A small-scale practitioner enquiry was carried out focussing on the role of the reflective commentary in students’ experiences of A215 Creative Writing. The commentary is compulsory in TMA on this course and carries 20% of the total marks, with the rest awarded to a piece of creative writing. The objective was to explore the way that the commentary contributes to students’ learning, and whether this kind of activity might be usefully included in other Arts subjects.
The premise was that reflection should be a developmental tool, rather than merely a means of gaining marks in a TMA. It was felt that this element of the course module might have the added benefit of making students feel ‘listened to’, since the Associate Lecturer is reading an account of the student’s own practice, and it may even increase retention of students on a course.
Questionnaire-based telephone interviews were conducted with eleven students from the tutor group. During this qualitative research students were asked about their previous experiences of reflection, their perceptions of the purpose, value and content of the reflective commentary, their practical approach to it and whether it had any impact on their feelings about the course.
Helen Mosby has tutored for the OU since 2003, and teaches Creative Writing on the English Studies BA programme at Ruskin College in Oxford. Until 2000 Helen taught English and Drama at D’Overbroeck’s College and has a particular interest in theatre and comedy, moonlighting as a professional roleplayer. Helen is currently finishing a PILS research project looking into peer-visiting in online tutorials.
- Helen Mosby, email@example.com