Project Title: Creative Learning Module (CLM) for Architecture and Surveying students
Principal Investigator/Team: Anderson Lee(Co-PI), Christopher Webster (Co-PI)
Funding Body: HKU Teaching Development Grant(TDG); FoA dean‟s start-up fund
Creativity Learning Module (CLM) is a stand-alone workshop to complement and enhance the teaching and learning experience of our undergraduate students. CLM is an un-assessed, compact and freestanding module that focuses on helping our students become aware of their personal attributes and natural roles in teamwork. As well as facilitating discovery and awareness of own and others‟ strengths and weaknesses in group situations, we expect the experience to help students make more out of the remainder of their academic programmes. CLM will empower students by helping them to better understand their own characters, which in turn will help them to develop the emotional intelligence and social behavior required to achieve a more rewarding learning experience throughout their academic life at HKU, particularly but not confined to, team work.
Our students currently graduate are equipped with the professional knowledge required to handle the demands of their respective disciplines. A formally facilitated learning experience designed to enhance their emotional and social behavioral qualities will, we believe, enhance their initial comprehensive and professional educational and equip them for a lifetime of learning and leadership.
The evaluation of the programme indicated that objectives were broadly met for those students who completed the programme and there was evidence of positive impact and change related to the 7 specific objectives. The quantitative analysis was limited due to low response and attrition rates. However, qualitative comments indicated that students had benefitted, learnt and made positive changes in diverse areas.
There was a challenge with disengaged students in the first run and there was considerable drop out during the two days. This was likely the result of a number of factors including: students delayed arrival very late in Shanghai on the night before the programme; a very late and unsatisfactory start to the workshop, in part due to very poor internet connection during the administration of the initial self-efficacy survey and tiredness and annoyance on the part of the students. This prevented a tight and engaging start to the two days. The students were also less willing to engage and mix across the two disciplines than was anticipated, so the mixed discipline groups were not well received.
During the first workshop the facilitators adjusted the programme to increase relevance and engagement and to allow more choice but in the end a smaller group of committed students from both disciplines remained for the duration of the two days and were overall highly engaged.
Changes were made to the second run of the programme, such as: requesting students to complete their self-efficacy surveys prior to the programme, making the students to apply for and to be admitted to the workshop and adjusting the content, framing and delivery of the workshop.
Overall, these changes resulted in a more positive and engaging experience, a better learning environment and arguably better outcomes and impact for the students.
The response rates for the pre-programme self-efficacy surveys was high for both workshops but the dropout rate during the first workshop resulted in much lower response rates for the 1st post programme self-efficacy survey and a very low response rate for the 2nd survey, 6 weeks later. The rate was better for the second workshop but, despite a series of reminders, there was still a high attrition rate for the 2nd post programme survey since the particpants (all BAAS 4) have left the university and entered the job market.
Two-day workshop at the HKU Shanghai Study Centre(HKUSSC) in Shanghai during Fall 2015 – Creativity Learning Module (for 30 (BAAS 3)students and 30 BSc(Surv) students)
During the workshops, students were provided with:
- Guidance in goal setting.
- Detailed interpretation of their own data.
- A framework for understanding themselves and for understanding others (i.e. the range of different motivations, behaviors and needs to enable them to calibrate their own).
Experiential learning through two collaborative creative exercises.
- A framework for understanding different aspects of and expressions of creativity.
- A model for communicating with others based on the other person‟s broad underlying needs.
- A range of perspectives and advice on making career choices, transitioning into the marketplace and developing their careers in line with their motivations and strengths; advice on and practical applications of their career matching data.
- Reflection booklets were used throughout the two days for students to capture their learning and action points.
Two-day workshop in Hong Kong during Spring 2016 – Preparing Yourself for the Marketplace Workshop (for 15 (BAAS 4) students)
In this second workshop, the students were also:
- Introduced to a methodology for explaining themselves to others, e.g. in an interview, personal statement, to new work colleagues, managers etc.
- They captured their key motivators, de-motivators, styles, stress triggers and reactions and preferred activities and contributions to projects and work contexts and practiced articulating these to each other.
- Given some insight into how to identify their „blind spots‟ in terms of broad perspectives such as strategic/innovative thinking, admin/systems, selling/communicating and delivering results.
- Provided with guidance on how to build their own resilience and strength given their personal underlying needs.
- This workshop included the option for students to have a one on one mentoring session relating to their
self-understanding and career direction/choices.
Students were asked to complete 3 self-efficacy surveys (one immediately before the programme, one immediately after and one 6 weeks after the programme. They also completed an evaluation of the programme at the end of the workshop. Data from these surveys was analyzed to evaluate the impact of the programme on student‟s levels of self-awareness and confidence in the areas of self-regulating their learning, seeking support, career direction, leading and working in teams and demonstrating creativity.
The programme was shown to be effective for the participating students in terms of the topics covered and the benefits gained. These could inform the curriculum and improve learning outcomes in the following ways:
-Enhancing the experience of students working in project teams. The simple data relating to individual style, need and preferred contribution as well as style of communication would enable students to work more productively together with less misunderstanding and conflict. Taking one or two hours at the start of team projects to explore and share differences would provide significant benefit.
-Supporting students to adopt effective learning strategies based on their profiles could impact their academic achievement.
-Providing teaching staff with data on their students‟ styles and preferences would provide staff with the insight to support individual students or to tailor their teaching methodologies to engage with diverse students more effectively.