So I told you back in week 4 that we had been sent 3 articles to read. By the end of the lesson we had been split into groups, with each being given one article (ours was ‘Making higher education a more creative place‘ by Norman Jackson) and then tasked with annotating, summarising and presenting our results in week 6.
Plenty of time…
Fast forward to today and it is safe to say that I didn’t feel super prepared. Megan and Ben weren’t in class which didn’t help matters, and that left me, Moobz and Delia to present our findings to the group. Everyone had prepared such beautiful displays that ours felt frankly dull in comparison. We were given the first hour of the class to put the final finishing touches to our projects and make sure we had all our notes in order. It turned out that we would be the last group to present our project.
Pros – We got to listen to everyone else’s first, which really helped me feel calmer about ours. It was also super interesting to see how different groups of people could read the same information but interpret it so differently, and which points some people found noteworthy compared to others.
Cons – As we were the last group, every point I had planned to talk about had not only been discussed, but had been discussed multiple times from different view points until the words stopped making sense.
Suddenly all our preparation was for nought. I thought rather than repeating all the stuff that had already be said, I would try to talk about the connection between the article and the teaching practices we experience as a class. Luckily I had one of our other module lecturers that I could use as a perfect example. His Excellent (yet dry) teaching style was the basis of my comparison with Tom and Sandras much more exuberant teaching style. I explained that while both showed knowledge and passion, our ‘dry’ lectures were very much a one way flow of information, while Tom and Sandra had a much more dialogic and creative approach to teaching. The majority of the class (well, those who weren’t checking Facebook or their make up) seemed to agree (or disagree super discreetly).
After this we had a short time to discuss and summarise as a group what we had found. Tom explained how we begun with creative research methods being abstract ideas, and then put them into practice, taking them apart and putting them back together again to see how they worked, and ultimately ended up making them into concrete process that we could use in the future (cough! research proposals, cough!). In the process we also learnt how to analyse and summarise an academic text, as well as having 3 pieces of reading that we could use for our research proposal. Like a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle of blue sky on a clear day, what once seemed abstract and purposeless is now coming together nicely.