Evolution of research questions

How far is practical media work a relevant contemporary craft?

(too restrictive, but can use it as a lens in places)

What are the learning outcomes of the digital manipulation of audiovisual elements?

(learning outcomes too loaded a term and restricting… not process-based, which is my interest)

How can we cultivate a positive disposition towards learning in the digital environment?

(disposition is a word that keeps coming back… as editing does… this is still in the running)

What are young people learning from the processes of digital assembly?

(composition and assembly as aspects of literacy and cognitive development featuring largely at the moment)

March 2013

Moving away from OUTCOMES….

current structures are formed around these… and hence sideline the learner… I need to move away from “what is the material that needs covering?”


  1. Interestingly, the word “disposition” came up a lot when we were all revising the National Curriculum in New Zealand. We wanted to create learners with a set of dispositions that enabled them to become the kind of flexible-thinking, engaged, interdependent citizens we prided ourselves to be. I think it’s a rich term, but in this case – ie. the UK – that disposition in question 4 seems to be more difficult to achieve amongst the teachers rather than the learners.

    The final question has potential. I also feel the focus on what is ‘learned’ would allow your work to become a part of the discourse on ‘effect’ that seems so powerful at the moment.

    My thoughts there are that now that ‘effect’ on learning and ‘progression’ are becoming the measures by which the education system is being assessed – we are in desperate need of both a broader definition of what ‘learning outcomes’ actually are – as well as much more subtle tools to assess this. The final question affords a possibility that your work could start to provide these much needed tools.

    I feel, for as long as grammar and memorisation are the only things tested, the system will continue to avoid many essential forms of learning due to the fact that their outcomes and impact on the learner cannot be measured. We need new language in our discourse and new tools in our pockets!


    • Thanks for this Chris. I think you’re right. I come across it time and time again – “Yeah, it’d be great to do more arty, creative stuff like this … but you just can’t assess it / measure attainment or progression” … This frame of mind needs unsettling and to be broadened out. There needs to be more onus on the teachers to give of themselves qualitatively when it comes to assessment … to be authorised to pronounce and have faith in their own assessments of levels of pupils’ evocative risk-taking in media texts.

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