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.

Preparation for starting with BAPP

Monday, 5 November 2012

Campus session, Module Three

I team taught this session with Paula. Paula did a great power point which she as posted on her blog http://paulanottingham.blogspot.com . I talked mostly about the Professional Artefact. This was about how you can start to envision what it will be. However you can not really start to work too much on the artefact until you have done some analysis. There were two really important points that came out of the session for me.

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, some what 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 tidying 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 cooking all the ingredence. See some of my past blogs.

Secondly, 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 artefacts. Two things that explain the inquiry.  The first is in the form of a formalise 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 can not 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 the 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. Many people think by writing (I don’t) so maybe making the critical review will be how you analyse the inquiry, but the professional artefact could just as well be how you work out what it’s all about. So think of the Professional artefact as another way of explaining your inquiry. So 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. But now is the time to start to open a space for what the professional artefact will be even if all you do is plan out time in your diary in early December when you will start working on it.

So in fact you will explain your inquiry in three ways through writing (critical review), through talking (oral presentation) and through x? (professional artefact. Each of these ways of sharing offer unique advantages for communication and have things that can not be communicated very well through them. Think about how you will use the three forms.

One more thought about analysis: I suggested it is like your inquiry was  a mountain. You don’t want to stand in one spot and describe the mountain. You need to describe it from all sides; give us a 3D view, with 3D (not one dimensional) people and ideas. Of course in the short time of 12 weeks you can only do so much. If people want an aerial view you don’t have to give it to them but you should know the direction to point them to get one. In other words you can say:
“XXX could be looked at from the perspective of YYY but it was beyond the scope of this inquiry for me to do YYY, however Robert Goodwill goes into this in his book XYXYY. “
“If I were to look more deeply ino XXX I would have gone to get data from BBBB but I did not have time to do this and felt it distracted from my main interest in GGGGG.”

Here are some points people in the session said they thought were useful check their blogs for further discussion of the point.

1)   the idea that we have three ways to explain the inquiry – Alice Chambers http://alice-chambers.blogspot.com
2)   The artefact communicates to your industry. Its something that is seen in your profession that people can relate – Sarah Pearson  http://leyasgreenball.blogspot.com
3)   Try not to be consumed with one theme, analysis is about finding different perspectives and different angles – Victoria Ellingham http://www.victoriabapp.blogspot.com
4)   The inquiry is about different opinions rather than one solution – keep an open mind – Tiffany Newson   http://tiffanynewson.blogspot.com
5)   Try not to find your answer before the inquiry – find things as you go along – Rozane Ghaffor   http://www.rozana-g.blogspot.com
6)   The literture is your having a group of friend, it represent different point of view, some you agree with and some you don’t. But it is who you turn to explain your ideas. It is a group of friends who all say exactly the same thing – what you want to hear!!! – Rhoda Parker http://rakparker.blogspot.com
7)   The power point that discusses exactly what should be in each part of the critical review particularly the Introduction – Hannah Kenneally-Muir http://hannahkm.blogspot.com
8)   Talking your ideas through with some. Explaining what you did to someone who doesn’t know in order to organise your thoughts – Charlotte Ballot  http://clmbentertainment.blogspot.com
9)   The idea of triangulation the data, liteature and your experience – Corrinda Hall http://corindahall.blogspot.com

How’s it going for you? What do you think?


  1. Thanks for this post Adesola, and also for talking through what was said at the session for me as I wasn't there. I feel the Artefact notes are very important and it has helped me reading this post to decide how to go about it. As my degree title will be 'Dance' I do feel like this practical approach can be more effective to represent my learning journey and my inquiry as an 'Artefact.' After doing written and speaking forms of assessment, I am sure the most natural thing for me will be to create, or plan a piece of dance.
    I am starting to link together all of the information I have gathered and let the themes settle in my brain as I prepare for the analysis...
    Thanks again for this campus session write up!

  2. As a professional dancer and a dyslexic, I think we have a good deal in common. Thank you for your blog of 5th November when you discussed the most recent campus session. I am currently in Sarasota Florida dancing with the Sarasotal Ballet, so work commitments and distance prevent me form attending campus sessions. I have read the 9 blogs you relate to at the end of your blog and particularly find Alice-Chambers analogy of 'Three Boats' of particular interest as it gives a visual, something which you will understand dyslexics need. I also foudn Corrinds Hall's blog informative and well structured.

  3. Hi Jacob the three boats are part of something I explained about different ways to communicate. I am glad you like it because it is part of my PhD thesis and so something I build my work on.

  4. Great to see this work being done - I think you know you have it when the topic becomes something that you can't put down. That happens when you have discussed it with others and know that yo are saying something important. Often - through the sessions or discussions on the blogs - it means finding out there might be some gaps in our understanding that we need to review - I always seem to get caught out with this - but that is okay.

    I like the analogy of the two artefacts - each the Critical Review and the artefact are distinct and they communicate the knowledge and understanding that has been achieved. Drafting the critical review - or rather - thinking about drafting the critical review - is a good starting point - we started in the session by telling others what had happened and others wrote this down and gave to their partner.

    I find that much of the battle is speaking up - telling others what we are thinking - having the confidence to do this. We might need to get additional information - but until we start doing that we don't know where we are - so great to see the blogs from the day!