Looking: Thinking: Making; A collective approach to curriculum development.


By inviting a range of creative practitioners to reflect on digital learning experiences within Looking: Thinking: Making we represent a multiplicity of voices in ‘making teaching’. Students, academics, technicians, and researchers come together as ‘makers of pedagogy’, with the aim of collectively reflecting on creating a democratic approach in developing curriculum. As part of this, we will discuss how students’ creative practice can act as a vehicle to explore and develop different teaching methodologies for digitally engaged learning.


Thirty minutes panel discussion made up of six people: students, technicians, academics and learning developers (details to be confirmed closer to the conference date). The session will include visual aides and conclude with fifteen minutes for a Q&A.


The session will offer multiple views of digitally engaged learning with a specific focus on teaching fashion communication at postgraduate level. Delegates will gain an insight into how a digital tool, such as Slack, can facilitate collective problem solving and individual reflection on creative practice. Furthermore, participants will have the opportunity to contribute to a debate on digital literacies and their relevance to ‘teaching making / making teaching’.


Looking: Thinking: Making is a collaborative educational research project focusing particularly on the values, roles and uses of digital capabilities, literacies and spaces that postgraduate fashion communication students experience throughout their one-year course. The case study considers the benefits and challenges of developing curricula that supports students’ independent image making practices. These include how students are enabled to define their own workflows and develop multiple literacies in their digital learning. The case study also examines ways in which students are supported in developing professional rigour and resilience needed as the next generation of communicators, working within a competitive industry.

During an earlier phase of this project, research findings highlighted the need for creating discursive spaces for participants (students, technicians and tutors) within which present and future practices of working creatively in the digital environment can be discovered, generated, explored and built upon. Furthermore, the demand for spaces that offer opportunities for peer-to-peer learning between all participants was expressed, thus creating the potential for enhanced and fruitful learning encounters. Initial research findings also drew attention to the extent of which participants value the sense of belonging experienced by working in such collaborative non-hierarchical manner.

As the project progresses further ideas for 'making teaching' are developed into a framework within which students, technicians and tutors are conceived as partners. In this context, 'making teaching' particulalry refers to generating new knowledge, discovering unfamiliar practices whilst reflecting on the process of learning.

During the panel discussion we will show examples of interventions introduced to the fashion communication curriculum in response to some of our research findings. We will discuss how face-to-face and virtual networks have been used to explore connectivity between project participants, ultimately attempting to challenge institutional hierarchies, siloed working cultures and fragmented practices.