CERLIS 2011: Creativity in a hybrid genre: The case of the multimedia scientific documentary


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Presentation given at CERLIS 2011, Genre variation in English academic communication: Emerging trends and disciplinary insights, 23-25 June, 2011, Bergamo, Italy.

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  • CN I am just going to focus on a few key findings here, from questionnaire and from focus group
  • CERLIS 2011: Creativity in a hybrid genre: The case of the multimedia scientific documentary

    1. 1. Investigating creativity in a hybrid academic genre: The case of the multimedia scientific documentary Connie KF Ng, PhD City University of Hong Kong [email_address] Creativity/Connie Ng June 24
    2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Global trend in education </li></ul><ul><li>What is creativity </li></ul><ul><li>Why is creativity important in education </li></ul><ul><li>Research focus </li></ul><ul><li>Context of the study </li></ul><ul><li>Data sources </li></ul><ul><li>Findings </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul>Creativity/Connie Ng June 24
    3. 3. 1. Global trend in education <ul><li>Creativity related skills have been made explicit in the curriculum of over 18 countries to prepare students for workplace competencies and economic competitiveness (Metais, 2003). </li></ul>Creativity/Connie Ng June 24
    4. 4. Creativity in education in Hong Kong <ul><li>Develop 9 types of generic skills for the Integrated Science curriculum: </li></ul><ul><li>collaboration skills </li></ul><ul><li>communication skills </li></ul><ul><li>creativity </li></ul><ul><li>critical thinking skills </li></ul><ul><li>information technology skills </li></ul><ul><li>numeracy skills </li></ul><ul><li>problem solving skills </li></ul><ul><li>self-management skills </li></ul><ul><li>study skills </li></ul><ul><li>(Curriculum Development Council, 2007, p. 150) </li></ul>Creativity/Connie Ng June 24
    5. 5. What is creativity? Creativity/Connie Ng June 24
    6. 6. 2. What is creativity? <ul><li>Creativity is a multi-facet concept which can be interpreted differently by different people (Brown, 1989; Ripple, 1999) </li></ul><ul><li>Creativity is said to be the most ambiguous term in education and psychology (Ripple, 1989; Seitz, 1997) </li></ul>Creativity/Connie Ng June 24
    7. 7. Definition of creativity <ul><li>Creativity is the process of having original ideas that have value – more often than not comes about through the interaction of different disciplinary ways of seeing things. (Sir Ken Robinson, 2006) </li></ul>Creativity/Connie Ng June 24
    8. 8. 3. Why is creativity important in education? <ul><li>According to Piaget , the principal goal of education is to produce creative people … and teachers are facilitators of knowledge. They should present students with materials, situations and opportunities to discover new learning. (Piaget, 1972, cited in Fisher, 1990, p. 30) </li></ul>Creativity/Connie Ng June 24
    9. 9. Why is creativity important? <ul><li>When students are encouraged to think creatively, they: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>become more interested in discovering things for themselves </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>may become more open to new ideas and challenges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>are likely to be able to solve problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>learn to collaborate with others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>become more effective learners </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>have greater ownership over their learning. </li></ul></ul>Creativity/Connie Ng June 24
    10. 10. 4. Research focus <ul><li>1. How do students perceive creativity in their construction of the multimedia scientific documentary? </li></ul><ul><li>2. What are the science lecturers ’ views with regard to the notion of creativity for their students? </li></ul>Creativity/Connie Ng June 24
    11. 11. 5. Context of the study <ul><li>EN2251: Communication Skills I </li></ul><ul><li>Course aims: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>to develop students ’ ability to read a variety of scientific texts, and appropriately communicate (through speaking and writing) the findings of scientific projects in an academic context </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Target students: from Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science Management , Mathematics </li></ul></ul>Creativity/Connie Ng June 24
    12. 12. Course assignments <ul><li>Assignment 1 : Multimedia scientific documentary (hybrid academic genre) </li></ul><ul><li>In small groups of 3 or 4, students had to oral present the theory, method and findings of a quasi-experiment in the form of a digital scientific documentary in a creative way </li></ul><ul><li>A choice of two topics: </li></ul><ul><li>1. ‘Taste me if you can’ </li></ul><ul><li>2. ‘Blind as a bat’ </li></ul><ul><li>Assignment 2: A scientific report ( ‘lab report’) </li></ul><ul><li>Individually, students wrote a scientific report ( ‘lab report’) based on the scientific documentary, making effective use of appropriate language, organization and academic referencing conventions </li></ul>Creativity/Connie Ng June 24
    13. 13. 6. Data sources <ul><li>Questionnaire (anonymous, open/closed items) (59) </li></ul><ul><li>Focus group interviews </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students (21) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Programme leaders in BCH, MA (4) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Students ’ comments in course weblog </li></ul><ul><li>( http://en2251.edublogs.org/2009/09 ) </li></ul><ul><li>Students ’ work </li></ul>Creativity/Connie Ng June 24
    14. 14. 7. Findings <ul><li>1. How do students perceive creativity in their construction of the digital documentaries? </li></ul><ul><li>Students perceive creativity very important based on four themes that emerged: </li></ul>Creativity/Connie Ng June 24
    15. 15. Theme 1 Scientists need to be creative <ul><li>“ I also agree that scientist should be honest, curious and creative so that scientist can discover new theory and invent new products.” (Student blog post) </li></ul>Creativity/Connie Ng June 24
    16. 16. Theme 2 Scientists need to be creative in English <ul><li>“ Communication skill is very important for scientists, especially using English to communicate . Since scientists are from all over the world and English is the dominant international language, it is essential for a scientist to learn English. Good spoken English with good communication skills must be helpful for a scientist to work with other scientists and publish their invention .” (Student blog post) </li></ul>Creativity/Connie Ng June 24
    17. 17. Theme 3 Audience expectation <ul><li>“ Either you have a very outstanding presentation and organization, with creativity , audience would close the video clips and put it in the recycle bin.” (Student blog post) </li></ul><ul><li>“ I think creativity is important because it can attract the audience to watch our video .. . our audience is not just, um, the scientific – the science student but the public (Student focus group interview) </li></ul>Creativity/Connie Ng June 24
    18. 18. Theme 4 Opportunity and challenge <ul><li>“ For school work, we can do some make-up story and that was what I didn't want to do. But this project lets us a chance to be creative.” (Student questionnaire) </li></ul><ul><li>“… C reativity is important .. . It is difficult for me to use the software to cut a movie or add effects on the movie ” (Student focus group interview) </li></ul>Creativity/Connie Ng June 24
    19. 19. 2. What are the science lecturers ’ views regarding to the notion of creativity for their students? <ul><li>“ That’s also very important , because I mean creativity essentially means, sort of um creating some new ideas . So, instead of just going away to do what we’ve instructed them to do, they are expected to a certain degree um bringing some of their own um logical deduction ah when trying to problem solve. … I think for students um embarking on Final Year Projects, they would have been told ah rather—because they're not going to be trained as technicians . They're going to be trained as scientists . And as scientists, ah they're expected to come up with new ideas, new ways of solving problems. To us, that’s what creativity is .” (Biology lecturer) </li></ul>Creativity/Connie Ng June 24
    20. 20. Lecturers ’ comments <ul><li>“ And some of them are very, very creative … They obviously all love to use computers … You know, that’s what gets them fired up. You know, be able to push that creativity that they obviously show in the early part of that video into the actual presentation of data and its interpretation. ” (Environmental Science and Management lecturer) </li></ul>Creativity/Connie Ng June 24
    21. 21. 8. Conclusion <ul><li>The students expressed that there is a need to be creative being science students </li></ul><ul><li>This course gave students the opportunity to be creative </li></ul><ul><li>The lecturers ’ views echoed those of the students that scientists need to be creative </li></ul><ul><li>The lecturers expressed the view that this course provided an opportunity for their students to pursue creativity </li></ul>Creativity/Connie Ng June 24
    22. 22. <ul><li>THANK YOU! </li></ul>Creativity/Connie Ng June 24