Creativity and Pedagogy Panel

10-11.30, Parallel Session 1 – Waterside 3

Chair: Gareth Palmer (Salford)

Title: Creativity and Education
Chris Wilson (Derby) – C.J.Wilson(at)derby.ac.uk

This paper explores the impact of technology on the conception, practice and evaluation of art and personal creativity, and examines the implications for pedagogy in the arts in higher education. Identified by Donnelly (2004) as a field of research in its “relative youth”, authors such as Robinson (2001, 2010), Clegg (2008), Kleiman (2008), Hargreaves (2008), Jackson (2005), and Cropley & Cropley (2000), all focus on concurrent themes of technology-transformed industrial, educational, and cultural landscapes, the clear value of creativity at all levels, and identify potential for more refined approaches to the nurturing of this capacity institutionally and educationally.

Arguably the most significant driver in educational and industrial change, most notably in the arts and sciences, technology is continually augmenting the basis and form of craft and artistry, and stimulating fundamental changes in patterns and processes of communication and information exchange. Traditional distinctions between subject disciplines are becoming increasingly blurred and the dissolving boundary between the physical and the virtual (Mistry, 2009) is leading to the emergence of new fields of enquiry and new areas of artistic and creative expertise.

Exploring creativity as potentially a more transparent, measurable, developable, teachable and assessable domain, research highlights the scope for greater clarity of classification and determination in educational contexts. Key literature, including QAA Subject Benchmark Statements, demonstrates some variability in the emphasis placed on personal creativity between subject disciplines and a tendency for description in implicit rather than explicit terms.

Key Words: Creativity/creative, technology, curriculum, creativity assessment, creativity teaching, professional development, PDP, employability, graduateness, psychology, technology enhanced learning, industry, policy, strategy.


Title: ‘Open Pedagogies in Creative Media: Moving from Knowledge Consumption to Exchange’
Peter Woodbridge (Coventry) – p.woodbridge(at)coventry.ac.uk

The area of Open Education in HE fundamentally seeks to challenge and eliminate many of the barriers that the wider public has with access to university level education and research. However, largely, much of this work has centred around the production of content and its dissemination in online environments such as open access journals and pedagogical platforms. It seeks to address ‘Openness’ at the level of consumption, and not exchange, which is one of the underlying principles of many of the developments in Web 2.0.

Over the last two years, the Department for Media and Communication at Coventry University has been developing a variety of practice-led explorations into the area of open media culture within digital media education. We have termed this approach ‘Open Media’: re-addressing what it means to be a creative practitioner in the digital age, and seeking out ‘Open Pedagogies’ to enable students, and practitioners, to engage in open communities of practice.

Using new modes of dissemination and collaboration such as iTunes U, YouTube Edu, blogging, social networking and mobile apps to create communities of practice and participation that have impacted far beyond the walls of the traditional student and lecturer relationship. This includes experiments that challenge traditional modes of authorship and knowledge dissemination, as well as addressing the issue of sustainability for those entering professions that have been severely disrupted by the digital.

This paper will explore and interrogate some of the past and future approaches that we are taking, as well as exploring the ethos and principles that underpin the strategy of ‘Open Media’ within the department.


Title: ‘Making Sense of Creative Interactions’
Dr. Shaleph O’Neill (Dundee) – s.j.oneill(at)dundee.ac.uk

For us, understanding creativity has become inextricably linked to an understanding of the use of technology within creative practices. In order to begin to understand this situation fully, what is required is an approach that looks at the changing nature of particular disciplines. In order to do this, one has to engage in a programme of research that uncovers the way in which creative individuals ‘make sense of’ their own creative practice, exploring the impact of the technology on their creative processes for better or worse. Three distinct methods allow us to investigate different aspects of creative practice:

1. Repertory Grid Technique: (Rep Grids) are used to elicit conceptual constructs that underlie the way people think about a particular event, place, or activity. In our work, the purpose of conducting Rep Grids is twofold: Firstly, it allows us to identify the constructs that each individual practitioner uses to think about their own creative practice. Secondly, we use these constructs as a framework to guide deeper investigation into the contextual and observational aspects of our research.

2. Contextual inquiry: i.e. the investigation of immediate surroundings, supporting material and output of creative practitioners, allows for a broader understanding of the component parts within a participant’s creative practice. It is particularly useful for revealing the narrative (related to constructs) by which practitioners orchestrate and make sense of their activities, be it choice of tools or media, where they like to exhibit or what the inspiration is for their work.

3. Focused Observation: This technique is specifically aimed at understanding more about the act of making or producing work. Specifically, it involves setting up a video camera in a participants work space and observing them work over a short period of time using talk-aloud protocol or a retrospective explanation of what they were doing.


3 Responses to Creativity and Pedagogy Panel

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