FLEX 15/30 [Creativity for Learning] 2016/17 >>> join us! #creativeHE

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


FOS! Exciting new open CPD opportunity for all #flexcpd

FOS stands for flexible, open and social. It is an an openly licensed learning event for educators working in higher education who are interested to learn more about flexible, open and social learning and how these apply to their practice. If this is you, consider registering and participating in this exciting development opportunity!

You will have the opportunity to learn with colleagues from MMU, Sheffield Hallam University and other institutions from within the UK and further afield using an enquiry-based and playful approach that fosters collaborative learning and experimentation. You will be supported by a team of facilitators and share practices, experiences and learn together within the vibrant distributed community.

The topics we will explore together using a playful enquiry-based approach are:

  • Digital literacy and identity
  • Flexible pedagogies
  • Supporting learning
  • Communities and collaboration
  • Open education

These topics will help you reflect on your practice, discuss and debate with colleagues and consider implementing informed changes to enhance your practice.
FOS will be offered over five days, from the 13th to the 17th of July 2015. Social media such as Google +, Twitter and WordPress will be used during FOS. You will be encouraged to capture your learning in a digital portfolio. The majority of organised learning activities will be online and a facilitation team from different institutions will support you. We will use Google hangouts, webinars, as well as  tweetchats and asynchronous discussions to connect, communicate, curate, collaborate and create (5Cs) together as a process of learning. During the week you will also have the opportunity to meet colleagues locally.

If you are from MMU and decide to join FOS, you will be able to work towards FLEX credits (15 or 30) as part of the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice/Higher Education, the MA in Higher Education as a CPD unit, the FLEX award, or FOS badges. If this sounds relevant to you, please go ahead and register your interest.

You will receive a link to the FOS community space after registration which will help you start making first connections with FOS, its people and find out a bit more about the event before we start.

If you are from MMU and would like to sign up, please register at http://www.celt.mmu.ac.uk/cpd/viewcourse.php?unit_id=129

We look forward to working together in July!

Chrissi Nerantzi (MMU) and Sue Beckingham (SHU) on behalf of the FOS team

The BYOD4L Experience

Bring Your Own Device For Learning (hereafter BYOD4L) is a fully open course, that ran from Monday 14th July to Friday 18th July (inclusive) 2014, and which was designed to run fully on smart devices, aiming to present an immersive learning experience that encourages active experimentation and discovery learning (Nerantzi and Beckingham, 2014). During a series of facilitated activities, the participants were encouraged, over the course of the five days, to: connect, communicate, curate, collaborate, and create, by sharing and working with others across a variety of social media platforms.

Participating in BYOD4L as both a facilitator and a contributor, I found the engagement with different learning and teaching practitioners from across the globe to be an extremely beneficial experience that exposed me to a variety of different teaching methodologies, as well as giving me the opportunity to share my own best practices and to further formulate their integration into a learning environment.

As a new academic, I am currently studying for my Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP), which I aim to continue into a Masters in Academic Practice. As part of my PGCAP I will be utilising FLEX, which as an open CPD enables me to select and engage in different activities, that are directly beneficial to the development of my teaching and learning practices. I am using my experiences with BYOD4L to contribute towards my FLEX credits, and it is great to be able to “double badge” something that I would have been participating in anyway.

Perhaps the biggest lesson that I learnt from my BYOD4L experiences was that being pushed in at the deep end (as I occasionally was) can result in great experiential learning opportunities. In my own teaching practices this has reiterated my belief that I should not be afraid to place more trust in my students, and to sometimes push them beyond what I perceive to be their relative comfort zones, because as stated by Dewey (1910, pp 340), “the business of education might be defined as an emancipation and enlargement of experience.”

Sam Illingworth is a lecturer in Science Communication and Public Engagement in the Faculty of Science and Engineering. For more about his teaching journey and practices please visit his blog at: http://truehamlet.tumblr.com/


Dewey, J. 1910. (1991 edition) How We Think. New York: Prometheus Books.

Nerantzi, C. & Beckingham, S. 2014. Bring Your Own – Our Magical Open Box to Enhance Individuals, Learning Ecologies. In:  Jackson, N. & Willis, J. eds. Lifewide Learning and Education in Universities and Colleges E-Book. [Online] Available from: http://www.learninglives.co.uk/e-book.html. – invited chapter



#BYOD4L open CPD opportunity > join us on the 14th of July #flexcpd @byod4l


Dear colleagues,

We would like to bring the following to your attention:

The Media-Enhanced Learning Special Interest Group (MELSIG) in collaboration with the support of 5 institutions (Manchester Metropolitan University, Sheffield Hallam University, University of Sussex, University of Ulster and London Metropolitan University) and further colleagues from other institutions, is offering for the second time the popular:

‘Bring Your Own Device for Learning’ course (or short BYOD4L) 14-18 July 2014

BYOD4L is a bite-size open course over 5 days for students and teachers in HE but also anybody else who would like to learn with us how we can utilise our digital devices for professional, lifelong and lifewide learning.

Together we will explore the following topics (5Cs):

  • Connecting
  • Communicating
  • Curating
  • Collaborating
  • Creating

Using an inquiry-based approach that will enable us to learn with others and/or on our own within a supportive community. You are very welcome to join one or all the above topics and work towards an open badge or two 😉 There will be six open badges available in total. One for each topic and a course badge if you successfully complete the whole course.

We also plan to offer a face-to-face session to all BYOD4L participants from MMU which will be led by Dr Magdalena Bober and Cathrine Wasiuk.

Join Magda, Cathrine and other MMU colleagues on Thursday the 17th July, 10am-12pm,  Geoffrey Manton 201c. 

If you would like to find out more about #BYOD4L and join, please have a look at http://byod4learning.wordpress.com

Feel free to follow @melsiguk on Twitter to keep up-to-date with all course announcements. The course hashtag is #BYOD4L.

Please note, this is a registration-free course. We would however like to invite you to consider completing the initial survey if you decide to participate in the course. This can be found at http://byod4learning.wordpress.com/surveys/initial-survey/.Thank you in advance for completing this.

We look forward learning together in July. A pre-course chat will take place on the 8th of July. Check the site for further information.


Please extend this invite to others who might be interested in joining us. Thank you very much.

Chrissi Nerantzi (@chrissnerantzi) & Sue Beckingham (@suebecks) for the @byod4l team

ps. BYOD4L is part of FLEX. For more information, please access  http://www.celt.mmu.ac.uk/flex/