I am coming towards the end of the marking process and assessing final projects from Module 3 on the BAPP (Arts) programme. My colleagues and I have been fascinated by the findings and the range of professional artefacts that were produced. The artefacts are varied and include a poster, blurb book publications, lesson plans, a business plan, slideshare presentations and a website. The better artefacts were those which emerged as a result of doing the inquiry rather than merely replicating the inquiry process and directed at particular audiences. Already some artefacts, we discovered, have been adopted / accepted in professional contexts. Informing and transforming professional practice is something that is an actual benefit from the programme
The presentations I viewed were as varied as the inquiries and certainly helped to illuminate the work that was done. One presenter made the point that she had gone through the modules, doing the tasks without really knowing why. “I just blogged because I had to”, she said. But, she declared that at the end of the process, she now understood that it was more than just a process - it was about learning. She added that the distinction between single loop and double loop learning was understood.
“What did you learn about learning?” is a question we asked a few of the presenters. What we were looking for here was not so much the answers to inquiries but, a recognition that the questions themselves are more important. If all our finalists have learned is that questions do not always have black or white answers and that more questions have to be asked, then we have done a good job. Critical questioning is what is expected in the final year of a BA (Hons) and evaluating and assessing the contribution of what is found out, to the topic of inquiries.
Going through the modules and completing the tasks and assignments may probably get you through the programme successfully. But how well you want to do in the programme will relate to your ability to critically engage in issues. This is the difference between surface and deep learning. We can teach someone how to use a computer programme or a camera but what we teach them will soon be out of date as technology develops. What will never date, and should take you through your professional life is the skill of critical inquiry.