Materials & Resources Development PLC MATSDA Presentation
In their book ‘Creative approaches to problem-solving’, Scott et al (2011) advocate seeing problems as challenges and welcoming challenges as opportunities to get creative. During a Coffee and Chat in the Globe Virtual Café back in May this year, we talked about the challenges of online teaching and learning and homed in on the switch from face-to-face teacher training to using online platforms as virtual training rooms. We recounted our own experiences, together with our frustrations and varying degrees of success. We decided it was time to embrace the challenge and get creative!
Shortly after our chat, MATSDA put out a call for proposals to present at their online conference on 11 August – and the theme was to be ‘Developing L2 Materials and Designing Language Learning to Promote Creativity and Criticality’. We felt that we could stretch the theme to encompass online platforms as resources, so we put in a proposal. We were delighted when our proposal was accepted, and got busy brainstorming the aims and framework of our project. We used Scott et al’s Creative problem-solving approach as a road map, and after identifying some key issues with online delivery, we created a survey tool to produce some quantitative and qualitative data around promoting creativity and criticality in virtual teacher training rooms.
The survey was circulated through Globe and went out to friends and colleagues outside the Globe community. Initial results indicated which platforms allowed for trainers to be the most creative and how well they promoted creative and critical outcomes from participants. The survey also provided some insights into which of a selection of commonly used Apps also promoted creativity and criticality.
Our presentation of these findings was well received at the MATSDA conference in August, and garnered some new interest in our Globe community.
We are now revisiting the data from our survey and reaching out to respondents to add more detail to the ideas and information they shared.
Our end goal is to create a principled reference framework to guide online training and promote creative and critical outcomes through optimal use of platforms, Apps and digital materials. Watch this space for future updates.