About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3415-3419
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain

DIGITAL FABRICATIONS: LEARNER-LED AND TECHNOLOGY-ENRICHED COURSE DESIGN

E. Maciejewski

University of Portsmouth (UNITED KINGDOM)
The subject of this paper is the development of appropriate e-learning course content in the context of undergraduate School of Architecture. The paper specifically focuses on the delivery of ‘Communication and Professional Practice’ course.

The mission of any Professional Practice course is to prepare students for their first job in practice. As such, it focuses on aspects of Professionalism, Practice Set-up, Contract Law and Project Management. Most importantly, the course also deals with interview preparation – the paper illustrates how this aspect can be taught in an engaging way.

Students were given lectures on the subject of curriculum vitae, portfolio preparation and interview techniques. They were then asked to write cover letters and a CVs, to be sent out to real architectural Practices. The Practices were then invited to the School to conduct ‘mock-interviews’. Each individual student was given half an hour to present themselves, their work and to engage in a dialogue with the practitioner. The gathering of some thirty professional Architects alongside hundred and fifty BA3 architecture students provided a ‘1st Life’ social platform worthy of observation. The mock-interviews enabled a live bridge between education and practice, forcing both sides to engage in a social exchange of information, and thus to collaborate in a group-led learning process.

The event provided a perfect context for the development of e-learning material: a professional film crew was invited to follow the event, record the general gathering, as well as three individual interviews. The film provided not just a record of the event, it served as feedback and it will serve as instructional material for next year’s incoming student cohort. However, most importantly, the film provided material for the scientific study of a particular ‘learning environment’.

The mock-interviews event was a carefully choreographed ‘social’ stage, which shifted the focus away from ‘learning’ and towards ‘event’, and as such it engaged both students and professionals in an active dialogue. The Author was merely a director, the players being the active creators of their own learning. It was interesting to observe an increased level of student engagement, and more than that a high level of excitement. Finally, the event was essentially a group making of e-learning material - the students created their own film.

The success of the project is self-evident: attendance rate of 100%, pass rate of 100%, average mark 60%. Given the large numbers environment, with an on-going attendance problem, this part of the course seems to have provided a paradigm that tackles issues of engagement and accessibility: all students engaged in the project, including our foreign students, who most of the time find language as a real barrier to joining in group activities.

E-learning only makes sense when it is supported by meaningful e-content. The current excitement within education about web 2.0 technologies, has dangerously warped the discussion around education, shifting the focus away from 'content' and towards 'tools'. Fundamentally, web 2.0 technologies are tools. Using these technologies does not make us better teachers. Bad e-content within a brilliantly designed web 2.0 platform is worth very little. Good e-content is one which comes out of the learning activities already taking place, and when it is produced collaboratively with the learners involved.
@InProceedings{MACIEJEWSKI2010DIG,
author = {Maciejewski, E.},
title = {DIGITAL FABRICATIONS: LEARNER-LED AND TECHNOLOGY-ENRICHED COURSE DESIGN},
series = {2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN10 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-9386-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {5-7 July, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {3415-3419}}
TY - CONF
AU - E. Maciejewski
TI - DIGITAL FABRICATIONS: LEARNER-LED AND TECHNOLOGY-ENRICHED COURSE DESIGN
SN - 978-84-613-9386-2/2340-1117
PY - 2010
Y1 - 5-7 July, 2010
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN10 Proceedings
SP - 3415
EP - 3419
ER -
E. Maciejewski (2010) DIGITAL FABRICATIONS: LEARNER-LED AND TECHNOLOGY-ENRICHED COURSE DESIGN, EDULEARN10 Proceedings, pp. 3415-3419.
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