Friday, April 27, 2012

Requirement 3 - CCEL

  Existing learning activities critically reviewed – what works and what doesn’t.

What does work – Students respond positively to demonstrations of drawing techniques.   They like to see good examples of what they are expected to do and they also need to have clear instructions on what is required for each week. They like to see that drawing can be broken down into steps and that it can be made simple
What doesn’t work – leaving students to work entirely self-directed over long periods with very little structure - it does not provide enough support for learning. 

  Proposed learning objects, media and activities are described, as well as the way in which they will be used.

Moodle – weekly tasks will be posted, post will include an explanation of the skill and tasks and also, images as examples.  
Journal/ portfolio as the assessment requirement - The drawing log is a journal, so all work that goes into it is going towards assessment, and thus addressing the learning outcomes
  • Demonstrate drawing development through regular practice 
  • Develop a portfolio of work suitable for assessment

 Media - There are a great deal of short instructional/demonstrative video clips on line.  Linking relative videos to weekly tasks e.g. this is a great one on how to draw hands

Reflection on resourcing, including any new technologies, staffing and training provided.

Staffing -   Wile I teach and facilitate drawing I by no means know about all areas.  I want to include actives that look at technical drawing, drawing for designing product,  fashion drawing, basic architectural drawing.  These drawing practices are very industry specific, thus getting students who are in 2nd or 3rd year degree to teach a short 20min workshop to certificate students.   It is refreshing to have a someone teach but also as a way of connecting the level four students with our stakeholders and the greater design community and school in which we sit. 

New technologies - Scanning drawings and uploading images onto moodle forum for feedback and assessment, but also to see what drawings look like in a digital format.  

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Flexible learning Plan

Over View


It seems that currently concepts of flexible learning in the Drawing and Mixed Media Level 4 course in which I teach are too scattered and more structure needs to be imbedded. In this plan I will develop a some new strategies and methods of engagement, for a project within this course 'The drawing log'. My Aim is that by embedding the right structure and flexibility students will become more engaged with the practice of drawing, engage with on line learning by sharing digital images and placing feedback, stay more up to date with self directed learning.

Back ground

I teach on the level 4 Certificate in Creative Studies, an art and design foundation course. I will focus this plan around the Drawing and Mixed Media at paper that I co-facilitate, however at times I need to expand from that and talk about the greater context of Creative Studies.

Creative Studies Learners

We have a diverse range of learners - school leavers (some under 18), some returning to study or changing they path of study, mature students.
Students are here for many different reasons – a life change, a career change, for something to do, interested in further study in art and/or design.
Students often have complex personal lives – children, work, mental health issues, low confidence, families.
most of these learners are visual and experiential learners (Vark reference). Attendance is often a problem and we have a low course completion rate and retention is low - around 58%. We work in a shared studio, with a project based approach.

Concepts of Flexible Learning

Access and Equity- If there is difficulty with access of any sort we need to be flexible to provide options for these learners thus creating equity. Equity is about facilitating learning in a learner centered way, in a way that doesn't discriminate against any learners.

Diversity and Inclusivity -learners come from a wide variety of backgrounds, places, experiences, beliefs, cultures, family situations etc. To have inclusivity there needs to be an understanding of diversity.

Explain how you will ensure all your learners can access the learning environment you have created. To Explain this I will do so using the 5 dimensions of Flexibility (Collis, Vingerhoets and Moonen, 1997)

Time - Students have weekend and after hours access to studios and computer labs, Projects have self directed time as well as facilitated teaching time, Extensions may be applied in certain circumstances.

Entry Requirements - The course is open entry, but applicants are asked to provide a portfolio and have an interview as to ensure that if it looks like they are not at a level where they are able to cope or if they are beyond the level we can make recommendations to go to a course a higher or lower level.

Content - assessment is internally assessed with 5 practical based projects, Individual projects are worth 20% of the final years mark, thus if a student does poorly in one project there is the chance to make up for it in the next. Each project is assessed in two parts a workbook or log book where research, brainstorming, drawing, experimenting, documentation of the process, etc is recorded, and the actual practical application the actual finished drawing, painting sculpture, design work etc. The practical application is weighted a possible 12 out of 20(total) and the work book is weighted a possible 6 out of 20. Individuals are able to choose the particular subject matter for projects provided it falls within the project outline.

Instructional approach and resources - a variety of approaches including face to face, group work, lectures, practice based projects. a variety of learning resources including - the library, the internet,

Delivery and Logistics - shared studio spaces, one on one consultaions with lecturer, we often use Youtube for video examples.

Open Education and Sustainability

OE - my understanding of Open education is that it is a concept that seeks to make education more more accessible and bring down some of the barriers that surround education and the gaining of knowledge.

One of the main ways that Open Education is implemented is by use of Open Education Resources (OER). OER are digital resources for learning that can be accessed and used by whom ever and for free. OER are not just things relating to a subject like essays, articles, slide shows but a vast array of digital materials like the course its self, course content, course materials, software applications, on line learning communities, etc.

As it is about sharing knowledge with the world for free, there needs to be rules so that creators, authors, original sources get acknowledged for what they have done and not ripped off. OER are registered with Creative Commons Licensing :

"Creative Commons provides a range of copyright licences, freely available to the public, which allow those creating intellectual property – including authors, artists, educators and scientists – to mark their work with the freedoms they want it to carry"(

Stratergies for addressing OE - looking at the way that other schools teach and facilitate drawing.


It is more than just recycling. It seemed to me that Sustainablity is a lense to look and operate under, one that we must adopt and instill so that it is a part of our thinking and practice, rather than something we think about later or something that is a separate entity to our practice; A way of thinking that is integrated in teaching, learning and living.

The main strategy I intend to implement came out of the definition "the capacity to endure"(wikipedia 2011), and in particular ensuring that the learning gained enables students to cope and thrive in their next step in their education. Knowing that my learners often have low confidence and require a great deal of pastural care on top of teaching. The human resource is one that needs to be considered as a sustainable entity. the

Currently I see my students come to the end of the year and they still have some major hang ups about drawing, I am still hearing the phrase "I cant draw". They start the year with an aversion to drawing and they seem to leave the year with an aversion to drawing. This is concerning and to me signals an area that needs to be addressed.

  • I want to find out exactly what drawing skills and practices happen across the 4 design degrees, Fashion, Interiors, Communication, Product.
  • Find out from other lecturers where creative Studies graduates are struggling in terms of their drawing.
  • Then re-designing the course so that there are more supervised instructive workshops that get students with pencil on paper drawing.

Educating students well at this level has sustainable implications further down their path of study. Maintaining a high standard of graduates and a high completion rate is also very important for the sustainability of the course.

Other points on the discussion of sustainability - I think it is necessary to mention materials - sourcing sustainable materials, but using the materials in a mindful way. generating a culture of respect for materials, the the mentality and culture of a 'Throw Away Society' which we have operated in for quite some time now comes with a lack of awareness and respect for consumable Items, things have a finite disposable life. I see this again and again in my class room, with a general disrespect and disregard for materials and tools provided by the educator. Only providing tools and materials that cannot be easily accessed by learners, is a solution to this

Cultural Sensitivity and Indigenous Learners.

  • Including examples of indigenous artists and designers in lectures
  • Encouraging indigenous learners to explore their Identity and cultural background as a subject matter through drawing.
  • Maree visits (that includes a Treaty of Waitangi workshop), guest lecturers, using examples of indigenous practitioners.
  • Making sure that these learners are able to access support through the polytech to Maori, Pacifica and other indigenous groups.

Te Whare Tapa Wha is a model developed By Mason Drury in 1982. It is the wholistc maori model for health and wellbeing but it also applies for some maori as approach to education. Understanding this model and what Maori(traditional) learners might be thinking and feeling when coming to or deciding to come to a course is important.

The 4 aspects of Te Whare Tapa Wha are

Te Wairua - refers to the Spiritual aspects of undertaking study
Te Hinengaro - refers to the Mental aspects of undertaking study
Te Tenana - refers to the Physical aspects of undertaking study
Te Whanau - refers to the Social aspects of undertaking study

Adult Teaching Theories

A teaching model that I think fits well with the course that I teach is Phil Races 7 Ripple model.

1)Wanting/needing. 2) Doing. 3)Making Sense. 4) Feed Back. 5)Practice. 6)Coaching, teaching. 7)Assessing.

I think that the 7 ripple model could be refelcted not only in the overall design of projects week to week, but of the design of the course over the year, how each project stacks ontop of the previous one. also it could be applied to daily workshop plans.

more self directed time fitting in at various points, particualrly at stage 5 Practice, and less flexibility around the initial steps 1, 2, 3

Over View of Strategies

  • internal assessment via Project or Portfolio,
  • Project based delivery,
  • Lectures, moodle, video, examples, step by step,
  • face to face feed back,
  • group feed back sessions
  • short presentations
  • one on one consultation
  • engaging with online environment via digital image sharing


We have to be flexible to be inclusive of the needs of the individual circumstances each student. however at level 4 students still require a good deal of structure, pastural care, feedback, motivation, monitoring and support, my hunch is that we have too much flexibility in the areas of self directed study and there we need to well structured in more guided lessons. Maintaining some levels of flexibility but putting in more boundaries so that learning is more guided to ensure that they leave with a sufficient foundation in drawing. By doing this I think that other issues of monitoring and pastural care will be addressed.

Where to from here

I want to focus the plan on the drawing log project. The drawing log project is a drawing journal where students are asked to draw everyday for at least 15 minutes for an the duration of a semester. Currently this project is entirely self directed and to be completed in the students own time. A result of the log being self directed it often gets left to the last minute and very little is gained. T
he idea is that by drawing every day your technical skill builds up and great improvement can happen by a doing a little bit often.

Changes to the Drawing Log
  • Each week will be themed. The theme will be posted weekly on the moodle, and also on a facebook page set up for the log.
  • Have a 20 minute drawing log session at the beginning of each class to introduce the weekly theme, and make a drawing.
  • I want to create a Facebook Group page. A Facebook Group is able to have a high security setting that is only viewed by the members of the group. Group members are able to post images and messages on this page.
  • Students will be asked to make a weekly post of their best drawings, and leave feed back for peers. The idea with the facebook group is that students will engage with each others work by image sharing in a social online environment, and hopefully develop motivation and keep on top of a largely self directed project.
  • The group will be administered by staff.

To understand the future drawing skills that students will need if they are to enter into a degree, I want to meet with drawing teachers from the degree programs and have a discussion/feedback session about what they are teaching and what prior knowledge students need to be achieving in the degree. Weekly themes for the drawing log will be designed around some of the outcomes of this feedback.

I also want to re structure the year plan and re-arrange the projects. With in each project I will look to put in place a project structure based on the The 7 Ripple model (I have already tested this out it seems to be working - Students are enjoying a more instructive approached, allows them safety and freedome to explore and experiment with drawing, and eliminating the whole 'get it wrong blocker'). Re-focus briefs and put more boundaries so they are more about practicing drawing and building up hand eye technical skills rather than having options to avoid drawing - i.e photography (they can take photography elective paper for this).


Hylén, Jan (2007). Giving Knowledge for Free: The Emergence of Open Educational Resources. Paris, France: OECD Publishing. p. 30. doi:10.1787/9789264032125-en. Retrieved 2010-12-03

Collis, B & Moonen, J (2001). Flexible Learning in a Digital World, Open and Distance Learning Series. London: Kogan page Ltd. p.10 (retrieved 27-10-2011) (visited on 3-11-2011)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

activity 8 Reflections on Sustainibility

After attending Nicola's Bould work shop, talking to others about sustainable practices and watching some of Sir Ken Robinsons videos about education (which was mighty inspirational), I started to think about what sustainability ment in the context of teaching drawing in the level 4 course that I teach. Sustainability is massive thing and difficult to define and discuss. It seemed to me that philosophys of both Sustainability and Flexiblity were very similar.

Sustainability is about looking forward, having awareness of the impact our choices have have on each other, ourselves, our environment both local and global, looking at the bigger picture and looking beyond what we have in front of us, etc.

"Most students graduate without any broad integrated sense of the unity of things", (David Orr 1991)

It seemed to me that Sustainablity is a lense to look and operate under, one that we must adopt and instill so that it is a part of our thinking and practice, rather than something we think about later or something that is a seperate entity to our practice; A way of thinking that is integrated in teaching, learning and living. that sustainable thinking is a part of our culture.

"The plain fact is that the planet does not need more 'successful' people but it does desperately need more peace makers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of every shape and form. It needs people who live well in their places." (David Orr)

"Educate their whole being so they can face their future" (Sir Ken Robinson)

How can you become a more sustainable practitioner?

  • Not being ignorant
  • having awareness about the impact my actions have on the future, the students, the people and places around me, the environment, the institiution etc, I can choose what I do and how I do it in my practice, and embedding this awareness into my practice.
  • Talking about it in relation to our practices
  • developing a culture in our studios that is aware and practices sustainably.

What sort of learning and teaching strategies meet your philosophy of sustainability?

  • A teaching approach that facilitates Deep (intrinsic) learning rather Surface (extrinsic) learning (Ramsden (1992), Biggs (1987, 1993) and Entwistle (1981)), deep learning appers to me to be aligned with sustainablitly philosophies. This the framework for deep learning is that content and course material is delivered via projects, learning happens in practice.
  • Teaching the content at the right level to so that the knowlegde and ability gained by graduation is able to sustain the individual is capable and read to be learning at the next level (year one Bachelor art/design). Knowledge and skill needs to be seen through a lens of sustainability.
  • Being a practitioner as well as a teacher - the Artist as teacher. having a professional practice I am actively participating in research in to my teaching area. not only does this feed into the knowledge that i pass onto my students but it helps to maintain personal balance, thus sustainability on a personal and professional level.

Atherton J S (2011) Learning and Teaching; Deep and Surface learning [On-line: UK] retrieved 4 October 2011 from

Orr D. What is Education For? The Learning Revolution (IC#27), Winter 1991, Pg 52.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Adult learning theory - activity 7


This diagram by Honey and Mumford (Image source : is an extension of the original experiential learning cycle diagram developed by Kolb (1984). I believe that experiential learning is inherent in the creative process of learning art and design. Kolbs experiential learning cycle by nature fits in with the teaching and learning of art and design. The art/design course I teach is practical and project based, learning happen through experimentation and actually making stuff. We expect to make mistakes, we expect to do lots of tests and trials, to reflect on these and move forward and make something else. Concepts, theory, reason etc (Abstract Conceptualization) is often difficult to grasp if the experience associated with it is separated. Both the Concrete Experience and Active Experimentation lead to reflection which in turn lead to a deeper understanding of concepts and theories.

It is difficult to separate out the different individual concepts that are to be learned in this context too. When a student makes a piece of work we can look at it from many different angles to talk about a certain concept. Many different aspects, concepts, theories can be taught by making one piece of work or during one project, in the Art/design context everything is interlinked and overlapping, and usually nothing exists without the other.

Example - Teaching Composition

Composition doesn't exist in isolation there are many things that inform a composition, in fact it is the coming together of other components that make up a composition like Color (color theory), white balance, use of space, form, texture, line. When teaching composition it is important to also talk about these other things which in themselves are or could be rather huge things.

Usually I give a lecture about composition, then do a demonstration (Concrete Experience). Slides and notes are posted on moodle. The students then go and make their own work 'Active Experimentation' s. My course is project based and the students all choose their own subject matter, I teach a great deal one on one and guide them as they develop their images to develop sound composition, and become aware of all of the components that inform a composition. Thus using inquisitive questioning to help facilitate Reflective Observation. And hopefully naturally through experience, experimentation and reflection will incur deep learning of the visual theories that underly successful image making.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Activity 6 - The Plan at large

video This video seemed to do to me what I want my students to do, and the focus of my flexible learning plan and that is REFLECT. when looking at ones self we naturally reflect, and hopefully think about what will be done differently......this was take 3. ...will add more to this post soon but wanted to get something out there.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Activity 5

To discuss the learning strategies in my context I had to think beyond just the drawing paper that I teach and into the broader teaching approach to our certificate program and design.

All content, activities, communication/interaction and assessment are designed and delivered under the umbrella of a Project Based framework.

Each project is 7 to 8 weeks long, that uses weaves together practical and theoretical learning together. What is assessed is the product of the 7 week project – a logbook and a piece of design/art work. There are guidelines, sometimes loose and sometimes tight depending on the project.

In, Tracy Nashe (an ex – OP design colleague) writes about the philosophies of teaching design. (these will become an underpinning to the development of my plan)

“Speak Responsibly"

“Listen Generously”

“Honor Diversity”

As well as being philosophies These statements seemed to strategies, and fit comfortably into the ‘delivery and logistics’ and ‘instructional approach’ dimensions of flexible learning (Collis, Vingerhoets and Moonen, 1997). I often work one on one with students to act as a bouncing board for idea generation.

Another flexible strategy of the project based umbrella is that the content and projects are all linked, with skills that cross over and flow with adjacent papers that the students are taking.

    Wednesday, March 30, 2011

    Activity 4

    Describe an example of inclusive teaching -
    This year in the drawing course that I facilitate, we changed the content of one of the projects to be more inclusive, flexible and more synchronized with prior knowledge. Previously the project was to spend seven 3 hour sessions developing observational drawing techniques, and then to submit 7 drawings to be assessed. we taught a range of different drawing applications, methods by drawing from still life set ups, the human form, animals both live and stuffed, trees, plants, landscapes. However the students didn't seem to be terribly excited about it all of this and were continually complaining that they didnt like it. So we changed the focus of the project. In the new version we teach a few techniques and methods (from version 1) to start the project - a trip to the animal attic to observe and draw the stuffed animals using a gestural drawing technique. we do this for 3 sessions, basically they are drawing to gather information and understand the form of the animals. they then use those observational drawings to caricature from and develop some cartoon characters. these characters are then developed into two cartoon strips that then become the submission to be assessed. the two cartoon strips make up 60% of the final grade and all of the observational and developmental drawings (kept in a log book) make up 40%. so we are teaching the same content, and a little bit of new content but the focus of the assessment and method of changed considerably, we have had some fantastic feedback from the students that they have really enjoyed the project and we have noticed that some of the new content that we have been teaching is better linked to the future projects, in many ways this has become more flexible and inclusive for us as facilitator/teachers.

    What are some of the issues of access and equity in your classes?

    Age Difference - the wide spectrum of age and experience can be an issue some times, especially older students looking at how fast the younger ones pick things up.
    Self esteem barriers - Low self esteem can be an issue right across the spectrum of learners.

    Academic barriers - low levels of digital, literacy and numeracy skills. Some students have never used a computer before (this is ocurs sometimes with mature students rather than school leavers)

    Technical barriers - this drawing paper is one of 4 compulsury core papers, so I often have students with poor drawing skills and whom dont seem to think that they can become better. Some students maybe much better at working in a 3D way than in a 2D way, or find it particularly hard in a more theoretical way than in a practical way and vise versa

    Physical barriers - hearing problems

    Provide a definition for access and equity, diversity and inclusively in your context?

    Access and Equity
    If there is difficuluty with access of any sort we need to be flexible to provide options for these learners thus creating equity. Equity is about teaching and facilitating learning in a learner centered way, in a way that doesnt majoirly discrimaate against any learners.

    Diversity and Inclusivity
    In my context diversity means two things, the first being realted to the learner/s and the second realted to the coarse and teaching.
    • In relation to the learners - a wide variety of students from many different backgrounds, places, experiences, beliefs, cultures etc. Which creates a point of difference between peers, me the teacher and the design, content, methods of the coarse its self.

    • In relation to the coarse - there is diversity in methods of delivery, methods of interaction

    Therefore in order to create inclusivity there needs to be a syncronicity between these two occurrences/understandings of 'Diversity'.

    Explain what your learners need to access the learning environment that you wish to create?