OU blog

Personal Blogs

Design Museum

Creative Problem Solving : drown them?

Visible to anyone in the world
14.jpg
Permalink 4 comments (latest comment by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 26 Jan 2012, 13:22)
Share post
Design Museum

Creative Problem Solving : Role Storming

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 19 Aug 2012, 21:39

IMG_0902.JPG

Griggs (1985) idea generation as someone else.

Easier to be silly in character (see Superheroes)

1) start with conventional brainstorming to sift ideas.

2) individual or joint role play to develop it further.

Our subgroup we busy having a go with finger paints while our fellow participants went off with balloons and masks. One of this number then spent much of the afternoon, even after the session, with two balloons stuffed up the front of his jumper. (We're an all male group).

The night before someone had played another participant's wife in a 'Human Sculpture'. You get used to the idea of this, yet another person had been 'The Army, or MOD' while yet another had been an 'ego' as distinct from the person.

This is the point of role play. Feels very Ibsenesque. Or Brecht. Theatre of the absurd.

REFERENCE

Griggs, R.E. (1985) 'A Storm of Ideas', reported in Training, 22, 66 (November)

Based on: VanGundy, A.B. (1988) Techniques of Structured Problem Solving, 2nd ed., Van Nostrand. Technique 4.48, p. 163

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

B822 Residential School

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 19 Apr 2012, 09:42

IMG_0898.JPG

I relate to this. How, when and where I am 'in the flow'.

How either stress or boredom can throw me.

In the flow: live TV production, live events, scriptwriting, presenting, directing, most location production work, singing (performing), editing, drawing, creative problem solving, networking and many written exams (+ observational and life-drawing)

Stress includes getting ahead of my experience and skills or finding out too late that expectations have changed whilst boredom results as much from having nothing to do, low levels of responsibility or no challenge. As well as an exam that I have not prepared for or forgetting lines in a play.

Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by Peter Green, Sunday, 29 Jan 2012, 16:14)
Share post
Design Museum

B822 Techniques Library : Human Sculpture & Timeline

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 21 Feb 2014, 17:40

 

(These are not the original participants though it may be interesting to introduce a fun version of 'human sculpture' as a Christmas Entertainment. As a team creating a tableau from a movie or some such?)

The Human Sculpture

We were invited to offer a personal problem; it was made quite clear that we had to be comfortable with this. Without saying what the problem was and with the facilitator's help a 'human sculpture' was made to represent the problem. In this instance there were forces pulling him in two directions (partner and ego) with this person's current/former employer behind and his future employment/employer in front.

There were therefore FIVE participants who made up the 'sculpture'.

It was fascinating to have each factor comment on how they felt, even if this 'factor' was an entity, psyche or 'unknown' future.

This was recognised as a way to see the problem for what it is, for the problem owner to see it as others see it, to get the sentence that an entity, played out as a person, can have feelings.

I particularly liked the idea of being able to talk to the desired or possible outcome in a kind of role play.

The technique from the B822 Technique Library where you do something similar is with 'Timeline' placing people at points now and in the future. In a way I did this years ago to visualise a careers advice video using members of a Youth Theatre who had to be someone 1, 5 and 10 years along a career path based on different decisions they took at 14/16 regarding school, a job, training or university.

From the B822 'Creativity, Innovation and Change' Residential School

P.S. The image above might offer part of our conclusion, that all the factors should be brought into consideration. What is more, where the problem isn't too sensitive or the individual/participants want an aide memorie then a series of pictures could be taken.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

B822 Techniques Library : Working with Dreams & Keeping a Dream Diary

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 19 Apr 2012, 09:16

Steve%252520Jobs%252520QUOTE.JPG

There is a health warning with these activities as they could bring up deeply personal memories, emotions, feelings and responses.

I offer a different kind of health warning having persevered with this over the last few weeks: be prepared to wake up several times a night wondering 'what on earth was that all about?'

Having got my head to alert me to dreams and bring me into a state of semi-consciousness I am now able to remember anything (so far) between one and three dreams every night. I haven't the time, energy or circumstances to deal with any of them. To do one justice I would give each two hours, this is a combination of getting the detail down then working through a set of 27 questions to analyse what it means directly to you, your circumstances, the problem or problems, feelings, anxieties and so on.

I'm still recalling a dream from two nights ago! Vivid not for where I was , what I was doing or who I was with, but how it in the way you get from watching a movie I came away feeling x, y & z from the protagonist.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

Some blog posts I've written (part1)

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 21 Jan 2012, 07:52

UGC%252520Worldwide%252520with%252520the%252520EDGE.jpg

Search phrase in this blog or click external website 'My Mind Bursts'

I work in an Orchard

Emotional intelligence means more ...

Email is a snowball

Is education a problem or a business opportunity?

Grayson Perry and Rose Tremain on creativity

Fingerspitzengefuegel

How where and when do you learn?

152 blogs I try to keep an eye on

E-learning is just like Chicken Masala

Life according to Anais Nin, Henry Miller and Samuel Pepys

100 novels personally recommended

12 Metaphors visualised to aid with the brilliance of blogging

Prensky and the concept of the Digital Native deserves to be lampooned

Love your memories in a blog

The Contents of my brain : a screenplay

We can't help to think in metaphors it's what makes us human

Maketh  up a quote at ye beginning of thy book

Personal development planning as a thermal

What makes an e-learning forum tick?

Why Flickr on the Great War

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

B822 Techniques Library: Keeping a Dream Diary / Working with Dreams

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 24 Jan 2012, 20:47

After several weeks of trying to use a dream to solve a problem I gave up, and promplty took the mess of a database of video clips that was troubling me and came up with the idea of turning every clip into a Top Trumps Card.

Punk Rock People Management

Punk%252520Rock%252520People%252520Management%252520SNIP%252520TOP%252520TRUMPS%252520.JPG

DESCRIPTION: The colourful OU MBA graduate Peter Cook demonstrates his approach to presentations and problem solving in this engaging interview on his experience of the OU MBA.

A video clip expressed as a Top Trumps Card.

During the course of the days I've done some 60 of these and have another 50 to complete. There are analytics to track down (and to track). I'd prefer to have the clips viewed by 1000+ people and for their ratings to count rather than mine.

Permalink 4 comments (latest comment by ROSIE Rushton-Stone, Friday, 20 Jan 2012, 06:58)
Share post
Design Museum

B822 Residential School : Creative Problem Solving for business

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 5 Jun 2014, 05:26

There's a way to generate ideas: this is it.

I have doodles, images, stuff on the iPad and memories bursting to get out. All from the B822 'Creativity, Innovation and Change' Residential School I attended last week. To some it was a freak show or a circus; I felt right at home. I'd spent a year, full-time doing things like this at the School of Communication Arts.

1) Random Stimulus

It was a small, plaster lobster. It was smiling.

2) Play Word Association

We chucked words out

(Abiding by 'ground rules' in relation to anything goes, support etcsmile

3) Brainstorm

We took this further still. Ideas put in PostIts and stuck to some double-doors.

4) Cluster

We then, collectively, moved these ideas about until they formed a number of clusters. A cluster was then removed to another space where three A1 Flip Chart sheets of paper had been stuck together.

5) To make a mindmap. And here it is:

 

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

B822 Techniques Library : Working with dreams! (Video Database)

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 28 May 2012, 17:43

DSC02561.JPG

I had a dream like is when I was 10 or 11 in Beamish Dormitory at Boarding Prep School. I was set upon by two musketeers and killed. I returned to the same dream the next night behind them and 'got them' first. I guess I had learnt how to cope with some set of shifting boy, gang, friendships.

I'm not at home and was woken two often last night: doors banging, couple chatting above my head, dog barking and a fax machine going off. This woke me in the middle of a recurring dream that related to a database of over 100 videos I am reviewing.

Currently I have a database, in columns and rows in Word.

It is hard to read. I need a simple way to see, share and add to this.

My dreams gave me 'Top Trumps'.

A quick Google shows why this works: a screen grab, some basic facts on a single sheet (or card). I could even order a bespoke pack.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

Steve Jobs : Nature or Nurture?

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 22 Jan 2012, 04:41

Bright, dislikes authority, a perfectionist.

His nature. A work ethic, a pragmatic bargainer, practical: Nurture (from his father Paul).

Chapter One : Childhood covers much of this Had he been brought up differently then what?

There are later insights when we meet his sister who was raised by his biological parents. REFERENCE Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Permalink 5 comments (latest comment by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 20 Jan 2012, 04:51)
Share post
Design Museum

B822 Techniques Library : Random Stimuli (Dali Champagne)

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 19 Apr 2012, 09:04

IMG_0212.JPG

B822 Techniques Library : Random Stimuli of Various Kinds

1) Identify what it is you want ideas for.

2) Grab an idea from a paper, from looking out of the window, or by throwing dice. (In our case the facilitator had a collection of odd items for this purpose).

3) Connect this idea back to the issue, if necessary using Free Association or Excursion.

4) If it doesn't work try something else.

Could pick a fixed or specific element of the problem and do the same.

* Select grammatically appropriate stimuli: noun+verb, adjective+noun, but make bizarre combinations (which is how David Bowie often wrote song lyrics).

* Deliberately do something different, or speak to someone new or travel home in a different way.

* Allow the idea to incubate while going about your normal day.

CASE STUDY

We took a business problem and defined this in a way that was clear.

WRITTEN UP ON FLIP CHART

Various items were picked out from a selection brought to the workshop by the tutor for this purpose. He picked out a small, smiling lobster ornament as the stimuli and passed it around.  We then played collective word association writing our word onto a PostIt note that the facilitator then put onto a set of double doors.

Once we had around 70 ideas and we had fairly exhausted our thoughts we stopped.

The role of the facilitator was to ensure that everyone offered ideas, that no one dominated. Collectively we put the words into groups and labelled these groups.

IMG_0895.JPG

We took ONE theme and put it on a triple A1 sheet of paper.

IMG_0896.JPG

We drew, collectively, a mind map still trying to generate ideas.

Finally, from these ideas the person whose problem it had been was invited to see if any answers had been offered.

The solution that was of most interest was indeed something that would not otherwise been thought of.

REFERENCE

Whiting (1958), Taylor (1962), de Bono (1970), Rickards (1974) and VanGundy

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

B822 Techniques Library : Drawing

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 19 Apr 2012, 09:01

IMG_0905.JPG

B822 Techniques Library : Drawing

Tried on Day Two of Residential School

Finger painting

My turn to bring a problem to the sub-group and to use 'drawing', which in this case was finger painting. I took an non-work problem, of lack of swimming teachers for a planned swimming session expressed as blobs of various colours.

* Needed to let go more before hand to conjure up an abstract image of the problem.

* Became too left brain by explaining rather than simply expressing. I should have suspended judgement more. Could have associated with words.

IMG_0906.JPG

The painted response removed a gate/fence, turned sad faces into sun's and put a fish in the water with the swimmers. The perceived problem of swimming teaches locked away became a trip to the beach (good if you. Can plan in advance).

A table used for validation was successful, cross-referencing multiple pool related features to see what this offered in the way of an answer.

* There are other ways to use images to prompt comments.

* Could have created a rich picture (even hired a cartoonist or artist to do this).

IMG_0908.JPG

To cluster or aggregate the ideas this chart was used (akin to those mileage charts in the back of an atlas). Objects/themes could then be matched and mis-matched for possible combinations and insights.

'For many of us drawing a picture is closer to how our thoughts grow naturally'.

REFERENCE

Adapted from: Miller, W.C. (1987) The Creative Edge: Fostering Innovation Where You Work, Reading, MA, Addison-Wesley, pp. 91-5

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

How to use the adrenaline rush when faced with a written exam.

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 19 Apr 2012, 08:55

"These are the happiest 180 minutes you will spend this year", we are told. This is said in a dead pan, pragmatic, no nonsense, but reassuring way by B822 Residential School Tutor John Evans. I take the view that I can always learn something new, especially when I think I've got it sussed: I've had my exam successes in the past or I wouldn't have made it to Balliol to study Modern History. My system was a fluke, lacked strategy and on reflection was unduly onerous. There is no short cut but never in my various careers have I ever heard such sense, such practical advice which must work if you run with it. 1) Never go into an exam with less than three pens.

  • Rubber grip best.
  • Change pen for each answer.
  • None of us write continually for three hours any more.
  • The physiologically act of changing pens helps.
  • This aid the sense of relaxation; changing pens helps.

I haven't sat a written exam in nearly 30 years. I haven't written much out by hand for well over a decade either since I gave up a handwritten daily journal for a blog).

Cf. The MBA handbook. Read Sheila Cameron's advice.

EXPECT TO INCORPORATE SOME OF THE FOLLOWING

2) Memory Visualisation (very much b822)

3) 'Other kinds of thinking' OKT chapter 5 Planning

4) Give it 10-15 minutes.

5) Relax and it will happen

6) Get the three diagrams and fix them in your head to show how blocks 1, 2, 3.

EXERCISE:

Turn to your neighbour and see if you can think of 20 things that you remember so far about B822.

FIRST BIG INSIGHT

You tend to produce, rather than a photographic record of the contents page, but what resonated for you. Work with this. INSERT IMAGE 7) Mind-map like links between the blocks.

NOW CONVINCED

We are all very different; this difference and complexity defines how a team will work. Not everyone of course appreciates this expecting others to come to line, to remould themselves into a preferred 'type'. 8) Res school is the fourth part of the exam. INSert IMAGE (I was at an awkward angle in the hall with the presenter usually between me and the flip chart so I need to redraw this). 9) Blocks 1, 2, 3 drawn out on a sheet. Set out what resonates with me.

  • THEN what the course is telling me is the core subject matter. For example: NEO, culture, climate, use of metaphor. This is how to prepare and use a MIND DUMP.

10) B822 Library of Techniques There are 168 of these; which are you going to use or drop into the exam?

11) Identify the ones you have used and found useful. Two of three visual as well as the usual verbal or textual ones. Have some activity ones. Need 6-8 in your armoury. Visual, text, activity.  And distinguish between them.

12) CREATE A GRID Justify your criteria for choosing these techniques.

  • Ease of use/complexity
  • No.of people needed.
  • Range of use.
  • Integration potential (would you get the CEO to do finger painting)
  • Risk!
  • Extent of reversioning.
  • In a grid and marking out of 10 (use this for audit of video).

Technique 1

Technique 2

Technique 3

Technique 4

Technique 5

13) Get six postcards of Windsor. (relating it to the RES School at the Marriott Heathrow, though I would have get postcard of passenger planes given the constant presence of planes taking off or landing). Relate these to Langley/Windsor Use these to Trigger off your memory and visualisation. Carry these around and keep reminding yourself. Form a 'wireless connection' with the information on these cards.

14) Arrive 30 minutes before you are due.

Story of person who arrived a day late.  Exam locations are post code sorted. OU very organised and helpful. If you are away from home, elsewhere in the UK or even abroad, it can one arranged. OU students take exams in all kinds of extraordinary places.

15) Have some authors in mind; for B822 this is likely to include:

Amibale,

Hofstede

(the examiner sees that we have taken note of certain authors).

ID. No question about who you are. 180 minutes -15 5+50

16) BRAIN DUMP

  • Don't look at the exam paper.
  • As the first one you read will take your mind over.
  • You need to be able to think equally about all three.
  • Instead sketch out your brain dump, that you had planned, so that you get out of your head everything  that you will need.

Trying to answer three questions from a body of knowledge that you hold. See exam section of tutor group forum. 17) Unpack the question into its constituent parts.

  • Introduction
  • Main body
  • Conclusion
  • Sign-post

18) Rough draft and score through afterwards Every other line. (have the space to put additions in later)

  • Underline for emphasis.
  • Use diagrams.

19) 10 minutes at end. CRUCIAL Your back memory tells you yet more that you may wish to add in.

20) Doing diagrams are good. Have a few and practice.

21) Snack, water. Resource can be cross referenced.

22) Good to show that you are applying current news (say FT)

23) Good example from your place of work.

CONCLUSION

Intuitively this is what I did decades ago, though in a wasteful and far less strategic way. The other thing I did was to invent great long mnemonics. The first letter would kick off a word, phrase or sentence that would collectively, sometimes running to over 20 facts or ideas, express all I knew or considered important say about Elizabethan history. One of these mnemonics is ringing in my head, eager to be remembered but just out of reach. This BRAIN DUMP BEFORE you read the questions is vital, just get this cue sheet written (though clearly in a way that doesn't suggest you have pulled it from your pocket).

Is it possible to leave an exam feeling euphoric? Yes.

How then to capture the essence of this for an assignment which should receive as much preparation, unfortunately the only parameters are getting it in on time and sticking to the word count. I like to write with adrenaline.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

B822 Residential School : day two : 14 hours 25 minutes !

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 7 Feb 2013, 08:49

Virginia%252520Woolf%252520and%252520the%252520Dreadnoughts%252520SNIP.JPG

In the right context with the right people role play can be used to help see or experience a problem from a different perspective. Here however, Virginia Woolf and friends pull off a hoax and a treated as royal guests on one of His Majesty's battleships.

So many people describe this OU Business School module (B822 : Creativity, Management & Change) and the residential school I am currently attending as something that changed their lives; I've been waiting for that moment, or for a series of insights to congregate and like a celestial choir sing something special.

I was up at 5.00 am and writing (of course), taking a swim at 6.45 am in the pool here at the Heathrow Marriott, into an Elective at 8.00 am and the first Tutor Workshop at 9.00 am.

The second workshop kicked in after lunch at 1.30 pm then from 7.00 pm three more hour long electives in a row.

At no stage was I ever tired or bored, indeed I feel embarrassed even writing this, the very thought!?

Too much new, too important, too interesting, too interested. Like my second week at nursery school: amongst friends, secure, allowed and expected to have fun. Alert.

It was in the very last cessation today, during an hour of guided relaxation, shoes off lying on the conference room floor, lights out, soft music playing that  my unconscious gave me a two word tip and did its best to visualise the love my children have for me and I have for them. I'm still trying to see what love looks like: white, a slightly crumpled unopened rosebud the size and shape of chicory but made of paper, or tissue. I tried (in the semi-conscious dream-like state that I was in) to cup 'love' in my hands as if I was scooping up water but it proved illusive, like a cloud.

After we were brought out of our semi-unconscious state (I fell asleep momentarily three times) we were all asked to share what we experienced; I eventually chirped up with the word 'profound'.

The detail of the day is here too, all typed up with pictures (courtesy of iPad and iPhone) of flip-charts, post-it notes, finger-paintings and slides. This will take a week to prepare as posts.

Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by Susan Whelan, Friday, 13 Jan 2012, 14:55)
Share post
Design Museum

New Year Resolutions : How are you getting on?

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 21 Jan 2012, 19:23
DSC02345.JPG

And I make it to the Olympics to work in the Press Office covering water-polo

Returned to swim coaching and teaching last weekend and even have a place to help out with a Milton Keynes club during the week when I'm away from home. Joy! Ten months on some of the swimmers (age 8-11 in teaching groups) remembered me and were keen to tell me of some of the fun drills I used to with them. (like sea otters collecting oysters from the seabed)

Today I went for a swim, albeit the pool at the Marriott Hotel, Heathrow, but I got wet, used a pull-bouy, got warmed up and have therefore made a start. I didn't have contacts, my excuse not to bother, and it didn't matter much. I can swim in a straight line.

Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by Peter Hendry, Thursday, 12 Jan 2012, 09:12)
Share post
Design Museum

B822 Techniques Library: Keeping a Dream Diary & Working with Dreams

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 5 Jun 2014, 05:25

The lack of control over where your head goes and what it reveals should understandably go with a note of considerable caution. There often is no such thing as an innocent dream. It sometimes throws me when what is apparent in the dream: its people, actions and events can once analysed tell you something you can't accept or dislike about yourself or others.

Context is everything.

What bothers you as you fall asleep?

What's on your mind?

A film you have just watched could very well fill your head; I'm still enjoying the afterglow of '500 days of summer': troubled because its truth but delighted in the outcome.

It is less the dream diary, but a diary that can help you put your subconscious to work.

Should you write up your troubled day, and should you care not only to bring work home with you but also take it to bed, then indeed, the issue that is strangling your budget, or losing you business friends could be resolved in a dream. Once you have that dream in the conscious arena you can even rework it like a TV producer changing the protagonists and outcomes.

I dreamt I was in a court of sorts (I can see it in my mind's eye but will neither describe it or attempt to draw it unless some detail needs bringing out).

I presume I was a prosecuting solicitor.

Two trials cut together one after the other (have dreams always been film literate?). The second case is a rape; he is 'cock sure' thankfully there is no murder involved. He deserves to receive the severest punishment. The previous case with a different barrister had gone off like a damp squib; perhaps it wasn't as serious a case but I felt the person had got off lightly and I blamed the barrister for not following my instructions suitably closely. In this second trial I have a word perfect summing up which I might expect this new barrister to follow. On the contrary, I find this person launch in more like a hack journalist/columnist than a prosecuting lawyer. I worry that the defendant will get off lightly; however, it soon dawns on me that this person is using my argument but not the script and like a stand-up comic (though with professionalism and the hint of a smile of confidence) they will deliver a knock-out blow: they have taken what I can provide and made it better.

Does this solve my problem?

It doesn't answer something specific. If the photocopier is broken and never gets fixed I don't think I'd turn to my 'dream spirits' for the answer.

Does it even suggest to you that this approach has legs?

Me, I'm the defence solicitor, not the barrister. I may not solve the 'problem' the defendant, though I make my contribution.

Nor have I had to resort to a set of 27 questions to reach this point (see below).

I do not imagine sitting with a bunch of colleagues interpreting their dreams would be appropriate or suitable; they ate too random, and so are we. But I do recommend this approach for personal problem resolution, but be warned, you may try to get your dreams to set out your next career move only to discover that in your heart you hate your job and sector and wish instead to teach English to Japanese school-girls.

Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 11 Jan 2012, 07:06)
Share post
Design Museum

The last of the bunch: daisies that think they are assignments gone wrong

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 2 May 2014, 14:22

The exotic essay. What happens if you choose an elective that isn't your cup of tea. So you write about what interests you hoping that you'll get marks for being obtuse.

I think I'm losing the plot now or getting into my flow: Olympics, Wimbledon, Grand National, Grand Prix. There are many occassions when NOT to write an assignment.

 

A podcast. Who needs the written word when you can say it with a smiley voice?

Lost the plot. Bitty. Random notes with. No beginning, middle or end.

An odd thing. A poem perhaps? Or an essay with a split personality that wasn't much improved by putting bells on it.

 

 

 

Any excuse will do: gone fishing, got a cold, computer ate it, dog ate it, parents unwell, children unwell, busy at work, made redundant (again) ...

Permalink 4 comments (latest comment by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 11 Jan 2012, 06:07)
Share post
Design Museum

Further mistakes I have made writing assignments and essays expressed as cartoon daisies

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 19 Apr 2012, 08:24

DSC00352.JPG

I wrote one of these for an end of Module Assignment.

I got carried away with a single thesis. Not only did I stick to the topic, but I illustrated it. It was the image of a thermal on which career development was built. Problem was I hadn't given myself time to qualify my thinking, indeed, despite a heap of work I barely mentioned it (and barely got any marks). DSC00355.JPG

Here the essay has been bought online.

Sometimes it is easy to spot the pot. These days software does it for educational institutions.

 

DSC00358.JPG

To the right or to the left; if the essay shows any political bias it is going to score less well.

DSC00359.JPG

 

The essay that's going nowhere.

No idea, no essay plan, contemplates where it would like to go then reflects on where is would like to have been without saying very much at all.

 

Permalink 4 comments (latest comment by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 10 Jan 2012, 19:56)
Share post
Design Museum

B822 Techniques Library: Visual Brainstorm

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 5 Jun 2014, 05:24

 

The Perfect Essay(as described to me by my Geography A'Level Teacher, D.Rhodes, 1979)

After McKim, 1980.

Defer judgment. Don't be critical of others.

Aim for quantity. e.g. 30 thumb-nail sketches in 60 minutes

 PHASES

  • Idea Generation
  • Evaluation phase
  • Display your ideas
  • Offer constructive comment
  • Try different tactics
  • Compare sketches
  • Make written notes

How many of my early essays turned out.

REFERENCE

Adapted from McKim, R.H. (1980) Experiences in Visual Thinking, Belmont, C.A. PWS Publishers (Wadsworth Inc.) pp. 125-7

 

How many of my essays turned out even as an undergraduate: journalism. Heavy on the main idea but light on facts. 

 

No introduction, no conclusion. What a shame.

Skewed. How those with a political stance write.

Short, but beautifully formed. More of a blog post than an essay.

A bunch of ideas that show potential, though none of them are relevant to the question. Sounds like me. I do get distraced. I like variety.

The seasonal distraction. Could be Easter or Summer, Halloween or Guy Faulkes. Something in the news or on your mind. It has nothing to do with the assignment. With a TMA deadline and a job interview coinciding I re-wrote the TMA coming out of the interview and just scraped a pass. Enthusiastic, full of ideas but no referencing.

Anyone like to offer some more:

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by ROSIE Rushton-Stone, Tuesday, 10 Jan 2012, 10:59)
Share post
Design Museum

Is education a problem or a business opportunity?

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 2 Nov 2012, 23:40

DSC01843.JPG

'In Business' with Peter Day on BBC Radio 4 recently included insights on higher education from the Open University Vice Chancellor Martin Bean.

Martin Beanenlightens, enthuses and convinces us of a model that puts the student at the centre of things, supported by great teaching that exploits everything online and distance learning can now offer.

Personally I always need a transcript alongside radio or TV if I am to start to recall much that is said. I offer here a partial transcript.

The Open University point of view is expressed in the first eight minutes.

PETER DAY (PD) suggests that people are complaining about education. This is 'In Business' so that angle is on the graduates that join companies.

'Almost everywhere education seems to be failing to produce what people want from it'.

Now businesses are getting much more involved we are told.

Is education a problem or a business opportunity?

'Wherever they come from and whatever they are learning what should students be taught? That’s something companies are increasingly getting involved with because they are finding it difficult to get the trained people they need'.

Various industry leaders are interviewed, but a substantial part of programme, indeed the first 8 minutes of a 30 minute piece goes to the Open University, Vice Chancellor, Martin Bean, (MB) who we are reminded comes from industry himself having led education at Microsoft.

How is the OU introduced?

One of the global pioneers in new kinds of education was the Open University set up by the British Government 43 years ago to create distance learning based on broadcasting to reach students outside lecture halls. The Internet now provides huge new opportunities for the Open University. Here’s one of the OU’s online lessons:

The History of English in 10 minutes (narrated by Clive Anderson), an iTunes podcast is offered as an example of the online learning experience.

PD: Education is in some kind of crisis: why?

MB: Institutions needs to have the student at the heart of the equation otherwise it leads to dissatisfaction either with the teaching, or worse still the outcomes when they graduate.

Are employers getting 21stcentury skills, softer skills that are really about people, about the ability to collaborate, group problem solve, the ability to communicate effectively verbally, the ability to work in teams and our model as you know is based on practice-based learning, so the beauty of embedding learning in the workplace with the Open University model means that you're actually getting the best of both worlds. I think the fact that over 80% of the FTSE 100 companies in the UK sponsor an OU student gives a pretty clear indication to me that that model is one that overcomes some of that.

PD: There is competition from the more traditional universities now?

MB: Other more traditional universities are embracing more innovative practices that we’ve been using and I think that’s fantastic, that’s what students are demanding, these are students now that view technology and access and real time interaction an absolute necessity in their life.

It’s all about embracing the technology of the day.

MB: What’s on my agenda now is to continue to leverage the web, and the personalisation of the web, to fully embrace these new tablet and mobile devices that are proliferating the world and directly link them in to our virtual learning environments, so that people can get as much out of a tablet or mobile device as they do for entertainment today they can get as much if not more using it as a Higher Education learning device.

PD: Looking at the history of technology it is often thought that the new will replace the old?

MB: We have to redefine what personal means. The web has moved from being very content centric to very people centric.

The personal side of higher education is where the magic happens.

MB: What’s interesting though is the redefinition of what 'personal' can actually be. We used to think of personal as meaning physical, having to be in the same room, what’s interesting in what has happened to the web is it has moved from being very content centric to being very people centricand enabling us to engage and collaborate in Facebook-type ways that we could not have contemplated even five years ago.

PD: Is it better?

MB: It's not fair to compare classroom or lecture with online as it is all to do with the quality of teaching.

What is effective teaching?

When we get that precious time with an academic we want is discourse, want we want is challenge.

The real question is ‘what’s fit for purpose?’

 

Other contributors were:

Nick Wilson
Managing director, HP UK

Rob Williams
Principal lecturer, University of the West of England

Ralph Mainard
Deputy master, Dulwich College

Joe Spence
Master of Dulwich College

Jim O’Neill
Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management

Kunal Bahl
Founder of Indian coupon website Snapdeal

Krishnan Ganesh
Founder Tutorvista

Eric Schmidt
Chairman, Google

REFERENCE

Day, P (2011) In Business. TX 5 JAN & 9 Jan 2012 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b018xwtc (Accessed 10 Jan 2012)

 

Permalink 4 comments (latest comment by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 9 Jan 2012, 15:04)
Share post
Design Museum

B822 Techniques Library: Who are you?

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 10 Jan 2012, 07:33

Dracula%252520Spectacula%2525201979.JPG

Performing as Dracula in the 'Dracula Spectacula' at the People's Theatre, Newcastle December 1979

Who are you?

Is the problem deeper than 'making things work better' ? Are there issues regarding your 'identity' or 'life strategy' ? (Techniques Library, 2010)

Who am I?

or from a team perspective 'who are we?'

Write as many answers as you can.

When you run out ... keep going.

Put down anything that occurs to you, play word association, until 'something emergers'.

Working with a partner

Sit opposte a partner and give each other five to fifteen minutes each before the other takes up the 'call'.

The listener does no more: no comments, nods, smiles, frowns, just attentive listening.

(Sounds like a form a therapy to me, whether cogntive behavioural therapy or even psychiatry).

The listener can review but DON'T GIVE ADVICE.

Life Review

St Ignatius Loyola suggested looking back on your life from your deathbed.

Imagine your infancy

Imagine being five

Imagine being:

  • 12
  • 25
  • 40
  • 65

Imagine being very, very old

Imagine your death

Imagine being reborn

Return

REFERENCE

Adapted from Vaughan, F.E. (1979) Awakening Intuition, New York, Anchor, pp. 1987-9

Permalink
Share post
Design Museum

B822 Techniques Library: Visualing a goal

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 9 Jan 2012, 19:57

Castle%252520Pool%2525201_1.jpg

The power of your wish makes the wish come true.

From Gawain (1982)

1) Set your goal.

Start on something easy, achieve it, and develop confidence in the techniques.

2) Create a clear idea or picture

Think of it in the present tense as something that already exists

3) Focus on it often

Integrate it into your life by thinking about it often.

4) Give it positive energy

Use affirmations. Suspend any doubts or disbelief. (This sounds like Zen. Did Steve Jobs get any of this on his trips to India in the 1970s?)

5) Continue 'til you have achieved your goal

6) Appreciate it when you get there

REFERENCE

Adapted from: Gawain, S 91982) Creative Visualization, New York, Bantam Boks, pp. 16-18

 

 

 

Permalink
Share post
Design Museum

B822 Techniques Library: Using 'Crazy' Ideas

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 10 Jan 2012, 07:15

Ken%252520Dodd%252520Tickling%252520Stick%252520GRAB.JPG

Ken Dodd

Ideas that could get you fired if suggested or are lauigh out loud funny; so there's a risk. (Techniques Library 2010)

Developed by Rickards (1974) as 'Wildest Idea' and de Bono (1982) as 'Intermediate impossible'.

Why beneficial?

  • They break down assumptions.
  • The humour can energise a group and trigger more ideas (inlcuding some unthought of that might work)

Use these techniques:

  • Brainstroming
  • Free Association
  • Excusrsion

Treat it seriously to see where it takes you

Don't get stuck on a non-starter (but aren't they all implicitally a non-starter if they are going to get you fired or ar laughable?)

REFERENCE

Rickards, T. (1974) Problem-solving Through Creative Analysis, Essex, UK, Gower Press.

de Bono, E. (1982) Later Thinkking for Management, Pelican Books.

VanGundy, A.B. (1988) Techniques of Structured Problem Solving, 2nd ed. Van Nostranran Reinhold. Technique 4.61. p. 202


Permalink
Share post
Design Museum

Super-selection creates a monoculture that does not benefit society

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 28 May 2012, 17:34

Tim Blackman, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Open University: in response to the article by Baroness Blacktone in the THE: says,

It's interesting that selection has always been a hot topic in secondary education but widely accepted in tertiary education. Just as selective schools are our 'best' schools because of very little to do with the teaching but a lot to do with who they keep out, we should start to question just what makes a 'top' university.

What do you think? My take is as follows:

Life is messy; selection based on consistency of performance suits a type, not simply by background but by character. We gain when everyone is able whatever route they take to satisfy their desire to learn, indeed there may be greater appreciation and gratitude of the worth of education for those who haven't gone through via the conveyor- belt of privilege. The caveat is to respect those who not only don't want to study: they like to learn by doing, but who seek out to learn in a way that suits them and their circumstances. Flexibility has been the watch-word for this group until now; 'personalised' learning that turns an education into a carefully tailored and personally adjusted garment is the next step.

The thing that binds the extraordinary diversity of students at the Open University is 'the desire to learn', something that I find most humbling in those who have been imprisoned for their crimes and find salvation in learning, invariably through the OU, others, 'prisoners' of circumstance, can equally find the OU offers a way out and on, if not up and into parts of society that had shunned them because they not dine things in the right order and at the preferred time. Increasingly, in this century, courtesy of personalised learning through mobile devices the OU model of flexibility and 'distance' or e-learning could be picked up at secondary, even primary levels, something that is perhaps being demonstrated by the Khan Institute in North America, indeed happens anyway vicariously through learning in social networks or in online games.

The shift towards increasingly personalised, flexible, online and even mobile learning can only be achieved by self-selection; in the case of learning this becomes the point where the individual's desire to learn is 'activated' never mind the advantages or 'disadvantages' of their prior life opportunities. The 'system' will improve and benefit more by valuing this moment and therefore nurturing those who make it to a course or through a qualification via what is currently thought to be a 'different route'. To which I might add that 'who you are' at and during a short or extended period of learning matters more than the grades you were able to achieve in your youth, 'privileged' or otherwise. For many OU students the opportunity to learn, whoever and whenever they make a start, can with the nurturing and supportive environment and 'personality' of the OU result in countless extraordinary stories of lives being enhanced, turned around, given meaning, value and even status.

A final thought, I had this 'converyor belt of privilege': boarding prep school, public school, Balliol College, Oxford yet my love and respect for learning has only come from the Open University; I am a better person for it.

Might I also suggest that this perceived selection process leads to expectation that someone with such an education (not their choice but their parents') is then possibly obliged, like it or not, to continue into the Foreign Office, MOD, Banking, Law or Accountancy instead of developing a sense of how they are instead of what others want them to be?

REFERENCE

Tim Blackman, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Open University: in response to the article by Baroness Blacktone in the THE:http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=418423

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

B822 Techniques Library: Time Line

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 9 Jan 2012, 19:53

Mark out a Time Line and begin at the 'time' the problem began.

The%252520History%252520of%252520Apple%252520Time%252520TOAST%252520SNIP%2525208%252520JAN%2525202012.JPG

Time Line Software

Developing a careers information video some years ago I did this exercise with 50 Youth Theatre students by placing out long lines of coloured discs on the floor. I bought these from a sports shop: I think they are used in P.E. Classes.

I could then help them go through periods of their life imagining where they would be and the steps, literally, that they'd have to take to achieve their goals.

This was in turn translated into a video production where we represented all young people (Year 9) with one character and had them move through time using the combination of a partially dismantled running machine and a green screen.

There's clip on YouTube (JJ27VV) Corporate Showreel

I agree that this approach makes it 'easier to get into a strongly 'associated' or 'merged' state'. That the idea is easy to grasp, not simply because we follow Dr Who or saw 'Back to the Future' or even read HGWells, but we all have, written or not, a personal journey that can be envisaged as a time line with a past, present and future: a beginning and an end.

We are told that this could be considered as a variant of other 'Neuro-linguistic Programming techniqes' 'aimed at helping you shift your perceptual position'. I don't see this yet but am referred to a technique I've thus far ignored called 'Disney technique'.

REFERENCE

James,T. and Woodsmall, W (1988) Time Line THerapy and the Basis of Personality. Capitola, Meta Publications INc.

Bodehamer, B.G. and Hall, L.M. (1997) Time-Lining: Patterns for Adventuring in 'Time', Bancyfelin, Anglo-American Book Company.

 

Permalink
Share post

This blog might contain posts that are only visible to logged-in users, or where only logged-in users can comment. If you have an account on the system, please log in for full access.

Total visits to this blog: 7014912