AE3 OEP Project Report "Design Archive"
DESIGN ARCHIVE PROJECT REPORT
(I have enrolled Lindsay Jordan and John Jackson to BA Fashion Womenswear)
Through this project it is my intention to facilitate learning whilst developing a guide resource for applicants and maintaining a portfolio of students work. I see learning as a process of converting examples into useable skills and so the issue of “transfer” becomes paramount in higher education. How do people employ that which they have learned in a new situation?
In order to facilitate the learning process beyond the boundaries of; contact time, physical (classroom) space and even the current intake of students I have chosen to concentrate on OEP using digital platform Flickr
2. METHOD 900
I am course leader, BA(hons) Fashion Womenswear, LCF with an approximate intake of 320 students over 3 years. I teach classes in all 3 year groups plus a bridging course over the summer.
To provide students with the best possible experience and help them to achieve their full potential we offer a demanding course and I have found one of the greatest challenges in finding new ways to pass on information with the limited amount of contact and classroom time available. I am a huge admirer of Wenger's idea of Communities of Practice (2006) but have found difficulties creating such a community when students have little opportunity to see each other’s work develop. In finding a solution to this I have looked toward constructive theory and multimedia learning.
Richard E Mayer (2011) expresses a belief that learning is enhanced through a use of words and images together, rather than words alone. Technology becomes increasingly important to create audiovisual material but it is what he refers to as 'the instructional method' that actually initiates learning.
He goes on to identify other features that promote learning such as; coherence - the removal of any extraneous images and or narrative, contiguity the displaying of relevant images simultaneously rather than successively and displaying corresponding words and pictures in close proximity and organizing material into segments allowing learned to manage the pace in which they take in the information.
Mayer's beliefs are founded on the principle that multi media messages are most effective when their design is consistent with the way in which the human mind works supplemented with research based principles.
My teaching method often employs examples to promote learning and the constraints on time led me to use the work of current students to provide these. This has worked to my advantage acting as both a visual aid to the learning process whilst allowing students to view each other’s work. In some cases showing the process of how a student arrives at a final product can be as useful as the finished product itself. For example students tend to consider expressing colour proportions only in terms of rectangular blocks. Once familiar with alternatives they begin to approach the task from different angles.
Current technology allows more accessibility to a wider range of work. Examples include, 1Granary, a website from students at CSM. It shows students process at different stages, interviews about the work and portfolio pages. Show Studio provides another example. Curator Penny Martin(2008) explains that the project started from a need to show moving image and how this could not be done in the printed magazine. It was only possible thanks to technology but the format of the magazine had to be re-defined, not only by showing films but somehow, as it is online, it keeps evolving and showing the process rather than finished products.
Mindful of these examples I set about creating my OEP, after much investigation Flickr proved the most efficient platform. Flickr allows me to take a photograph with my phone and upload the image during the assessment process. It's possible to create sets and collections and move the pictures therein. These sets can reflect different aspects of our teaching practice - such as colour analysis, collage, etc.
As I uploaded more photos, ideas for different sets and collections followed. So far I have managed to divide this work into 4 different areas.
1. Visual glossary: Familiarising students with the course vocabulary. This has sections explaining terms such as “line-ups”, “look-books” etc.
2. Design Process examples: This will house any material detailing the process behind the design and concepts such as; “colour analysis”, collages","portfolio development". I am currently developing one called “Time Line” showing a student portfolio through out all three years with the aim of showing current and prospective students how the work develops on the BA.
3. Final product and press: A place to hold images of all the final products from the process and all the press cuttings.
4. Exhibitions and external materials: Material coming from sources ither than the students, such as exhibitions or courses I have attended. E.g. I travelled to Denmark to attend a Saga workshop. Here I can organize the images relating to fur which can then be used as teaching aids.
In selecting the individual images and forming them into sets and collections I believe that I have cast myself in a role similar to that of a curator or editor. The word 'curate' derives from the Latin to care, curating as being responsible for the care of something, often something that doesn't actually belong to them (the curator). I am selecting images which provide me with the best examples of each idea I wish to explain and with student cooperation, I credit each individual on the site.
With the images prepared and collected on the Flickr site it becomes necessary to cover the work with a license. Examining the creative commons possibilites it became clear that I would need different licences according to the different sets. Flickr lends itself ideally to this allowing. For the external material set, I employed the most restrictive licence, allowing dowloading but prohibiting any form of remixing and any commercial use. (BY-NC-ND = Attribution-NonCommercial- NoDerivatives). Considering the sets of images that are compiled from my students work I judged that it would be fare (and beneficial) to allow commercial use of the image but not to allow any remixing. (BY-ND = Attribution-NoDerivatives)
So far I see remixing of the work as problematic and to little advantage. Although I have curated the images, the instructional method will not be written with them. I will provide this verbally and as such the images form only part of the work. There are also issues of copyright, as only I will have authority from each student whose images are used and then, only for this purpose. For this first project I asked students verbally and followed this up with a letter asking for any objections(see appendix). In building the timeline set I am working with just one student who has agreed to send me his entire portfolio of images from the last three years.
I have since created an area in Moodle where students can click on different collections taking them directly to the sets. I have linked my Flickr site to my blog, to my twitter account and to Google+ account, this way when posting a picture in Flickr the image is automatically posted in twitter. I have updated my Linkedin profile adding my blog and Flickr as my websites. It is my intention that in linking as much social media as possible the work will continue to reach a wider audience.
I have encountered an ethical issue in curating the site, leading to the omission of examples highlighting student error. I had considered that not only good work can provide good examples. If examples are to become teaching aids surely those detailing error would serve the process well, helping students recognise common mistakes whilst also providing a quality benchmark? However I want the site to be positive and could not ethically justify the inclusion of such a strand of images. To highlight, negatively, certain aspects of a students' process could be viewed as a betrayal of trust and could easily affect student morale.
Since I began compiling the Flickr site as an OEP I have had just one opportunity to use it - with a bridging course that runs over the summer. I am already keen to refine the ‘instructional method’, that which causes the learning. Here it is made up of images and words. The images are on Flickr but the words are delivered by me and so the work on Flickr does not stand alone. Further research on cognitive learning in multimedia suggests that to operate as an OEP teaching aid I must add more instruction to the online images. I must also develop a method to measure the success of the instructional method. I wasn't satisfied with my evaluation methods with the bridging group - so this is another aspect I aim to refine.
As discussed earlier, Flickr was an ideal choice for me, proving extremely efficient, available on several handheld devices and linked in with other social media, both user friendly and instantaneous. However I encountered a time consuming process of seeking authority from each student in order that I may use images of their work. So my research, here, takes me toward copyright, is a verbal agreement enough? Is there a faster method of seeking authority?
Probably THE most fundamental problem occurred when students and peers complained having trouble navigating the Flickr site – I later learned that Flickr’s facility to organise the images into sets and collections is only available to me. Other users viewed the images unordered, just as they had been uploaded, leaving me in need of a new viewing platform. Flickr now became more of a tool, allowing me to upload and prepare the images. These are then linked to viewing platform, Moodle, a platform available on the course page as a design support. Moodle has allowed me to present the images to users with even more clarity than I had using Flickr.
I encountered difficulty measuring the impact of this project, mainly due to the fact that by the time I had prepared the Flickr site it was the end of term and with no more classes I had lost my opportunity to gauge response at first hand. As such my evaluation methods can only be applied to work with the bridging group.
I elected to use the site for just one project with the bridging group. I chose colour analysis as they seemed to have little knowledge in this area and I felt that I had collected good images to use as examples. The results from the class were less than satisfactory as a whole, though this was largely due to unresponsive students, although those students did who use the exercise offered some insight.
In the first class I demonstrated different approaches to colour analysis whilst looking at the images. Out of 11 students only 5 used the exercise and just 1 wrote in the PPD as a learning experience.
I was disappointed to have less than 50% students using the exercise despite it having been explained as necessary for inclusion. Of those students the majority did so correctly and successfully arrived at an alternative to the rectangular blocks often' in a colour analysis. I was pleased one student acknowledged the lesson as valuable and welcomed learning a new approach. I look forward to getting more rounded results from students enrolled on the BA from Year one.
As I have been sharing my posts on other social media networks I am able to see the impact on the different sites, I can see how many people have looked at them. In Flickr all the images have been looked at least 1 with the maximum of 40 times in one image. On my blog all posts have been viewed, the most views for any one post being 160. Although pleased with the statistics I would like to receive some comments on the sites, especially as I have invited my all of my 320 students to view and comment. I only received one student email with suggestions. (view appendix)
Baring in mind the gathering of these statistics, alongside the sheer amount of images I am aiming to collect from both the students and external sources, such as workshops and the maintaining of several other social networking sites and a blog - it is fare to say that this project has snowballed. However I am continually excited by the project and enjoy learning with it’s development. Flickr has become an invaluable aid for storing different images in one place. I have begun to use images, previously languishing in iPhoto's (such as those which document my Saga trip in 2010) as teaching aids and can go on to cross reference these with, say, a press cutting or specific part of a students process to reinforce the point I am making.
5. NEXT STEPS
On reflection I feel that I incorrectly evaluated the impact of this exercise. Someway into the process I understood that I should have formulated a method of comparing what a student previously understood with that which they intended to do, following on from the exercise. So in the case of the bridging group I would have requested that they develop a colour balance for week 2 without offering any instruction and then provide them with some of the examples that I have collected and ask for them to return in week 3 with improvements to their work. This would have provided me with a 'before' and 'after' to gauge the success of my OEP with the students.
Baring in mind that I still need more ways to evaluate the successes of this project, my current feeling is that I should focus more on the instructional method. I am using Words and Images but I have yet to decided which direction I should take with this approach. Should it be a more complete experience, universally available online to other teachers and students? Should it develop more as a tool, which is specific to me and my teaching method, requiring me, as teacher, to compliment the work in order to cause the learning? Or is there a way for both things to happen? Any of these outcomes would require a review of the licenses currently protecting the work.
Since the Flickr site was unable to show the images in collections to anyone other than me it rendered much of the work irrelevant, in order to get the site up and running I needed to find a viewing platform quickly. Moodle was a convenient and obvious choice, however, unfortunately, it is only available to students at LCF and I am keen to make the work available to anyone using the Internet. I am very excited about this project and am amazed at how it keeps on growing and feel it would be a shame to just limit it to within be institution. Therefore my decision is to find time to research other websites that may facilitate the project. I need a site, which can be linked to Flickr and is available to everyone and I am hoping that Workflow might be a good place to start.
This project had caused me to reevaluate the way I use a number of different social media sites. I believe I need to re-think and configure my profiles and decide when and how I am using each of them. With a new focus and purpose I have a certain impetus for posts in each of these sites to reach a much wider audience. I need to build my followers, raise my profiles and identify target audiences on each site with a view to maximizing the impact of each posts and the project as a whole. I am experiencing a shift in the use of social media from something of a benign pastime to being a professional tool. In considering this I have avoided Facebook so far. I have bee active member of the Facebook community since shortly after its launch. It has become an integral part of my personal life and I felt that I should be making a differentiation. For instances I would not want to bombard personal acquaintances with professional subject matter. Or the other way round! However on some specific achievements - such as a students appearing on Vogue.com being one example, felt newsworthy enough to make my personal Facebook page - and I observed that these images have received approximately one hundred to one hundred and fifty more views. With this mind I will be rethinking how I can use Facebook alongside the other sites to maximize potential.
In the coming year I look forward to familiarising myself with this new tool whilst being able to evaluate my progress and hopefully getting feedback from my colleagues who I hope will be ale to benefit from the project and even collaborate with me on its development. I will go on to refine the process by which I can gain students permission to use their work, if there is any sort of waiver that could be presented to the students at the beginning of each year, which will prevent allow me to use images throughout the year without the need for further consultation.
Finally I need to be sure that I am consistently providing the best, user friendly site for my students and my research has to focus on this - So far Flickr is not ideal and if other sites present other obstacles it may be that a web site can be tailored to suit the project and this will lead me in he direction of website design.
http://1granary.com [accessed 17 July 2013].
Alice Beard (2008) 'Show and tell: An interview with Penny Martin, editor in chief of SHOWstudio', Fashion theory: the journal of dress, body & culture; fashion curation, 12(2), pp. 181-195.
Curator - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 2013. Curator - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. [ONLINE] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curator. [Accessed 17 July 2013]
Etienne Wenger (2006) Communities of practice a brief introduction, Available at: http://www.ewenger.com/theory/ [Accessed: 16 April 2013].
Lisa Neal (2006) '5 questions... for Richard E. Mayer ', eLEarn MAGAZINE, (), pp. [Online]. Available at: http://elearnmag.acm.org/featured.cfm?aid=1165336. [Accessed: 17 July 2013].
Prof. Richard E. Mayer (2011)- On the role and design of video for learning - YouTube. 2013. Prof. Richard E. Mayer - On the role and design of video for learning - YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3fYg6OuTIA. [Accessed 26 July 2013].
Schavemaker, M. & Rakier, M. 2008. Right about now: art & theory since the 1990s, Valiz Publishers: Amsterdam.
SHOWstudio - The Home of Fashion Film. 2013. SHOWstudio - The Home of Fashion Film . [ONLINE] Available at: http://showstudio.com/#in_fashion. [Accessed 17 July 2013].