Progress Report Two – May 2015

We have now completed nine months of our project, and have successfully completed our first two testing sessions, and have obtained creativity and imagery measures from over 100 students at Trinity-Laban and Coventry. As well as John Sikorski here in Plymouth and Lucie Clements at Trinity-Laban, Becca Weber has now joined the team as PhD student working with Sarah Whatley and Sara Reed at Coventry.  Becca was appointed a few days before a project meeting in Coventry in January, and managed to fly from her home in the States to join in with the meeting! John, Lucie and Becca have co-ordinated the testing sessions, together with our Cognovo Fellow Klara Lucznik, and have coded and entered the data for analysis. We have yet to complete analysis on the second testing session, but from the first session we already are confident that we will be able to produce academic papers on a new repeatable measure of creativity, based upon earlier fluency of thinking tasks. At the moment we are working intensively on developing the training materials that adapt the existing Mind & Movement Choreographic Thinking Tools for use with in a University context. This is proving challenging as there are many constraints to work within, and we have to strike a balance between producing usable materials that appeal to students and their academic teachers, as well as conveying the theoretically motivated ideas rigourously. We have decided to produce a set of materials that support five 90 minute workshops, but with a modular structure so that teaching staff can adapt and restructure the materials to suit their own needs and timetabling.  Our current major target is to complete drafting these materials within the next few weeks so that they can be produced over the summer and used with our second cohort of students, who will be starting their undergraduate courses in September. They will take part on their first testing workshop, as the first cohort did, and then receive the training, before being tested again next Easter. The first cohort will also take part in their final testing workshop in early 2016.

Progress Report One – October 2014

It has been a really busy time since our start-up meeting, and I’ve been meaning to say thank you to everyone for giving up your time to help us start things off in a firm direction. With the start of the academic year following on the week after the meeting, I’m afraid this good intention got lost in the whirl of things! Our main focus has of course been planning the recruitment and consenting of the first cohort of students at T-L and Coventry, and deciding upon the content and timing of the first of the longitudinal assessment sessions, which are imminent. We have to be very careful to explain to the new first year students why we want them to consent to take part in the project, what it entails, and how they will benefit from it. The assessment will be designed to fit into a 90 minute session timetabled within a scheduled module, so that all students do attend. We intend to pilot the assessment here in Plymouth with volunteer students from the programme here in late October, so that we can be sure it runs smoothly. It is important to note that we are not assessing the dance that is created, but just the students’ introspections and reports. It will be great when we get to the end of this first assessment period and can relax a bit and start thinking about the development of the intervention workshops, with the modified CTT materials – we have a year to plan these and to practice them with Plymouth students. And of course, there are those research opportunities that give John, Lucie and the Coventry PhD student scope to conduct their own research.