For this project I’m finally working on celebrating the city where I live. George St, Dunedin, NZ

The Screw Work Let’s Play 30 Day Challenge

I’m doing it!   www.screwworkletsplay.com

30 days
A network of 300 people
All working to create and nuture a creative project of their choosing
with defined deliverables and daily inspiration and coaching.

10 days in and after some procrastination, doubt, fear and dislike, I’m finally starting to get busy.

CCEL: memory vs. fact

Glass(es) half full by Jim Crocker

Glass(es) half full by Jim Crocker via Flickr

Just re-learnt a valuable lesson – when it comes to course feedback, always reread it a month later.

I finally found the course feedback from students on the Fundamentals 1 paper I have been rewriting. (Yes, my filing system is still somewhat in disarray).  I remember being very disappointed and thinking that it was terrible and that I needed to change the whole course. And this is the task I have set myself in CCEL, restructuring the paper for this year. However, on rereading the course feedback, it is not nearly as terrible as I remember. Most numbers are above 90%. Only one satisfaction question is under 80%, which is the ‘this course is relevant to the workplace and my industry or profession’ at is at 75%. However, my colleague just pointed out that would students who are in the first 4 months of their degree have much of an idea about relevancy to the workplace?

There are a lot of comments in the feedback about how useful some of the drawing exercises were. Therefore I need to re-look at my timetable plan to keep some of them, in a coherent way to the overall course plan. I definitely do not want to ‘throw the baby out with the bathwater’ and chuck out a lot of useful drawing tuition for no actual reason.

So it seems my dire view of the paper is perhaps coming from how I felt facilitating the course – I hated it. I felt like I wasn’t able to communicate what the students needed to know, and suffered quite a few renditions of “who on earth am I to try to teach drawing? I’m not an artist”-type thinking.

The emotional impact of learning doesn’t just effect learners, but lecturers too…

CCEL: Shifting…


Goalpost by Ekkebus via Flikr creative commons license

The goal posts haven’t shifted completely, but they definitely have a few holes in the net. I found out on Tuesday that due to low enrollment numbers, my HOD wanted to reconsider running Fundamentals with both Interiors and Product students. This would have scuppered all my planning to date. Luckily as I was able to whip out my planning documents I’ve been working on, she could see the sense in my argument to keep them apart. Its all up in the air until next week, but I hope that I’ll only have to do one or two topics that are relevant for both sets of students, and keep the discipline specific content.

CCEL: Going further – TED ED and interactive video lessons


Screenshot from the TED ED website

I heard about TED ED from one of my colleagues on the flexible learning course, and then promptly forgot about it. As I was going through my notes to prepare for activity 4 for CCEL, I came across my scribble “look up TED ED NOW!”

Perfect timing.  Now that I’m finding videos on YouTube that are useful, the natural next step is to customise them.

So I created an account, and have started to ‘flip’ my first video.

According to TED ED, “The “flip this video” button allows you to turn a video into a customized lesson that can be assigned to students or shared more widely. You can add context, questions and follow-up suggestions.”  They see their website as part of the emerging ‘flip teaching’ movement,  where students review and complete online material before a class session, enabling the session to focus more on discussion, collaboration and extension, rather than listening to the basics.


However, I’ve struck a snag. A lot of the examples on the TED ED website, the author of the video has created the lesson. However, I just want to add questions to another authors video. I’m assuming that as the links and credits to the original authors work is all still there, this is acceptable with copyright law. But its not clear on the TED ED website. Also, I wanted to add questions at particular points on the video, but I don’t think I can do that, they look like they must come afterwards. (Maybe that would be a breech of copyright, as you are interrupting the flow of the original work)

Will keep working and see what happens.

CCEL: Exploring the YouTube Universe

I’ve admitted on here previously that I only really started watching YouTube last year. I’d not worked out the difference between ‘downloading’ video and ‘streaming’ video. Once I finally admitted to someone that I was afraid of using YouTube in case I picked up all sorts of computer viruses, and after they had finished laughing at me, my tentative exploration of the site began. I’m still a bit befuddled by the idea of memes, and all the videos of cats now enshrined in its digital halls, but I must also admit to chuckling while watching Maru the cat.

I’ve used quite a few YouTube videos over the last 6 months on the Moodle page for students to access, especially for drawing techniques and digital rendering. These were a natural first step – ‘how to’ videos for learners away from class, so they can review these techniques when working at home. In class we would go over how we could adapt techniques to suit the drawings they are working on.

Recently though I’ve finally clicked on the idea of expanding the range of videos to find content that discusses broader concepts. I’d like to find videos that look at architectural history, or basic structural systems. Complicated subjects that students could watch several times.

The other difficulty of posting videos on Moodle is that I know only the more dedicated learners have been watching them. For more complicated subjects, creating some sort of exercise or test to make passive watching into an active event and hopefully deeper learning.


Today I finally learnt a bit more about YouTube and created a profile and a channel called InteriorsOP. This means I can create different playlists, corralling all the videos in one place. The next step would be to make the move of creating videos myself on topics that I can’t find already made, or better yet, set a learning activity so the class is divided up and makes a series of videos as a class resource.

My intention is to create a series of playlists related to the learning outcomes for Fundamentals 1. I would like the learners to review the material the week before the class, so we have a level of understanding before we do the workshop.

CCEL: Developing flexible content for learners in interior design

The next few posts are about my forays into developing more flexible content for another of our courses. Fundamentals 1 is a first year paper in which learners investigate a wide variety of topics. I’m trying to refine it to make it more useful and more cohesive. The course is full year, so 24 weeks available for studio contact.

The existing learning outcomes are a varied mix. I would like to order the content to cover the learning objectives, but in a more ordered way. The categories are inspired by the textbook Fundamentals of Interior Architecture by J. Coles, which I thought is a very clear and concise book that I will be recommending to our students.

No of weeks Category Current content that fits category New content to be developed/found
3 Space and form The design elements and principles

The basic states (open/closed etc)

Other resources on the web?
3 Site and function > Environmental Psychology

> Analysing the physical context using diagrams

>Diagraming the program of a building

>Accessing local council and regulatory body information

> Basic overview of structural systems

> Uncovering the history of a building

>Further content on building function

5 Texture and materials >Colour

>Emotive meanings of materials

> Building a resource – basic classification of materials

> Specifiying materials

Further material resources – more samples in class?

Arrange series of rep visits?

2 Light and mood Basic types of lighting The effect of lighting

Interactive lighting exercise – altering a space with different lighting?

3 Communication Professional communication

Conducting a client interview

Developing a project brief

Further writing resources

Business writing

8 Major project Client project

Coles, J. House, N. (2007) The fundamentals of interior architecture. Switzerland: AVA Publishing


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