If life is what happens to our plans, then dance is what happens to our steps.
ideas sometimes when you wait they come to you.
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Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Tell the story of the whole inquiry process

In our Module Three session today we talked about the three ways you are reporting on your inquiry:
  1. Written essay
  2. Professional artefact
  3. Oral presentation

Each of these are forms for telling the whole story of your inquiry.
  • They all should include:
  • why you did it
  • what you intended to do
  • What happened (the data collection)
  • What the data told you when you analysed it and triangulated with the literature and your own Professional practice experiences.
  • How it has impacted on your professional practice.

So the artefact is not the result of the inquiry - The artifact is another way of saying what you say in the essay. It is just a professional artefact - 'a thing' that other professionals like yourself can engage with and understand.

Remember in Module One: Howard Gardner’s work: 
Communication that responds to different learning styles such as naturalistic, bodily kinaesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, verbal linguistic, logical mathematical, existential, spatial visual, and musical

In your professional practice do people use verbal linguistics to explain things OR do they move, sing, act feel, chat, draw to explain ideas to each other. Use the language of your practice NOT WORDS. The Professional Artefact is your opportunity to use the language of your practice. 

We talked mostly about the Professional Artefact. This was about how you can start to envision what it will be. However you cannot really start to work too much on the artefact until you have done some analysis. Here are two really important points:

Firstly, analysis is not just summing up your data. Analysis is a critical look at the whole experience comparing three things – the literature (the ideas other people have said), your own experience including your experience of collecting the data, your reflective diary, and the experiences before the inquiry that led you to be interested in doing it in the first place, and lastly the data you collect. Looking at themes and resonance and contradictions across all three of these is called triangulation. Doing this is how you can critically look at the questions you posed at the beginning of the inquiry. Doing this unpicks everything and is always (whatever level of work you are doing), always disorientating, somewhat frightening and confusing because it is the point where you are opening yourself up to look for something new, to stretch yourself beyond what you know you know. But that is the heart of the inquiry; be brave. Because it is after data collection you might feel you need to tidy everything up not make a mess in your head but the data collection is not the climax of the inquiry it is just getting something to do the inquiry with. After collecting data, it is not time to tidy up, its time to get mixing all the ingredients.

The artefact is NOT the result of the inquiry, like the answer to the whole thing. The artefact is as much about the process as the critical review paper you are writing. So please think as if you are in fact handing in Two things that explain the inquiry - TWO artefacts. 
  • The first is in the form of a formalised academic artefact – a critical review.
  • The second is in the form of something that is found in your professional practice (culture) it is a professional artefact. (We cannot say what this will be because it is different for each person according to their work / profession.)

We can help in telling you what the first artefact (the critical review looks like – in fact we give you guide-lines on what it looks like how many words etc… and we also give you guide-lines on how to start making it – when to start drafting etc…). But just because we help out with what the academic artefact (the critical review) looks like doesn’t mean the critical review IS the inquiry. It is a result of the inquiry just as the professional artefact is too. The Inquiry – what you are documenting with the two artefacts is the activity and reflective thought you do.

Think of the Professional artefact as another way of explaining your inquiry. You can see you need to do the whole inquiry before you can be really clear about the content of the critical review or the professional artefact.

In fact you will explain your inquiry in three ways through writing (critical review), through talking (oral presentation) and through x (x=professional artefact). Each of these ways of sharing offer unique advantages for communication and have things that cannot be communicated very well through them. Think about how you will use the three forms to give us a full rounded understanding of the whole inquiry process.

Monday, 17 April 2017

on-line session April 18th

Oops - sorry I meant to have this  put this sign-up post go live sooner.
Tuesday April 18th at 7pm (time in London)

Non-campus session on Module Three - particularly looking at the artifact and oral presentation preparations.

Please indicate in the moment below if you will joining.


Monday, 10 April 2017

Discussion group

On Monday morning and Tuesday Afternoon we had our monthly discussion groups. We talked about how we create the critical narrative (reflective essays and reviews) for what we are doing. In Module One you are looking at your practice through three lenses – web 2.0, reflection and networks. These themes run through the whole course. At the end of Module One you need to write a critical reflection on what you have done. This is the same as Module three where you have done (the inquiry) and now you have to organise that into a critical narrative to let people know what it was you did and how you did it and what you learnt from it. So basically at the end of each Module you are doing the same thing: critically reflecting and tell the narrative of your learning and linking that to the literature on the topics you have encountered.

With that in mind the context is important: explaining the context in which you have been doing things is important. We talked bout how explaining the context helps the reader understand the thoughts and conclusions you have come to. If one person goes outside the building they can reflect
 ‘if you go outside the building you get wet’
and other person can reflect
‘if you go outside the building you hear a patter sound.’

The Reader needs to know the context to really understand the reflection. The first person was out in the rain the second person was too but they had an umbrella. So their reflections are more informative and understandable when you know the method they used to go outside the building (ie the ‘method’ of going out with an umbrella, or going out without an umbrrella).

This led us to talk about the importance of starting to be aware of you in your practice/study/research: being aware of your own opinions and feelings.  In turn we then talked about the use of reflection throughout the course and how it becomes more meaningful as a practice when you think of it as a way to better identify your own perceptions and the impact they have on your understanding of situations.

Lastly, we talked about how the Module Three artefact therefore also needs to give context and explain the inquiry process NOT JUST BE an antidote to something you found during the Module Three inquiry.

Please read and comment on the posts of other people in the discussion.


What do you think?


Thursday, 30 March 2017

First Tuesday discussion groups - Monday and Tuesday!!!

Its the beginning the month !! and we have our 'First Tuesday Discussion Group skype'.

Monday April 3rd 10am (time in London)
Tuesday April 4th at 7pm (time in London)

This is a chance to talk to other people on the course, and share ideas, and thoughts. Discussion is a great way to deepen your own understanding and hear new ideas and perspectives. Looking forward to talking to you all.
Please comment below to indicate you will be joining the discussion.

Speak soon

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Campus session: ideas and theory

Campus session March 16th

We had a Hendon campus session on March 16th. It was great afternoon. We talked in the classroom and also went to the Shepard Library on campus.

This is an overview of the conversation:

We talked about ideas and theory.
What do they do? In the first module you are introduced to three ideas:
-       The idea of reflection
-       The idea of networks
-       The idea of communication (via the web particularly)

These ideas are threads that will run through the whole of the course (all three modules). They are not taught pieces of information to memorize and write about at the end. They are ideas to stimulate your thinking about your own Professional Practice deeply or differently. Therefore, the order you are introduced to them is not important but we had to choose an order  (that is the one in the Module Handbook). So, do not think of them like a tree, building up from starting a blog at the beginning of Module One and layering up to handing-in an artefact in Module Three – this is like a tree model. As if you were climbing up something.

Instead think of them all as equally feeding your understanding of your Professional Practice – like a rhizome.

each idea is a shoot (an idea shoot) that connects underground. You cannot see the connections from above ground. Your study is about finding the connections. So it is not about climbing a tree of ideas we have put there for you. It is about nurturing ideas, looking at them carefully and finding the connections between them and you. Connections that will be different for different people because all your professional practices are different.

So at the end of each module what you hand-in is the result of looking carefully at the ideas that have manifested during the term. And then making connections between those ideas and your professional practice.

So that being said, what could we say about 'theory'?
Theory could be thought of as what someone else has come up with having done that process of looking at ideas carefully and making connections for themselves. So you can link your connections with connections (theory) someone else has made and published about. They have spent more time looking carefully so you can often be guided by (their) theory.
BUT theory is not a justification for you to do what you want!!

Theory is a specific set of connections someone has made. You can’t pick and choose – “I will cite Smith about this connection and ignore that connection she made.” !! It is not about agreeing with every thing Smith said. But you have to know enough about Smith that if you cite her as why you are doing something in one place you can explain why you are not doing something else she said in another place. 

Theory is not a neat bag to wrap-up your actions in. Its not an excuse to do something you want to do. Theory is more like the core of what you are doing it indicates what you should do. We talked about theory being like the bones not the skin.

Theory indicates what you can do – you are following a set of connections to see what they are like and how they lead you. You can’t chop and change without explaining why - and you are not on your own look at what the theory would santo do. You can notice where they differ for you or the situation you are in. So if theory is partly going on someone else’s ride (which you need to do because that someone else has spend a great deal of time thinking about ideas you are just finding out about), what is stopping you from crashing. If someone else is driving the bus how do you make sure you don’t end up in an accident???

-----Ethics. Having looked at ethical issues means you are aware of where you are not willing to go on the ride. It means you are prepared for possible issues and it means you have drawn a line in the sand as to where you are not willing to go with the theory. Ethics is not about a set of rules, it is about being aware of and thinking about the consequences of what you are doing. We said
Ethics is a response to what the theory indicates.

All this was talking about what is called a theoretical framework. The framework from which you are thinking. We went to the library to look at Journal articles. To see if we could spot the theortical framework the authors were working with. We looked at the bibliography* which shows whose theories the author was 'riding'. Then we read the Introduction or Abstract to see what parts of the theory journey the author was on board with, what changed, and what questions they had about it. (*That is what a literature review is partly for to share the places you are constructing your ideas from, to show the rides you have taken as you have thought about things.)

Read participants-of-the-session's blog posts to see what they found. 

Victoria Vickers
Jessica Stokes
Eleanor Byrne
Jessica Dinmore
Megan Louch
Amanda Conroy

We watched this Ted Talk. It tells us a lot about – believing /following a theory, using ethics, how ethical issues change for you depending on which theory you are following, how looking at an idea carefully changes your own personal practices, and how conversation and discussion with others also looking at ideas carefully helps you develop or better define where you stand.

Please comment on this whole post in the comment below: