Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Self Assessment – MODULE 2




In preparing work for submission there are some who are interested in just getting something (anything) off the their tutor for feedback hitting, as far as possible the word count and then sitting back waiting for the tutor to give feedback line by line. Those who consistently produce the best work do not adopt this approach. Instead they engage in the above before submitting drafts. What they do is review their own work and interrogate it relation to both the Learning Outcomes in the module handbook as well as looking at the grading criteria. 

Let us suppose you are aiming for a 2:1 grade in Module 2. The Handbook states that the assessor will be making a judgment about your work using the framework set out below. There is every good reason for your to self assess based on this criteria. Questions you could be asking of your draft before you submit it for review are in CAPITALS.

Your argument about why the line of inquiry is important and worthwhile is very clear and well thought out.

  • HOW WELL EXPRESSED IS THE TOPIC OF MY INQUIRY?
  • HAVE I CONVINCED THE READER OF THE IMPORTANCE OF THE TOPIC?
  • HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY OWN PRACTICE AS A RESULT OF THIS?
  • CAN I IMPROVE THE EXPERIENCE OF THOSE WHO ARE THE RECEPTORS OF MY PRACTICE?
  • WHY / HOW WILL THE WORLD BE A BETTER PLACE AS A RESULT OF COMPLETING THIS INQUIRY?


The literature is well discussed and you have drawn on a wide range of sources.

  • HAVE I FOUND RELEVANT LITERATURE?
  • HOW WELL HAVE I DISCUSSED IT?
  • HAVE I IDENTIFIED DIFFERENT APPROACHES / ARGUMENTS IN THE LITERATURE?
  • DOES THE LITERATURE FALL SHORT OF THE QUESTIONS I WANT TO EXPLORE IN MY INQUIRY?
  • HAVE I CITED PROPERLY AND FOLLOWED THE GUIDANCE IN THE PROGRAMME HANDBOOK?
  • HAVE I INCLUDED A LIST OF REFERENCES AT THE END OF PROJECT PLAN IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER BY AUTHOR’S SURNAME WITH ALL THE RELEVANT BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION?


Your choice of inquiry tool(s) is both well argued and appropriate and you have provided a helpful critique of tools already tested with your SIG(s) and other networks.

  • HAVE I DEMONSTRATED THAT I HAVE COME TO A RATIONAL DECISION ON MY CHOICE OF TOOL(S)
  • HAVE I GONE BEYOND THE FACT THAT THEY MIGHT BE EASIER IN ANY WAY OR LESS TIME CONSUMING AND HAVE GIVEN FULL CONSIDERATION TO THEIR APPROPRIATENESS FOR MY INQUIRY?
  • HAVE I DEMINSTRATED THE VALUE OF MY NETWORKS FROM THIS BAPP COHORT, MY PROFESSIONAL  PEERS AND THE WIDER PROFESSIONAL COMMUNITY (NOT ALL THESE MAY APPLY TO YOU BUT NETWORKING SHOULD HAVE INFORMED YOUR INQUIRY PLAN).


The ethical implications of the inquiry are fully recognized and you have suggested appropriate ways to address these.

  • HAVE I DEMONSTRATED MY KNOLWEDGE OF ETHICS?
  • HAVE I IDENTIFIED POTENTIAL ETHICAL ISSUES IN MY INQUIRY AND EXPLAINED CLEARLY HOW I AM GOING TO ADDRESS THEM? (ON FORM)

You achieve a high level of reflection in your critical review of learning in this module.

  • HAVE I INDICATED THE KEY LEARNING POINTS IN COMPLETING THIS MODULE – EVENTS THAT HAVE MOVED MY INQUIRY PROPOSAL AND PLAN ALONG AND TOWARDS THE COMPLETION OF THE ASSIGNMENT?
  • HAVE I PROVIDED EMBEDDED LINKS TO EVIDENCE TO DEMONSTRATE THIS?


The presentation of the assignment is very good – clear and expressive and you draw on a range of media to illustrate points made.

  • IS MY STYLE OF WRITING CLEAR?
  • HAVE I EXPRESSED MYSELF WELL?
  • IS MY SYNTAX, GRAMMAR & SPELLING CORRECT?
  • HAVE I REPEATED MYSELF?
  • HAVE I ONLY INCLUDED WHAT IS NECESSARY?
  • DOES MY SUBMISSION LOOK PROFESSIONAL?
  • HAVE I INCLUDED HEADINGS / SUBHEADINGS?
  • DOES THE WORK FLOW WELL?
  • IS IT PRESENTED IN A LOGICAL ORDER?


The last date that I can accept drafts for review is 6th May and I will try to get feedback to you as soon as possible after that date in order that you can reflect on my comments and amend / edit as necessary. Because of the high volume of feedback full drafts can only be read once.  There is nothing to stop you submitting your work ahead of the deadline …

Self assessment is essential in professional practice. We all have to engage in reflection and make adjustments in order to be better at what we do.



Monday, 22 April 2013

Literature Review

Following on from the campus session last week I promised to alert you to a useful slide show I found on the topic - the advice in this is very good and I hope you find it useful.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Developing lines of inquiry


The greatest challenge setting out on Module 2 is arriving at the topic of an inquiry that will interest and sustain you through to then end of the programme. Coming up with topics and thinking around questions is something that requires time. We ask that you talk to other’s in your SIG(s) – check out the facebook page Bobble has set up. There is a lot to be said in favor of raising questions about likely topics and supplementary questions that can be asked. Another resource you can use to sharpen your focus is to talk to your own professional networks about you ideas. Useful things can be recorded in your learning log / journal.  And of course another resource to explore is what is already known about your topic. What have others said in a published format – and here you will find the summon page on the library portlet you can access via MyUniHub.

A great quality to have in this endeavor is the one of curiosity – to develop an inquiring mind. Why should such a thing be? Is that the “truth” and so on.  Moreover, this develops a critical quality in your thinking, which is just what we are looking for in the programme.



Freakonomics is a marvelous read which illustrates the point most clearly. There are 6 chapters in the book which demonstrate so many of the qualities and practices you will need to develop as you proceed with the programme.  The subjects covered are diverse and links are made between various data sources and analysis of this throws up some surprising findings. In the Chapter on why drug dealers still live with their moms there are issues on research ethics and keeping the researcher safe. The researcher in question was rather na├»ve at the outset but in the end uncovered a great deal of useful data which otherwise would have been missed in the original project. So, flexibility is another key quality.

The book is a page turner and it’s written in a highly engaging style. While some of the findings are not surprising – some are, and they are all based on real evidence which has been interpreted and analysed.  I recommend Freakonomics to you as a means to understanding some of the more practical applications of inquiry and research alongside the processes involved including data analysis.

When you come to do your inquiry you will collect data which you yourself will be expected to analyse. To have an awareness of the entire process involved at this stage will help you in devising your plan.

Some points to look for in various titled chapters are:

Chapter 1: Teachers & Sumo Wrestlers – data analysis
Chapter 2: Klu Klux clan & Real Estate Agents – ethics of covert observation
Chapter 3:  Drug dealers living with their moms – the appropriateness of questions asked of participants in an inquiry
Chapter 4: Where have all the criminals gone – links between seemingly disparate events / facts
Chapter 5: What makes a perfect parent – drawing valid conclusions from contradictory evidence
Chapter 6: Perfect parenting Part 2: relating two data sets.

While Freakonomics has nothing to do with Professional Practice (Arts) – there is a great deal to learn from it in terms of asking questions, ethics, critical thinking, proper use of evidence and data. I would love to hear comments from you on this fascinating book ….

Friday, 22 February 2013

Campus Session 1 - Module 1

I suggest that all those interested should look at the post I made in October as the same ground was covered and the issues were relevant. It’s important to engage with Reader 1 as well the readings on the “Home” page on libguides for this module. We all look forward to seeing your blogs develop over the coming weeks.

Campus Session 1 - Module 2


The campus session gave everyone the chance to consider the likely topic of their inquiry. This module gives everyone the time and space to plan and think carefully about the topic they wish to explore and how they will go about it. Among the topics brought to the table and discussed yesterday were:

  • Success in Musical Theatre
  • Auditions
  • Nutrition
  • Continuing Professional Development in Performing Arts
  • Black Women in Acting
  • Transitioning from Performance to Teaching
  • Impact of teaching dance on education
  • Learning styles in dance informing teaching strategies


All the topics raised more questions than answers and the discussion showed that people can learn from each other by doing this in order to narrow focus more acutely.  Bobbie offered to develop a page on Facebook in order to allow these discussions to unfold – so look out for more information on this.

Otherwise, we agreed that finding material in the library would be useful in helping focus more on the topic and reference was made to the programme handbook which contains advice on the Harvard system of referencing.

It’s time now to focus on the topic and to get talking to classmates and other professionals in your network and listen to their contributions. It’s equally important to contribute to other discussions when invited.

Campus Session 2 will focus on Ethics which is the next theme of the course.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Knowledge & Information

Here is brief conversation I had with someone...

- Tell me something you know
- Only female mosquitoes bite
- How did you come to know this?
- I read it in a book
- So it's not something you have had personal experience of
- No
- How did the person who wrote the book come to that conclusion?
- Through research and analysis

The conversation above illustrates that knowledge lies with the knower and is developed out of research and experience.  In thinking about sources of information consider the distinction between information and knowledge.  Knowledge can be both knowing something (the what) and knowing how to do something (skill).

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Campus Session 3 Module 1 Professional Networks


This took place on 20th November and we started by coming to an agreed understanding of what networks are. Identifying those networks and drawing them out can be useful a map of networks can be useful and out by mapping out our networks both professional and personal.

We discussed the various networks we had mapped out further. Some questions we asked were….

  • Are there any crossovers between groups – are there some networks with the same members in each?
  • Which networks are more important to us in our professional practice and our learning and development?
  • Which networks are peripheral to us … that we are part of but not actively?
  • Do we put in (contribute) as much value as we get out of the network?
  • What happens when we actively contribute to a network?


Theoretical approaches to networks were discussed as set out in the Reader for this part of the module:

  • Co-operation (tit for tat)
  • Affiliation (sense of belonging)
  • Social constuctionism
  • Connectivism
  • Communities of Practice


We then revisited the networks we had mapped out and assessed if any of the above approaches could best be used to help us understand our participation and our activity in the our various networks.

Connectivism led to a discussion on the location of learning and knowledge. A question about where knowledge is located immediately brought the response that it’s in our head. How does it get there? It could be via having some information (from a book or a person) and linking this with experience. Or it could be from experience alone. Therefore, looking at a network through the lens of connectivism we tried to locate the knowledge – it was contained in the nodes on the network. It could be that the larger nodes have greater knowledge because they are linked to a greater number of nodes that others.



While there are no right or wrong answers to the above what is useful about this reader and the tasks is that it forces us to examine our professional networks and evaluate them for improving our professional practice and promoting learning, development and knowledge.