Presentations: Self-initiated Project ideas

This raised some interesting and insightful questions about the kind of teaching and research the cohort does. I’ve noted below some ideas each presentation raised for me in terms of methodology, ethics and new terms:

Dan discussed how to research ‘Participatory Action Research’ with his language students.

  • He might put on extra classes that would be advertised as research. this means students can ‘opt in’ rather than feeling like their participation was obligatory, which might change feedback/results.
  • ‘Scaffolding’ is a term used t describe how you might help someone to build what they want to do; to provide them with the tools to do so. For eg. the syntax, language and grammar to communicate their thoughts.

Steph wants to build on previous research about assessments for Fashion buying and merchandising.

  • As part of Enhanced Monitoring, a course if (re)validated for 5 years.
  • Use of the term ‘good’ is banned: How might we define ‘good’ instead? Could this be incorporated into peer-assessment?
  • How might we measure or acknowledge the ‘light-bulb moment’ – could this be done by students teaching each other as part of peer- assessment? This way they engage with the criteria, curriculum but also use language familiar to each other.
  • If students present, they can use pre-recorded material so they feel more in control – such as pre-recorded audio.

Patrick is interested in how Film/TV students might be assessed in industry, while not observed by college staff.

  • The student can self-elect their role based on their perceived skills/experiences – but does this then not limit what else they might learn?
  • How can you assess attendance? You can assess ‘engagement’, which is by default part of attendance. Is this still discriminatory?

Rebecca wants to explore Contemplative Pedagogy through the crit

  • How can the crit be more object-based? Can we use Mindfulness to aid this?
  • Is the crit still part of a patriarchal system that benefits the ‘loudest’?
  • I wonder if the crit could incorporate ‘silence’ in some way?


Left: Some of the material that enters my lectures in Cultural Studies.
Right: A student’s response to the question, What is the value of Cultural Studies, via instagram.

I presented my working question: Why is Cultural Studies Relevant? which I would now like to re-phrase as What is the value of Cultural Studies? for my own students; BA Fashion, Jewellery & Textiles. This is important so the team can work on how best to introduce the subject or adapt it, and even defend what we do. As such it brings about some contentious issues re assessment and how it fits in with the future revalidation of the other courses it serves. The cohort helped me think about how best to capture student responses (qualitative data) and the other kinds of questions I need to consider. Such as:

  • Must fill out an ethics form to interview or communicate with students and use their data, even if anonymised.
  • Best to use a random sample of students,  by assigning the register numbers.
  • I should do a before and after the Autumn term, same question, same students.
  • Ask questions in different formats: social media (will illicit more confident responses?); survey monkey; interview.
  • Must remain objective myself, but acknowledge my position as financially dependent on CS.
  • Can I use the ‘verbal’ results as testimonials for the department’s website?
  • I can consider the research as UX: User Research. This is really beneficial to the team but also my career.
  • It will be important to historicise the ‘intellectualising’ of ‘practice-based’ degrees, and to reference Cultural Studies as a discipline, and when it was first introduced into the CSM Fashion, Jewellery and Textiles courses.