MakerSpace for Open Practice

University of the Arts London (UAL) has led the field in open education & digital literacies activities & projects in arts subjects over the past eight years, mostly through external or part funded projects[i]. However awareness of open educational resources (OER), Open Educational Practice (OEP) and digital making remain under the radar, outside mainstream pedagogic practice. Staff and students lack confidence, skills and awareness or can criticality engage and challenge practices such as self-archiving, online identities, online presence[ii], digital making and physical computing.

This paper aims to explore the widening gap between formal pedagogic practices (institutional) and the informal emergent digital domains and practices (Grassroots) within arts learning & teaching.

How do we reconcile these differences?

Chris will share the experiences and challenges of the digital learning, teaching and enhancement work at CCW (Camberwell, Chelsea, and Wimbledon Colleges of Arts) in the development of formal digital learning and teaching practices along side the emergent informal grassroots learning practices.

The CCW Digital MakerSpace[iii] is a growing informal, cross disciplinary community exploring and supporting emergent digital making practice through safe-fail experimentation with new & old materials and technologies. A MakeSpace community requires a rich variety of expertise, peer support, knowledge sharing, specialist equipment, tools and support. The CCW MakerSpace community aims to foster a collaborative approach across disciplines, HEIs, industry, projects, UAL Chairs, Enterprise and is open to explore all collaboration possibilities. The community at present includes staff, students & external collaborators who aim to openly share experience, knowledge and interest in experimentation with physical/interactive tech and traditional making practice.

The CCW Digital MakerSpace work provides a useful enabler[iv] for open practice and OER development and vice versa, physical and virtual interests and activities are brought together with new expanded learning and teaching communities and networks are created. The transition of grassroots activities into official institutional pedagogic practices is brought into question, how do institutions successfully support, develop and amplify autonomous grassroots practice without homogenisation?

Making sense of the current digital learning and teaching landscape is complicated. Chris will use an adapted version of the cynefin[v] sense-making framework to help illustrate and explore the different perspectives across the agile landscape of digital L&T at CCW colleges of arts. We move between the four domains of the Cynefin framework: Simple, Complicated, Complex and Novel as we situate and understand digital learning and teaching practice. As we move withing these domains we decide what action is appropriate to apply to the situation to move forwards: Categorise, Analyse, Probe or Stabalise. 

The Cynefin framework helps us identify gaps in the agile landscape, but equally important it helps us appreciate and accept all the different domains of digital L&T practice that work well. The mapping process clearly highlights the imbalance between (safe/simple) curriculum dependent/institutionally led and supported TEL (technology enhanced learning) and grassroots (complicated/complex) influenced TEL.

Chris Follows

More reading ......

The MakerSpace MOOC project would partner/closely align with existing MakerSpaces, the arts sector & arts education to explore how a MOOC style learning approach could support virtual & physical learning through the sharing of the MakerSpace/arts studio experience, skills, approach and ethos with a wider audience.

Ideally the pilot would focus on specific cities where MakerSpaces exist e.g London, Manchester & Newcastle Upon Tyne as these spaces are increasingly becoming important physical making hubs for graduates, entrepreneurial activities and startups. So the 'MakerSpace4Arts' MOOC could explore the breath of maker learning from the type of maker skills and practices these spaces support in terms of individual PPD right up encouraging & supporting new individuals/group to start-up MakerSpace of their own in other cities maybe where these spaces are currently missing (this being a big issues at present as demand grows) e.g a MOOC on 'How to make a MakerSpace'.

We are currently looking to build a support community for this project with potential MOOC partners from across the sector including MakerSpaces, industry, arts professionals & education.

Please email Chris Follows - info@artsmooc.org for more information.

Or tweet @ArtsMOOC

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.