people to share their hopes and dreams in public space.

    So how can we designers work to disrupt environments that may trigger behavior change? At least a few designers regularly work this way, one of whom is Candy Chang. Chang creates urban interventions in derelict public spaces. One of her inspiring projects, Before I Die, prompted passersbys to “share their hopes and dreams in public space” by filling in a graphic template that she spray painted on the side of an abandoned house in New Orleans. People were quick to stop, fill in the blanks, and become part of larger conversation. Chang’s passion to create these conversations is contagious. In fact, she set up a set of instructions on the project website so that others can create their own “Before I die…” installations. According the website, Before I Die is projected to spread to over 30 cities worldwide. The kind of temporary behavior change that results from this disruptive design is more qualitative than quantitative, but there are hard numbers to back up the importance role that environment plays in shaping our behavior.

    I discovered my favorite example of disruptive design about 10 years ago, between flights at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. This was not a slick new airline logo that attracted new customers or an innovative wayfinding system that helped people find their flights. It was the realistic image of a small black fly inside the white urinals in the men’s bathroom. When I first saw the fly, I wondered why it stayed put. Then I looked to the empty urinal next to me and spotted the same fly. They all had them. In response to dirty bathrooms caused by men urinating on the floor, an airport maintenance worker suggested that they etch the image onto the urinals to give men something to aim at as they hurry to and from flights. According to NPR science correspondent Robert Krulwich, who gave a fuller account of the story, the man thought back to his time serving in the Dutch army during the 1960s, when red dots had been painted on the latrines in the barracks to improve cleanliness. Sure enough, spillage rates in the airport men’s room dropped an estimated 80 percent after the fly was introduced, leading to a much cleaner bathroom. The story not only highlights our instinct to aim at targets, but also shows how a routine action can be disrupted by a simple, strategically-placed graphic.

    Every design project poses a unique set of challenges and there is no full-proof formula that can always lead to behavior change. However, designers can benefit from Wood and Neal’s insights about the role that environment plays in our actions. Consider their advice by asking how your design can disrupt an environment where frequent behavior occurs.

    Andrew Shea is the author of Designing for Social Change, with an introduction by William Drenttel, published by Princeton Architectural Press in March.

  • David Barnett 12:50 am on May 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    TDP update Ae2 

    Screen Shot 2013-05-10 at 22.26.03


    Nudge is about human behavior and how to game it. Its all about creating ‘choice architecture’ and how this is being used by companies and governments in what they describe as ‘libertarian paternalism’. The first term is about the method of using human behavior to predict and manipulate outcomes. For example car drivers would find it hard to keep researching new car insurance deals every year and would more than likely start to lapse on their insurance. The companies respond by automatically renewing claims giving drivers continuity but at the same price, relying on the human behavior not to change to benefit them and to keep their custom and at a higher rate. Libertarian Paternalism is about using this as social manipulation tool by channeling the public’s choices and ‘Nudging’ them towards positive change.

    Here’s a mapping in terms of behavior not for educational but for societal influencing – a little heavy for our purposes but nicely done..

  • David Barnett 11:25 am on May 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Teaching Development Project – what’s that? 

    For those not logged in with access to my submissions (that’s most people) and therefore cant see my teaching development proposal i’ll just just cut to the chase here in case you ever need to make sense of these posts..

    1. I’m looking at the area of using human behavior and choice architecture and using game based ideas in the classroom (yes both of those together). Choice architecture? see here..
    then.. this I made in the classroom and might get you some some educational context..

    Last term I had a problem, a larger group of the students I was teaching clammed up to such an extent that they almost stalled the whole class. They wouldn’t talk in a group because they were shy or didn’t want to commit to a statement where they might be wrong or couldn’t find a way to start talking in a group setting.
    This was a first year BA graphic design communication group and the students didn’t know each other well yet. The context was a crit and the group of ten students were being encouraged to peer review each others animation proposal ideas but they wouldn’t talk and much preferred me to lead the discussions and talk through their work on an individual basis if at all.

    In frustration I made a game on the spot called crit roulette (the name isn’t a good enough description of the event but it will do for now). The idea is that each student would review the persons work opposite them in the group. I gave the group some key questions to ask if they stalled and soon they got the hang of it. At first I added a chance element for them of who would be picked next at random but it became easier to just follow the opposite person and continue around in a circle.

    This had some useful features – because the person opposite was always active in either presenting or commenting and asking questions the group always had a balance of input and interest. Whereas before we might have gone round one by one with everyone being asked to comment and failing to do so, now we had both sides of the group engaged. Even just having noise from both ends of a larger group stopped it from stalling. Because of the game element the students enjoyed the process and knew it was fair distribution of the embarrassment and they started to comment freely and commit to the process.

    2. Ive identified a couple of issues where I have a unit that gets very dense and information heavy and computing access also becomes an issue.

    3. Ive identified a group of sessions I do in the first term of the second year where i’m teaching everything from film grammar to editing and dslr editing as my area for intervention..

    4. I’m going to redesign at least a session and quite possibly produce a game or a new approach to this subject area.

    5. Feedback will become a major part of this both during the design and after – i’m going to be doing a pilot session with students after term ends as a test before I run it next academic year fully. This all ends in september 2013

    Here’s a filter to see just the teaching stands in this blog..

    DIASCLAIMER!!! I’m going to be using the word behavior (uk) behaviour (us) a lot in this project and i’m going to be making the mistake of using the wrong one on a regular basis.

  • David Barnett 4:20 pm on April 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Widening Participation 

    Inclusive Learning and Teaching in Higher Education
    online task Ae2

    What is Widening Participation?

    (including How do you support inclusive learning within your own teaching practice)

    I first came across the term WP when asked to teach on a summer school of young students from local schools here at Chelsea College of Art & Design. Our task to was to give them a slice of university life and to enable them to understand how university teaching works and give them the starting point of a portfolio that they could build on. The projects were designed to tease out key skills they could use and identify them as well as making and being shown the work of college graduates and first year students.

    Widening participation in higher education has come about through UK education policy. It consists of an attempt to increase not only the numbers of young people entering higher education, but also the proportion from so-called “under-represented groups” (those from lower income families, people with disabilities and some ethnic minorities).

    According to Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) widening participation is ‘Widening access and improving participation in higher education are a crucial part of our mission. Our aim is to promote and provide the opportunity of successful participation in higher education to everyone who can benefit from it. This is vital for social justice and economic competitiveness.’

    Uk government money and policy is distributed by HEFCE so this is the body most concerned with its delivery..

    ‘We see widening participation as a broad expression that covers many aspects of participation in HE, including fair access and social mobility. We continue to emphasise – but with renewed focus – that addressing widening participation relates to the whole ‘life-cycle’ of a student in HE. This covers pre-entry, through admission, study support and successful completion at undergraduate level, to progress on to further study or employment.
    Our funds for widening participation take the form of annual ‘non-mainstream’ allocations that help universities and colleges develop a strategic approach that covers this life-cycle’.


    How do I understand this in my own context?

    Encouraging access to the university system to those who wouldn’t normally think of it as an option and making it easier for those who have joined. This can also be seen as enriching the culture of the college and the student i.e. the more students from diverse backgrounds apply the more college life will reflect society’s makeup and be more relevant to it rather than a preserve of the privileged few. This process can encompass upward social mobility, adjusting the present view of who has a right to be educated.

    Teaching mainly on a BA graphic design degree course throws up WP issues on a constant basis where students from certain cultural and class backgrounds are often conspicuous by their absence. Each year we have perhaps a few if that WP related students. This I think has come about due to the expansive nature of modern graphic design and the assumed high monetary bar to entry.

    Graphic design has long been an activity split along technical and cultural lines, with printing and technical knowledge belonging traditionally to the trades and the decisions on what to design being left to the design elite and the art directors and typographers rather than the typesetters. when I first started to understand the graphic industry at A level I was told that the thing you had to avoid being was a ‘Mac Monkey’, these poor souls should would be limited to creating typeset pages for company reports or general printing tasks with no control over the content or message they were setting. The punishment for being a mac monkey was to stay in and endless cycle of pizza flyer and local newspaper ads.

    The way to avoid having Mac skills but no creative control was go further than and HND/C which were at the time associated with vocational and therefore making skills and study for a design degree where your opinion and not your layout skills would carry you on to a better career as junior designer, then a middle weight, then a senior designer as the industry was then classified.

    I recently talked to a design academic who teaches a two year (FdA) course, he told me that some of his students then go on to a third year on a degree course and some don’t have the capacity to do so. The wider knowledge of the subject and its context in culture and the investigation of culture itself and how to interact with it and make it seems to be a barrier to some. This lack of ‘cultural capital’ (Bourdieu) is the hidden disadvantage of living in a class-based structure in the UK resulting in ‘art for a few’ (also the name of a research report by the National Arts Learning Network downloadable here..)

    Now the need to produce ‘thinking graphic designers’ hasn’t ceased and for students from widening participation backgrounds although the government will now help them financially the offer can be a daunting one. The FdA’s approach of conversion over to a degree at a later stage attracts higher numbers of WP students whereas the BA I teach on understands the issue and picks those who from whatever background can make it through to graduation knowing the hurdles they will have to jump. However this results in still too low numbers coming through the entire education process.

    Add one induction activity that you use within the first term on your course to the ISHE website which encourages a sense of belonging and group cohesion

    First day’s are hard. Nigel Bents (BA graphic design communication at CCAD)  has a number of activities up his sleeve for easing the tension such as giant games of twister or london bus tours or x factor typography songs – the list goes on. but here’s a regular of his we do every year…

    It’s a simple exercise called ‘human typography’ and for a graphics course makes sense. Split the students into alphabetical order and ask them to hold a pose as a group in the letters from the alphabet they represent (there are many variations on this). So all the T surnames make a giant T etc and then we photograph them holding the pose for a moment usually before it collapses. We use the photos to help us identify the students over the first year and print them up on a sheet with their names attached. Even if you dont have need of a class list its still fun to watch – you can adapt this by having less people and doing a letter per person or even to spell out a word or phrase with one person used as each letter – just needs a camera or a mobile phone.

    Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 16.50.53



    Another WP related curriculum innovation..

    First year influences project – David Barnett and Nigel Bents

    This is a strategy for extending students references in a two sessions (brief and presentation) with at least a day in-between for basic research.

    The issue of gaining cultural capital is key in a widening participation context as with any other context. The BA GDC course director likens this to the difference between liking football and knowing who all the famous players are – if you are keen to become a designer you should know who all the key influential companies and designers are.

    Two years ago on the BA Graphic Design Communication course a key incident happened. During a 3rd year session the course director was asking his students about influences and key figures in graphic design, he noticed a shortfall in cultural capital both in the area of arts and most directly in the history of the subject they were studying. He ran a session updating them on current trends and contemporary design but raised the issue as something that needed to be fixed at an earlier stage in the course.

    My response was to talk with first year academic lead Nigel Bents about how we could introduce more references into a long project we were re-writing (original project also written with Pete maloney) in the second term. This is an animated type project which starts with students finding a practitioner in a creative field they like and going on to find a sound clip of them talking which becomes the starting point of an animation they create.

    We wanted to introduce the students to gain more cultural capital and find a way for them to learn the key initial references for graphic design, typography, advertising, illustration and moving image in the quickest way we could find.

    1. We firstly introduced a researched list of the key influences in the subject area and students were given the names at random and could swap with others if they didn’t like them plus we had a few extras if needed. We asked the students individually to find out about these influencers and create a short presentation to share with the class along with what they found inspirational personally about these people or the way they worked.

    For 2013 this list of names has now been adapted to represent a more diverse range.

    2. These researched presentations were delivered in the context of a day long peer learning exercise with each student adding to the knowledge of the whole class just a week after being given the names. By the end of the session the students had heard about over 60 luminaries in their field and seen examples of their key works.

    Each student then went on in the second part of the project to make an animated response  – however this first section can easily be used as a standalone project to widen the knowledge of the cohort and give them the ability to deliver a public presentation. This also led to some interesting presentations with films being made, acting out scenarios from history and interviews online being unearthed. I would however point out that with varying research abilities this means that the tutor present may need to add their own subject knowledge in some cases where key works or issues synonymous with the influential person may have been missed or skimmed over by the student.

    • Thomas Rodney Elliott 4:43 pm on June 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Hello David
      I think your point ‘This lack of ‘cultural capital’ (Bourdieu) is the hidden disadvantage of living in a class-based structure in the UK.’ is very true. As I mentioned in my own post I know that when I have been involved in the interview process in which students who may have the required level of enthusiasm and potential but are deemed to lack the design knowledge or cultural awareness are often funnelled of to the FDA courses as opposed to the BA. The FDA courses are often of a slightly more vocational slant. In a similar to the dichotomy of graphics with ‘mac monkey’ and the designers, the fashion equiflant is the pattern cutter (FDA) and the designer (BA) I have always found this a slightly dubious practise, but arguable in today here is more opportunities for there is fact more demand for patterns cutters than designers, as this specific skill set is often not fully developed on many explicitly fashion based courses.

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