Enhancing Professional Learning through Sketchbooks: Cases from Business, Theatre and Education

Prof Clive Holtham,
Prof Allan Owens,
Tim Roberts
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The sketchbook method has been widely deployed by fine artists, by design oriented professions including architects and engineers, as well as by poets and writers. There is a rich and vibrant range of source material available on artists’ and designers’ sketchbooks. Our focus is on professional learning in three disciplines – business management, education and work-based lifelong learning. These disciplines are historically rooted in the humanities or social sciences. The idea of the “reflective practitioner” originally developed in the field of management studies, in part out of field research into the work of architects. There are already arguments that modern business management itself shares many of the attributes of a design profession. Yet there is available very little source material or analysis of artefacts used by “managers as designers”, comparable to artists/designers sketchbooks. In business, the very speeding up of operations, and the ubiquity of overload, has arguably made the process of reflection more, rather than less important. Management and learning tools and methods have not kept pace with this. We report on the experiences from two sets of case studies. In the first students of business, theatre and education have in parallel been using artist-type sketchbooks as part of their formal reflection process. In the second, three experienced practitioners in these domains have been using such sketchbooks both for specific episodes of reflection, as well as on an ongoing basis.
We have particularly been studying and will report on: the affordances of the artefacts used in the process of reflection, with specific emphasis on potential differences between the use of analogue media (such as paper sketchbooks) and digital media, the impact of sketchbooks on the learning processes of students

Keywords: Professional Learning, Reflective Learning, Analogue and digital media, High-engagement learning, Sketchbooks, Affordances
Stream: Instructional Design and Learning Systems
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Prof Clive Holtham

Director, Cass Business School, City University, London

Professor of Information Management. After taking a Masters degree in management, he trained as an accountant and was Young Accountant of the Year in 1976. Following six years as a Director of Finance and IT, he moved to the Business School in 1988. His research is into the strategic exploitation of information systems, knowledge management and management learning. He has been an adviser to the European Parliament on educational multimedia. In 2003 he was awarded a UK National Teaching Fellowship. He is author of a large number of publications, and lectures, broadcasts and consults in the UK and internationally. He was a founding member of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, the City of London's 100th livery company

Prof Allan Owens

Professor of Drama Education, Dept: Performing Arts, University of Chester

Tim Roberts

Senior Lecturer, Dept of Work Related Studies, University of Chester

Ref: G07P0067