There are different ways of teaching and of assessing learning: lectures, workshops, the VLE (Virtual Learning Environment). You may be assessed by essay, report, exam – or a poster presentation. We want to help you with all these forms, but here we are looking at more creative approaches, including Enquiry- and Problem-based Learning, where you might be set a real life problem to solve.
Imagine having to plan and build an adventure playground or make a business case for renovating an unloved housing estate? These require you to think creatively using your curiosity and research strategies - and is driven not by the tutor but by your real interest and engagement with the project.
Students as active, creative learners
Being Creative in the classroom...
Students creating their own animation in the classroom.... and a video by students showing creativity and enthusiasm in the active classroom...
Sir Ken Robinson
Sir Ken Robinson has spoken on this in his TED talks – some of which have also been illustrated by RSA Animate.
He argues that schooling actually kills creativity and that we must change the way we teach and learn – see these:
RSA Animate – visual posts on big ideas
The RSA Animate series contain animations on every topic from education to the crisis in capitalism. Find posts on topics you are studying, see how the illustrations bring the ideas to life: http://comment.rsablogs.org.uk/
TED talks – short inspirational talks on everything
TED stands for Technology, Education, Design and the site offers short videos (usually no more than 15 minutes’ long) by inspirational speakers who propose creative and radical – but often breathtakingly simple – solutions to real world problems.
Explore TED talks generally – but again, try to find talks that cover topics that you are studying. If set creative tasks, why not see if there is already a TED talk on that topic to seed your thinking: http://www.ted.com/talks
Creative and authentic assignments
Here is a TED talk on the topic of students and their assignments. Watch and see how Jim Davies makes a case to Do not waste student work:
Alternative assessments in action
Here are some resources that students have made as an alternative assessment to producing an essay.
Student-designed resource: This is a Prezi that a student made as a teaching and learning resource on the topic of labeling refugees – it contains animations that the student made herself to illustrate her points:
Creativity at London Met
Here is our first creative challenge: we are setting you a real research and resource development task. It may be that your tutor has already embedded this in one of your courses – in which case, good luck, and we hope to see your resources soon:
Research learning development and study and academic skills – build resources or animations to tackle the issues that you discover – get involved!
Information, further research and reflection
To help seed your creative learning strategies, we have gathered together these resources to help you think in different ways. Explore the following websites and post a blog about how and why these have been useful to you:
For resources, case studies and guidance in using E/IBL, see:
Centre for Enquiry-Based Learning: http://www.ceebl.manchester.ac.uk/ebl/
Learning to Learn through supported enquiry: http://www.som.surrey.ac.uk/learningtolearn/index.asp
Creative and visual approaches and resources:
Explore links and information from Pauline Ridley's Drawing to Learn site: http://www.brighton.ac.uk/visuallearning/drawing/
This is part of the generally excellent AccessArt site: http://www.accessart.org.uk/
This file takes you through a series of drawing exercises: http://www.accessart.org.uk/drawing/contentspage.swf
This advertises their drawing events – real and virtual – you have to pay – but it can be really fulfilling to spend time with other people:
Visual Directions supports use of sketchbooks for developing ideas & reflective learning & essay writing:
Visual learning strategies (inclg Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths): http://www.brighton.ac.uk/visuallearning/files/2412/8048/4894/D2L_ST_LOW.pdf
Drawing for science subjects:
Observational skills for geoscience fieldwork
Techniques for drawing botanical subjects under the microscope
Looking vs. Seeing: 15’ Tutorial: Getting the most out of Microscope Viewing
Picturing to Learn http://www.picturingtolearn.org/
This project involves science students and faculty from Harvard, MIT, Duke
University and Roxbury Community College, and is part of the Harvard Envisioning Science Program. It enables undergraduate students to clarify their own understanding of scientific concepts and processes by making freehand drawings to explain these concepts to non-experts. These drawings are also used as assessment tools.