#creativeHE is an open collaborative community for creative and innovative practitioners growing out of the Greenhouse initiative that operated from 2014-2016 at Manchester Metropolitan University (Nerantzi, 2016) and the online #creativeHE community at https://plus.google.com/communities/110898703741307769041 through which a series of online events and courses have been offered by the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at Manchester Metropolitan University http://www.celt.mmu.ac.uk/ in partnership with Creative Academic http://www.creativeacademic.uk/ and facilitators from a range of institutions nationally and internationally. In the coming year we will continue connecting, collaborating, experimenting and learning together online, what is new, is the addition of gatherings locally, initially in the NW of England but ultimately anywhere there is an interest and we are welcome.
This initiative aims to support pedagogical rebels and free-thinking innovators in experimenting with, developing, sharing and getting support for novel learning and teaching ideas as well as initiate and disseminate research activity around these that have the power to transform the student and staff experience within and beyond institutional boundaries.
This community is open to anyone who would like to join, academic staff, students and the wider public. All who have an interest in creative and innovative approaches to teaching and helping others learn.
We plan to meet physically on a monthly basis, each time at a different institution. During our gatherings, we will have the opportunity to get to know each other, share and grow new ideas, take risks and support each other in our creative adventures, experiment and play, as well as test and develop pedagogical ideas and identify ways to take them forward.
We will continue using the #creativeHE online community space which now supports and connects a global community of over 600 people. Furthermore, this space will offer additional opportunities for professional development through online discussions, events and courses that are organised through #creativeHE, the Creative Academic and the wider academic community. The openly licensed #101creativeideas project will help us collect and share our ideas and the pedagogic innovators project (#pin) to engage in related research activities.
Our monthly local gatherings will be half days. We welcome institutions who would like to participate in #creativeHE events by organising a local gathering. All we need is a flexible space for up to 30 individuals.
We suggest that each gathering features time for socialising. As the gatherings will all be free and open, we encourage each participant to bring a gift of food and/or non-alcoholic drinks to share with other participants. Homemade and more healthy contributions are very welcome as are foods from different cultures. In this simple way we aim to encourage sharing of the many cultures that make up our society.
The institutional contact will coordinate the monthly gathering and a booking system will be in place through CELT at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Our first local gathering will be on the 24th of October at the University of Salford. Register at http://www.celt.mmu.ac.uk/community/creativehe.php to join us!
If you would like to become a #creativeHE champion in your institution, please get in touch with us.
We are really looking forward to seeing you again online and locally,
Chrissi and Norman on behalf of the #creativeHE team
GREAT THINGS HAPPEN WHEN PEOPLE COLLABORATE TO LEARN TOGETHER
UPDATE AFTER MEETUP
This was our very first face-to-face meetup organised by Neil Withnell at the University of Salford. It was very much an explorative session and we discussed the purpose of this local community and how we could best spent our time together. We had ambitious ideas and still have but realized that we need to be realistic and pragmatic. As it was autumn, we did a leaf reading activity to get to know each other a bit better and then started drawing and writing our ideas on the walls, literally. In the end we decided that each meetup could have a special focus and individuals could come along and share their related ideas, problem-solve but also generate ideas they could take back into their practice. Thank you Neil Withnell for organising.
This unit provides participants with a flexible, practice-based approach to teaching practice enhancement. A special version of FLEX with a focus on creativity will be offered by CELT in collaboration with London Metropolitan University during 2016/17. Colleagues from both institutions and elsewhere will have the opportunity to learn and develop together within a diverse and distributed community of higher education practitioners who are involved in teaching, supporting learning or development of others with an interest in creative teaching and learning, who would like to explore innovative learning and teaching.
Within this unit, enablers and barriers to creativity in higher education will be explored together with related pedagogical theory and literature. Participants will experience learning through play, games, models and stories and actively experiment with such approaches. This will help participants to further develop their understanding, knowledge, skills and practices in these areas and become more adventurous in their teaching. Participants will be able to critically reflect on their practice and identify opportunities to design, implement and evaluate an imaginative and creative innovation that fosters curiosity, maximises motivation and meaningful active engagement and discovery learning. The teacher is challenged to be creative in order for creativity to be developed in the students.
The unit will be offered online as a 5-day block using the Playground model (Nerantzi, 2015) with further support until the end of the term. All MMU participants will be invited to a portfolio building workshop before commencing the unit.
2 iterations in 2016/17
- Term 2 >>> 16 – 20 January 17
- Term 3 >>> 22- 26 May 17
Day 1: Introduction to creativity in HE, enablers and barriers, theory and practice
Day 2: Learning through play and making
Day 3: Using story for learning and teaching
Day 4 : Learning through making
Day 5: Sharing learning and next steps
Whilst these individual activities are to be assessed holistically through one mode of summative assessment, it is important that the activities are understood and reflected upon to ensure successful synthesis and incorporation into practice as they are experienced.
The summative assessment consists of a reflective narrative aligned with the UK/MMU Professional Standards Framework (MMU PSF), institutional drivers (such as the Strategy for Learning, Teaching and Assessment for example within MMU) where applicable and evidence engagement and impact of specific FLEX CPD activities on teaching practice.
On the 16th of May 2017 we are offering an introductory FLEX session which will also help you set-up your portfolio here at MMU for all those interested in joining us for FLEX [Creativity for Learning] in May. Register here.
The unit is available for free to all practitioners who would like to participate informally in the open online version of this course. You can join the #creativeHE community at https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/110898703741307769041/
If you work in another institution and are interested in studying towards academic credits FLEX15/30 [Creativity for Learning], please get in touch with CELT as there is a cost for this.
Chrissi (Nerantzi) CELT, MMU and Sandra (Sinfield), LMU
#creativeHE will be part of the year long Creativity in Higher Education Project. For more information regarding this, please see http://www.creativeacademic.uk/2016-17-programme.html