A New Frontier for Academic Spaces: Perspectives on the Noel Studio for Academic Creativity
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A New Frontier for Academic Spaces: Perspectives on the Noel Studio for Academic Creativity

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Dr. Russell Carpenter delivered this presentation at the National Association of Communication Centers conference held in Greencastle, IN on the campus of DePauw University on March 13, 2010. In this ...

Dr. Russell Carpenter delivered this presentation at the National Association of Communication Centers conference held in Greencastle, IN on the campus of DePauw University on March 13, 2010. In this presentation, Carpenter uses remediation theory to analyze spaces intended to facilitate the development of communication practices through the innovative use of technology and critical and creative thinking.

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  • Welcome. Thanks for coming.Brief introduction. So what is the Noel Studio for Academic Creativity?The Noel Studio for Academic Creativity serves the EKU community as a collaborative, innovative learning experience dedicated to the improvement of communication and research skills.
  • I make the case for integrated spaces that bring together writing, speaking, and research support to develop students who identify, evaluate, and use appropriate information for the development and improvement of communication practices. More specifically, I offer perspectives on a unique and inspiring new academic space under construction at Eastern Kentucky University: the Noel Studio for Academic Creativity. As I suggest here, the Noel Studio is a frontier in need of further exploration. We’re not only building the curriculum or intellectual space, we’re building a physical structure that is responsive to the needs of 21st century communications; a space designed for the integration of writing, speaking, and research. Let’s take a look.
  • “Creativity presupposes a community of people who share ways of thinking and acting and who learn from each other and imitate each other’s actions” Hennessey (192). “Orality-literacy dynamics enter integrally into the modern evolution of consciousness toward both greater interiorization and greater openness” Ong (176). Community of people who share ways of thinking and acting (GROUP CREATIVITY) +Archive to construct and deconstruct—capture the moment so that it can be discussed and analyzed—greater introspection is a profound intellectual goal= STUDIO -- creation of intellectual space through physical space
  • Our model—physical and spatial developments that promote the mission of developing critical and creative thinkers who communicate effectively. The Noel Studio is under construction in the heart of Eastern Kentucky University’s libraries complex. The 10,000-square-foot facility will open in fall 2010 as an integrated learning space, absorbing the current writing center and offering oral communication support, which will be a new resource for EKU students. This unique concept sets the stage for interesting practical and theoretical discussion, in some cases centered on the orality and literacy foundations established by Walter Ong. From a practical standpoint, the thoughtful design of the Noel Studio’s physical space deserves much attention as well. I’m going to discuss some of the material developments of this new space. Let me walk you through the space: a glimpse at the first floor.
  • An increased interest in information literacy inspires a move to an integrated space. Information literacy movements, including what we have seen at EKU where parallel yet related conversations occur within the confines of the writing center, communication department, and library. A glimpse at the space: 2nd floor.
  • Related conversations stand to benefit and strengthen these important areas of the university, but too often they occur in their silos, forgoing the opportunity to build on one another and make linkages between writing, speaking, and research. Why do these linkages matter? What can we learn together?
  • The Noel Studio will consider information fluency key to its development. The Noel Studio will help students access, analyze, and use information to develop effective communication products from across the disciplines at the undergraduate and graduate level. To help develop close connections to research practices, we’ve hired a full-time Research Coordinator who is already on campus and working with us.
  • We can learn a great deal from the design of our physical spaces, especially in terms of how we intend for visitors to use them. An integrated academic space is designed to thrive on both written and oral communication, seemingly feeding off one another in interesting, significant, and productive ways. Designing a space that facilitates this complementary relationship is nothing short of a challenge. I apply theories of remediation, to use Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin’s term, or remixed, as Lawrence Lessig says, to examine perspectives for building and theorizing the Noel Studio as a historical new academic space, a frontier in many ways for communication centers. Remediation provides a lens through which we can analyze the development and improvement of spaces designed to promote effective communication. Through remediation, new media do what their predecessors have done: present themselves as refashioned and improved versions of other media (Bolter and Grusin, 14-15, 1999). The content of the older space can simply be poured into the new one, a new means of gaining access to old materials (45, 1999).
  • Unlike many other academic spaces, the Noel Studio allows students to think beyond traditional forms of communication to consider the life of the spoken word that is not limited to the stand-and-deliver presentation but embraces video, digital narrative, or multimodal portfolio. Noel Studio areas, such as breakout spaces, invention spaces, practice rooms, and discovery classrooms will provide students with a variety of inspirational homes to refine their communication products and give these pieces a new life unlike anything they have known before. In the Noel Studio, traditional binaries are remediated, offering spaces that are informed by orality and literacy through technology. That is, technological spaces allow us to archive the oral for late discussion and potential integration with writing.
  • The Noel Studio is designed as something students experience. The different spaces facilitate active and engaged learning. A technologically sophisticated environment, the Noel Studio will offer students opportunities to interact with texts. That is, students will be involved in the creative development of their communication products. Touch-screen technologies claim to remediate earlier technologies by providing an increased sense of interactivity and involvement, immersing communicators in their practices. The space will immerse students at every point, beginning with the kiosk where an initial assessment will take place before the student enters the space.
  • Kiosk: The kiosk serves as an information space where an initial assessment will take place. In true collaborative fashion, a designated consultant will help student visitors to identify where the consultation should begin by asking what kind of project the student is working on and the student’s main concern; with this information, the consultant can then determine where in the Noel Studio the consultation should begin. The consultant and student will then move to the invention space, presentation suite, or breakout space based on the initial assessment. Invention Space: Collaborative learning can be defined as students working in small groups to achieve shared learning goals (Barkley, Cross, and Major, 2005). Furthermore, it is rooted in the assumption that knowledge is socially constructed among peers (Vygotsky, 1978). The invention space, designed to free users from the constraints of the traditional classroom (Jankowska & Atlay, 2008), is where students will be inspired to pursue new, creative ideas and ways of thinking. Students need not worry if their project is in its infancy. In fact, they might only have a vague, abstract idea when they first visit. The invention space features an open and flexible design with furniture on wheels, mobile whiteboards, a wall of monitors, copycam system, and a wall of whiteboards that surrounds collaborative group spaces. The vision for this space is to provide an area where students generate ideas, a comfortable, interesting, and inspiring space that encourages visitors to pursue their interests without restrictions. The invention space will facilitate divergent thinking, manifested in the number of perspectives and alternatives offered and the degree to which uniquely held information is shared (Milliken, Bartel, & Kurtzberg, 35).Presentation Suites and Practice Rooms: The presentation rooms will provide students with space to refine their oral literature. The suite will serve as a social space where students can discuss their presentation with a consultant or classmates. How many students were encouraged to practice their oral compositions in front of a mirror? How much feedback are they able to receive when the message of the communication is lost once the student finishes practicing? The presentation rooms will allow students to archive previously lost information so that it is available for discussion with consultants and peers. These spaces will also offer students the opportunity to archive multimedia productions for use in digital portfolios and other forms of digital compositions that have become popular.Breakout Spaces: The breakout spaces will allow students to pursue multiple lines of thinking about their project, utilizing manipulatives to engage their multiple learning styles and think through the communication process creatively and critically. Furthermore, these spaces will allow students to incorporate music and sound into their invention processes. Groups will find these areas perfect for more focused discussion that began in the invention space or presentation suite. Discovery Classroom: The discovery classroom will serve as a flexible space for instruction, orientation, seminars, and speakers where students can work together in pairs or small groups along with the facilitator. Visitors to the discovery classroom will be engaged not only through the activities taking place within this space, but a floor-to-ceiling curved window will provide a panoramic view of the action taking place below them in the invention space. Conference Room: The conference room will allow the Noel Studio to network across campus or across the country. This space will also serve as a boardroom that will help students simulate group dynamics in a realistic setting. It is here that visitors will be able to “go into the very heart of the decision-making process, showing the group struggling with leadership roles and roles required by the project” (Potter, 2006: 58).
  • We communicate through writing, speaking, and research. Literacies in the 21st century are informed by practices from written and oral literature. Through its unique integrated design, students who visit the Noel Studio will improve their communication skills by1) Understanding the foundational elements of all communication 2) Seeing the connections between effective communication and appropriate information 3) Utilizing the fundamentals of critical and creative thinking to create and revise their communication products 4) Working with consultants to develop research strategies, organize and refine ideas, deliver articulate presentations, and create high quality products 5) Honing teamwork skills in order to effectively communicate in group situations
  • Communication practices involve the written and aural. There are incredibly interesting and profound scholarly projects taking place on our campuses, new forms of composition, that are informed by the written and oral word. At EKU, students develop digital portfolios, digital narratives, websites, and videos in their classes. Writing centers and/or communication centers alone aren’t equipped to help students develop these projects. They don’t train students to compose in these ways. These spaces lack the necessary technology to bring these projects to life. The Noel Studio, an integrated space, will provide students with a space that is responsive to new literacies. Students in the College of Education develop digital portfolios. They consist of presentations, writing samples, and teaching observations all within a digital artefact. The Noel Studio will provide a new home for these new media compositions.
  • One way students develop the ability to become their own critics is to “pose questions and think of their own answers. The effective use of questions can help students to construct knowledge” (Jones et al., 1995, pp. 165-166). A goal of the Noel Studio will be to stimulate and empower students to move beyond their comfort level so that they can risk asking the questions. Through critical and creative thinking, students become part of the communication process.
  • According to Ronald Rorrer: “the first thing that companies say they want from graduating seniors . . . is playing well with others, or teamwork. The other individual traits that lead to success as an engineer in the corporate world, in order of importance, are oral communication, written communication, and technical ability” (p. 50). Thus, the Noel Studio space encourages students to EXPERIENCE communication as collaboration.
  • Consultants will apply Paul and Elder’s Elements of Thought to help students develop insights about their communication products. The Elements of Thought include developing and discussing the point of view, purpose, question at issue, concepts, and assumptions of the communication project and product. It is through these critical thinking techniques that students will not only learn about ideas that can improve their product but also consider strategies for developing effective communication products in the future. Students will consider communication as a product and process comprised of integrated ideas, concepts, theories, and methods, which requires an attention to information, its appropriateness, and usefulness. To this end, the Noel Studio will facilitate a greater understanding of information literacy, to “evaluate the credibility, accuracy, and reliability of the various sources of information that they review” and “analyze and evaluate information while they concentrate on the interrelationships between themselves, the readers, the text, and their purposes for writing” (Jones et al., 1995, pp. 75, 76).
  • Unlike many other academic spaces, the Noel Studio allows students to think beyond traditional forms of communication to consider the life of the spoken word that is not limited to the stand-and-deliver presentation but embraces video, digital narrative, or multimodal portfolio. Noel Studio areas, such as breakout spaces, invention spaces, practice rooms, and discovery classrooms provide students with a variety of inspirational homes to refine their communication products and give these pieces a new life unlike anything they have known before.As I have discussed, the Noel Studio is a frontier in need of further exploration. We will continue to study the Noel Studio space, a frontier under construction and in development. I’ve focused on material developments of this new space. For more information on programming, please visit us online at studio.eku.edu!
  • Connect with the Studio!What’s next? National search for writing and research coordinatorsRock the Studio event on April 20Questions?

A New Frontier for Academic Spaces: Perspectives on the Noel Studio for Academic Creativity A New Frontier for Academic Spaces: Perspectives on the Noel Studio for Academic Creativity Presentation Transcript

  • A New Frontier for Academic Spaces: Perspectives on the Noel Studio for Academic Creativity
    A Presentation for the National Association of Communication Centers ConferenceGreencastle, IN | 13 March 2010
    Dr. Russell Carpenter
    Eastern Kentucky University
  • A Space in Development
  • . . . a community of people who share ways of thinking and acting (Hennessey, 192)
    . . . entering integrally into the evolution of consciousness toward greater interiorization and openness
    (Ong, 176)
    Physical Space
    Intellectual Space
  • Communication practices are informed by the written and spoken word.
    Effective communication is informed by information literacy practices that occur throughout the development process.
    Strength through Integration
  • Remediation (Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin) applied to physical space
    Refashioned and improved version of previous space
    Content of older space can be poured into the new one
    Remediation: Theoretical Motivation for an Integrated Space
  • Applied Remediation Example 1
  • Applied Remediation Example 2
  • Immersion through Thoughtful Iterations of Spatiality
    Kiosk
    Invention Space
    Presentation Suite and Practice Rooms
    Breakout Spaces
    Discovery Classroom
    Conference Room
  • Pedagogical Goals: Space to Prepare Students for the 21st Century Workplace
    Understanding elements of communication
    Seeing connections between communication and appropriate information
    Utilizing fundamentals of critical and creative thinking to create and revise communication products
    Working with consultants to develop research strategies, organize and refine ideas, deliver articulate presentations, and create high-quality products
    Honing teamwork skills in order to effectively communicate in group situations
  • “College graduates should learn to assess their own writing and find ways to correct problems that may exist. When college graduates are their own critics, they willingly correct problems and learn from their mistakes” (Jones et al., 1995, p. 75).
  • Communication as Collaboration and Immersion
  • “Advanced skills in both writing and speech communication require the development of reasoning skills” (Jones et al, 1995, p. 124).
  • Frontier Spaces
  • Barkley, E.F., Cross, K. P., & Major, C.H. (2005). Collaborative learning techniques: A handbook for college faculty. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
    Bolter, J.D., & Grusin, R. (1999). Remediation: Understanding new media. Cambridge: MIT.
    Hennessey, Beth A. (2003). Is the social psychology of creativity really social? Moving beyond a focus on the individual. Paul B. Paulus and Bernard A. Nijstad (Eds.), Group creativity: Innovation through collaboration (pp. 181-201). Oxford: Oxford UP.
    Jankowska, M., & Atlay, M. (2008). Use of creative space in enhancing students’
    engagement. Innovations in education and teaching international, 45.3, 271-279.
    Jones, E.A., Hoffman, S., Moore, L.M., Ratcliff, G., Tibbetts, S., Click, B.A.L., III, et al. (1995). National assessment of college student learning: Identifying college graduates’ essential skills in writing, speech and listening, and critical thinking (NCES No. 95-
    001). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics. (ERIC Document
    Reproduction Service No. ED383255).
    Milliken, F. J., Bartel, C., & Kurtzberg, T. R. Diversity and creativity in work groups: A dynamic perspective on the affective and cognitive processes that link diversity and performance. Paul B. Paulus and Bernard A. Nijstad (Eds.), Group creativity: Innovation through collaboration (pp. 32-62). Oxford: Oxford UP.
    Ong, Walter. (2002). Orality and literacy: The technologizing of the world. New York: Routledge.
    Potter, John. (2006). Carnival visions: Digital creativity in teacher education. Learning,
    media, and technology, 31.1, 51-66.
    Rorrer, R.A.L. (2003, August). Credentials for the job. Mechanical Engineering, 50.
    Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological
    processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
    Further Reading
  • Web: http://studio.eku.edu/
    Facebook: Search “Studio for Academic Creativity”
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/noelstudio
    Construction Blog: http://noelstudio.wordpress.com/
    Delicious: http://delicious.com/noelstudio
    Connect with the Noel Studio!