Really interesting to catch up with Kevin Brace earlier in the week. Kevin, based at Aston, and I met up to explore ideas about patchwork text (or, more accurately patchwork media) on the back of some ALT mail list exchanges.

Thoughts arising and articulated through our discussions ….

·      Patchwork media is about process and not just product (a focus on the produce dis-aggregates the learning).

·      Patchwork approaches are inseparable from the belief that learning is a journey constructed and are inseparable from social processes and dialogue.

·      Curriculum design and assessment design are inseparably interwoven for maximum impact.

·      Grading reflective portfolios is a messy business but can be made more simple by focusing on the meta-level attributes.

·      Buy-in to patchwork needs to be [sometimes, heavily] facilitated and does not just happen.

·      Templates for patchwork can be practical and solve a whole range of potential issues around logistics, hand-ins, learner scaffolding and perceived parity; however templating approaches may be as stifling as they are enabling.

·      Do not get consumed by the media! Encourage patch creators to think critically about their media choices and critically review choices in the light of experience. (How does this stack up with some marking ruberics?)

·      Attempting to create or re-create patchwork approaches from other study programmes may be extremely difficult as the nature of patchwork is that it is very much shaped by the subtleties of implementation (e.g. strategies for peer review, the place of technology, the immersiveness of facilitators, the use of structured vs. open patches). Perhaps better is to create a context relevant and practically achievable version of the approach.

·      Despite very many worthy efforts the use of rather cumbersome e-portfolio tools can perhaps, sometimes, act as a barrier to plain old discussion and sharing – simplicity in tools may be under-rated.

patchwork elephant