Creativity in Higher Education Meeting #creativeHE

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[Prelude: I read a few tweets about blogging this morning, with people sharing how many draft posts they have written and not published. This prompted me to look at my own - 13! so I'm making an effort to finish this one! Started in October 2019]

Like many similar arts focused institutions, LIPA have an abundance of creative people and practices, but when it comes to student assessment, are we still as maverick? Do we break the waves?  As you'd expect the picture is mixed. We have some very creative uses of media for assessment and feedback Judging by the amount of essay assignments we set, it could prove very useful for me and hence, I thought it would be useful for the institution if I attended this free event in Manchester.

Led by very active and creative individuals in the academic development field: Dr Chrissi Nerantzi Principal Lecturer in Academic Development, NTF and creator of #LTHEchat, and Neil Withnall, Associate Dean Academic (Student Experience) at University of Salford, and Emma Gillaspy, Senior Lecturer in Digital Learning at UCLAN. 

The meeting was a useful introduction to some of the issues associated with creativity in HE. It was attended by academic colleagues from the following universities:
  • University of Salford
  • University of Manchester
  • UCLAN (Preston)
  • University of Oldham
  • Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts
  • Manchester Metropolitan University

The conversation was facilitated well and centred around a few activities designed to help people share their ideas and expertise.  Topics included:
  • Barriers to innovation & creativity: Structural elements such as room size, student numbers and time to change assessment practices (18 months in some instances)
  • Tools to enhance creativity: Lego Serious Play, Powerpoint as a creative tool (& a barrier) and Padlet/Mentimeter
  • Risk aversion: Pressure to provide teaching that students recognise, not necessarily, creative. Space, time and support required to adopt creative approaches. Importance of supporting failure
  • Gamification: Roleplay, LSP and gaming tools such as Kahoot it

What does this mean for LIPA?

Overall, the meeting was a useful introduction into the subject of creativity and the issues around it. I will be recommending it to our teaching staff and i hope some of them can take the time out to attend the next meeting in Liverpool. I'm sure they will have much to contribute and much to learn.  also, the more I hear about Lego Serious Play, the more I am convinced it could be used at the institution as a creative way of problem-solving. It could be very usefully employed to help staff reconsider how they create a complex curriculum. We are in the process of curriculum review and I've recommended LSP to senior managers. So let's wait and see!

Find out for yourselves!

Upcoming events: (LIPA is involved in hosting a meeting in February)
  • 11 February 12:00-14:00 in Liverpool (jointly hosted by the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and University of Liverpool)
  • 22 April 13:00-15:00 at University Campus Oldham
  • 12 June 10:00-15:00 Our 2nd Annual #creativeHEjam hosted at UCLan


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