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SP - CITY SPACE INVESTIGATIONS - PARALLEL WORLDS – SÃO PAULO 5TH –18TH APRIL, 2009
Anthony Fuchs, Jaap Klaarenbeek, Jasper Moelker
Urban Detectives Delft, The Netherlands firstname.lastname@example.org
Driven by a personal conviction on the importance of new educational models and stimulated by dissatisfactory personal experience three students of Delft University of Technology launched a workshop series investigating the strategic potential of workshops for educational purposes. The City Space Investigations (CSI) are explorations into new ways of teaching testing ict in their practicability to ease workflows and intensify learning experiences. Following an incremental logic the first workshop in New York (2008) applied participatory approaches while this year’s edition to São Paulo attempted to fine-tune interaction levels with the help of ict. The results of the assessment have been summarized in this paper and linked to on-going discourses on e-learning. Blogging, online content during all workshop phases enabled the CSI organization to coordinate the international event better, faster, accessible to a larger audience, while stimulating pro-activity and criticality among the participants and enabling flexibility in thinking in different scales and disciplines. The lesson learnt is ict can assist to deliver a condensed program and integral workshop experience but has to be critically and carefully implemented. The hesitant use of blogging confirms other research findings requiring necessity, trust, and stimulation for embracing new educational tools. The room for future improvement and unused potentials of blogging will form the starting point of the CSI event in the upcoming year. In parallel carried out workshops within an urban border condition, ict will allow to coordinate two teams and communicate information and progress between them.
Keywords - E-learning, architectural education, workshop,
Advances in communication technologies over the last decades have affected all domains of life and altered the way we experience the world and accumulate our knowledge. Ict affected even the structure of knowledge itself, from knowledge fields to network knowledge, which is “more diffuse, opaque, incoherent, and centrifugal” . The new knowledge poses strong challenges to current practices in professional but also educational lives. The World Declaration on higher Education for the Twenty-first Century, issued by UNESCO  states in article 12 the importance of technology integration and the urge to ‘make full use’ of ict. Although there are still diverging opinions about the ways new technologies can make education more efficient, a large amount of practical examples form a pool of best practices. The architectural profession (comprising building constructions as well as urban planning) always has been more than a mirror of societal changes but a tool to express positions and even stimulate change on smaller scale. The built environment affects us all and should adapt to changes with care and sensitivity. Hence architectural education must prepare students for the increasing complexities on the ground and equip them with critical thinking and tools to properly address them in future research and design tasks. To achieve this conventional architectural education will need to become multidisciplinary and centred on the learning process. Although these changes are already basically taking place, the implementation – mostly in form of ict integration - has often been undertaken with haste, too little criticality and missing assessment. One example is the Faculty of Architecture at the Delft University of Technology which seems to have made change to a means to an end. Every year new courses appear while at the same time old ones are completely restructured without assessment and knowledge about the shortcomings of the processors. The intention of the authors is not to question this practice but to argue for an adequate practical tool to advance change without reformulating curricula every time. The density of workshop announcements on the whiteboards not only reveals the popularity among students but also point to their potential to test new didactical schemes before implementing them on large scale. The failure and success of
2 2.1 TOWARDS THE INTERGATION OF ICT IN EDUCATION Ict and learning Information and communication technologies (ict) refer to a “diverse set of technological tools and resources used to communicate. and manage information. According to Oliver R. Learning is a result of construction. anywhere).  the further integration of ict will change education in terms of substance (a shift from content towards competency). The critical question is actually not what is transferred but how knowledge is accumulated by students. store. place (loss of place-boundness) and content (dissolution of knowledge fields). as to say “individual learners construct their own meanings based on their prior experiences. With the advancements in ict the necessity of students to convey in classrooms at a precise time erodes. the bottlenecks in the workflow during the on-site workshop and the frictions in representation of ict versus traditional media. but also private lives. The only reason for students to listen to a professor might be because it is more fun or more to the point to the pool of questions to be expected for final examinations.g. collaboration. Boldly put a teacher should not equip students with answers to precise questions but show them ways to find them and thus give them skills to cope with any other comparable situation. Most of the information given by the teacher can be found on Wikipedia the rest assembled in no time in a quick internet sweep. a commonly accepted theory of learning. According to constructivism. First the authors will outline current discourses on ict and e-learning. orchestrating students and transferring knowledge. The focus of his ambition is the product. if the teacher indeed emphasizes on the product (the transfer of determined information) and not the process. Learning is thus not perceived as a transfer of knowledge from teacher to students but a discovery process and accumulation of learning skills. In times of web based encyclopaedia and smart search engines. A teacher in the 21st century more than ever before has to guide the process of learning. Teachers then divided these fields into sizable topics to then disseminate knowledge to their students in a given classroom at a given time in a given form.these condensed educational events could help to extrapolate and inform semester course setups in the future.0 (also known as the 'participatory web'.0 to 2. teaching approach is process centred. (This shift is also visible in the shift towards the web 3. Although this description surely does injustice to several new (but non ict based) practices around the globe. and negotiation within a rich context in which learning is situated” . Central to the paper will be the question of ict as a tool. according to Manuel Castells  all processes of our individual and collective existence. maths. knowledge is internal to learners.”  If considering use and intensification of different media.0. and largely recognized. This attitude appears narrow minded. blogs and interactive knowledge databases such as Wikipedia. physics. In a network society. A different. In this conventional setup the teacher incorporates a double role combining the function of composer and a conductor. though justified. there might be two ict generations distinguishable which are best expressed in the discourse on the world-wide-web and the shift from web 1. knowledge transfer has been assured by classifying information into knowledge fields (e. In traditional learning schemes. Its symbols are social networks. reflection. The web 2. In the second chapter we elaborate on new ways in architectural education in general to draw attention to the City Space Investigation initiative. The assessment with the help of questionnaires covered all positive and negative aspects encountered during the three workshop phases: the problems within the introduction phase (almost all participants were unfamiliar with blogging and gps recordings). To do so the potential of ict in education will be addressed and the nature and requirements of good learning outlined to then delve on the characteristics of e-learning. After explaining concept and setup we then move further to connect our gained practical experience to current research findings. any answer to a given question seems to be merely a click away. history). This basically expresses a change from content-centred to processcentred learning and a displacement from learning from the classroom setting to more flexible setups in time and space (with the ideal anytime. the density of ict in all domains of life obliges educational institutions to integrate new technologies in thematic or even better methodological terms to better prepare students for their future professional. The new technologies directly shape. and to create. The focus of this long paper is on the practical experience of the workshop and attempts to link expectations and outcome to educational theory. by immediate social exchange and interactive participation.0 generation known as the 'semantic web' but . a term closely related with Tim O'Reilly) is characterized. it will help to make the point clearer about the impact of recent technologies on the requirements and possibilities of education. disseminate. but the reach of ict is far greater. unlike its precedent instance.
blogs decreased delays. as “to compensate for the lack of face-to-face interaction.2 E-learning E-learning (fusion of the words electronic and education) started in the early 1990s and describes all “pedagogy empowered by digital technology. Traditionally asynchronous communication took place in forms of homework. . While the first elements should be self-explanatory. curriculum. and reduce the time and costs of accumulating knowledge . These guidelines basically suggest emphasizing on exchange among faculty and students. by responsiveness. The initial critique that e-learning would lead to less contact between professors and students has proven to be wrong in most practice examples. answered and then later commented. bear risk and hold potentials. It should be best considered as all educational form which mostly “facilitate and enhance learning by means of personal computers and the Internet. This starts by putting course material online. The flexibility in time often blends teaching and spare time and making it a 24h job.”  The term e-learning is closely related to remote or distant learning that started earlier with the help of radio and television (tele-learning) although – similar to online-learning and computer-based learning – e-learning increasingly becomes synonymous for them and replaces the other terms.0 to web 2.” (Brown et. see  for further reading. 2. Properly applied ict can increase the quality. On the side of the participant a similar additional work load often occurs. but also – contrary to initial concerns – an intensification of exchange among students and teacher and students. being in part a product of the activity. . Generally speaking what is the best way of knowledge transfer and where should the teacher position him. motivation. Despite decreasing face to face contact this loss is mostly compensated by the quality-increase of asynchronous learning. forums. e-learning are courses entirely online that can be followed from any access point to the world-wide-web. The risks of ict implementation in education are that they could become a proper objective in itself (on both sides: teacher and students) and reduce interaction. These advantages are unlocked by the accompanied flexibility in time and space. From the above written we can derive the e-learning comprises a vast field of different meanings. In its most extreme form.g.will not be part of the discussion here) Knowledge is “situated. ). Latter tools of interaction represent a considerable acceleration of exchange time. etcetera. institutions or professors often promise students a quick response to personal correspondence by e-mail”  a common rule is within 48 hours. and among students. but includes new forms of interaction like virtual classrooms. thus being different to information). Ict has considerably shaken this fixed didactical scheme. the quantity. This can open discussions to a larger group of students (e. “Active learning occurs when students invest physical and mental energies in activities that help them make what they are learning meaningful. active learning might need elaboration. Linked to these efforts are other ‘practical’ shortcomings of ict integration. Asynchronous exchanges proceed in slower pace as more time is given to reflect and formulate or produce. the popularity of learning experiences.al. evolving from linear (synchronous) to parallel ways (synchronous and asynchronous .0) e-learning increasingly centres on applications making use of the world-wide-web. chats and blogs. shyer students  or non-native as illustrated in Biesenbach-Lucas ) and/or breaking down additional barriers (students appear to be more open and ask more directed questions .or herself? Although written two decades ago the seven principles of teaching (formulated for undergraduate level) have not lost their power and value to set up meaningful didactical frameworks. context. lectures. Only if systematically and critically implemented failures of the first generation can be avoided. time and financial investment) to participants. increased frequencies and established continuous links among all agents which changes the dynamics of the relationships among them. 1989. As much as ict has changed the quality of remote or distant learning it has affected already the everyday interaction in traditional classroom setting. and culture in which it is developed and used. To date it has become conventional wisdom that virtual teaching requires more time than traditional forms . which can be seen as retarded communication: a question is asked. Emails. and when they are aware of that meaning-making. With the internet replacing the personal computer as most important interface (synonymous for the shift from web 1. openness and by stimulating active learning. Further the time required to acquire or at least to familiarize with the technology can take considerable dimensions in the beginning and also poses a certain entrance burden (in knowledge. in developed countries almost no teacher can exclude email as a contact choice. time efficiency.”  Although often forgotten ict is not a means in its end and should thus be incorporated with care: E-learning has advantages and disadvantages. as to say readers.”  The potential of ict to fulfil the requirements of effective learning will be outlined in the following chapter.
Its didactical concept can be traced to the Beaux Arts of 19th century Brussels and gained international importance with the theoretical and practical dissemination power of the German Bauhaus. After pilot initiatives in the United States and Canada virtual studios flourished since the mid 1990s. This need for multidisciplinarity has slowly opened up the teaching of architectural matters to alternatives concepts and new technologies. It stimulates learning by doing (following Schön designing is based on reflective action that requires the stage knowledge in action). technical and economic dimensions of assignments into consideration. at least in the short time and if focusing on monetary costs. The combination of conventional and ict-based frameworks is called blending. Successful in this context means that there has been no considerable loss in quality. Even the most promising initiatives focusing on relevant and complex issues seem to fall short to the expectations. slightly different models have been used). The exact consideration and setup will be outlined in the next section and evaluated in the third part of this chapter. work on a common design projects using computer-aided design systems.”  The common characteristics of such initiative were an aim to broaden time and space boundaries by using electronic tools and a combination of asynchronous and synchronous communication. Students of architecture and urbanism need to take political.2 City Space Investigations In 2007 two Explorelab students began to translate their personal dissatisfaction about the workshop landscape of the Delft University of Technology into concrete plans. Certain pilot initiative managed to dissolve the difficult master/teacher – student interaction with their spatial requirements to successfully translate them into virtual space. email. a good studio stimulates exchange. At the faculty of architecture despite its tradition of didactical experiments. To make this concept a bit more sizable the work of Broadfoot and Bennett  might be of value. and video-conferencing. The suggested teaching method is the Socratic way of maieutics which focuses on the process. ict has effectively shaken the rigidity of design classes. These two researchers compared traditional models based on Schön’s explorations and virtual studios with Kvan’s publications. Despite this inertness. The profession of architecture not only becomes more complex because of an increase in size of projects and agents involved but also due to the increasing complexity of the forces shaping the built environment. social. also as a consequence of the technological leaps in communication capacities. According to Attoe and Mugerauer  who analyzed the components of successful design teachers. Already now the education of architecture has a strong computer focus. The City Space Investigations workshop of 2009 aimed to recruit students from Brazil and The Netherlands and thus employed largely blended education (although for the different parties at different times. the framework resisted for longtime modifications – the conventional design studio is still largely focal point of knowledge generation and transfer. particular the excursion based ones.Due to this higher involvement of teaching staff and the costs of technical equipment and maintenance the initial claim that ict-based teaching would decrease costs fell short in practice. making poorly use of the potential . The first attempts to achieve this in an online (or virtual) studio can be traced back to the 1993. more often than not lacked quality in execution and results. a central database. The teacher’s role is one of a dialogue partner gently giving conversations a direction. According to them effective studio teaching fulfils following four requirements. Ignoring ict would cause unquantifiable costs to society and therefore the right answer to ask is not if but how new technologies should be integrated into education.1 TOWARDS THE INTERGATION OF ICT IN ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION Architectural Education Architecture and urbanism are disciplines that are situated in the grey zone between science and art and moreover position themselves at an intersection of several fields of knowledge. on different continents and in different time zones. Despite an ongoing change in tools – from pencil to the digital mouse. 3 3. one-to-one dialogue (face to face or remote) collaboration among participants (importance of trust) and focuses on processes. cultural. Subject to the next chapter will be the theoretical and practical discussion about ways to make use of the potentials of ict while avoiding the negative aspects at the same time. The biggest successes seem to have been realized in such frameworks as the advantages of one form can compensate the disadvantages of the other. workshops. interdisciplinarity and interest. “Teachers and students. 3. the times of drawing tables are long passed and the further integration of ict is on its rise .
as workshops. The missing imposed structure and direction considerably made the generation of knowledge burdensome. The satisfactory final results can not hide the fact that the process of creation has been very non-linear. it will rank among next year’s priorities this time with a proven portfolio. it appeared that students faced difficulties with this total freedom. By reducing liberty it was hoped to maximise the learning experience. as short educational events bear the potential to test alternatives to mainstream architectural education. beginning in November. This waste of human resources at hands can be explained by the relative conventional teaching model they applied. On the one side the organization was pleased by the ‘psychological profile’ of the participants (pro-active). The initial aim of 15 students and 12 professionals could not be achieved. The final assessment has thus been ambivalent. The liberty of choice was perceived as hindrance. As the failure of equal integration of professionals could not be achieved this year. Despite this liberty to pursue a theme of interest in a foreign city. This year’s workshop attempted to grow in scale to investigate the dynamics of larger groups. Further it attempted to create synergic ties between different students and design professionals by opening the participation process.SP 2009-setup The CSI. A small success. on the other hand this success required far more active stimulations than anticipated. Being graduate students ourselves we incorporated the role of the coordinator and gave complete freedom to the students to formulate their fascination into sizable projects. As a direct consequence the next City Space Investigation workshop was carried out with more direction. Bart Aptroot. Students were often lost and looked for hierarchies to frame their thoughts and ideas. Conceived as an educational experiment it tested the practicability of complete participatory approaches. The CSI workshops follow a classical three-fold structure (preparation – on-site and post-production). An ict-based working framework has been developed to bridge geographical distance during the preparation phases and ease workflows on-site. The following discourse will concentrate on the theoretical concept of the setup and ignore . The first workshop in New York (2008) has been realized as pilot initiative with relative little resources and efforts. The global economic crisis has seriously hampered the recruitment of architects and students alike. The workshop evaluation helped us to realize the essential potential of participatory approaches: freedom should not be the goal but the condensation of the learning experience. This is particular sad. Taking in numbers the recruitment of professionals was very disappointing. Motivated by the graduation laboratory Explorelab at the Delft University of Technology. which has been created by students for students. and the topic confirms to the general focus on informal processes within the urban environment. The call for participation has been sent to several faculties. different universities in The Netherlands and Dutch design professionals. the Brazilians would follow later as their involvement had been expected only in the on-site phase. The preparation phase started with the recruitment of the Dutch participants. a lot of potential candidates resigned in the course of the time.SP followed several goals at the same time. but seems to owe more to macro-economic conditions as to a faulty setup or lack of interest. has been final products. For this purpose and the administrative complexification of the up-scaling process a third person. mostly because of liquidity problem and/or fear of job security. Teachers were still focal point of knowledge dissemination and main concern. better addressing and incorporating the topic of education and change. their commitment and the delivered results. The focus of the setup has been on maximising the experience by workflow optimization while balancing freedom with theoretical and methodological direction. In this perspective we initiated the City Space Investigations workshop series conceived as an incrementally growing operation based on a four years term: until 2010 yearly organized workshops will increase in scale and scope. CSI. Despite large interest. knowledgeable in ict and webtools joint the CSI team. The only constraints have been that the idea can be realized within a two week on-site period. giving liberty to participants to formulate their graduation thesis in content. opposing classical power structures (teachers teach – students learn). More students than expected required extensive guidance during the preparation phase (drafting the idea) and particularly on-site. setup and timeline. workshops could serve as condensed learning experience fine-tuning workflows and adapting teaching models to efficiency demands. we attempted to realize equality of participants during all workshop phases. driven by justification. despite all adverse conditions. This umbrella for individual or group projects provided more a terming than actually direction as the bipolar word pair of formality and informality literarily comprises the world. Focused in time and situated in different locations.of the participants. from One Architecture decided to join our workshop.
Every group was asked to maintain their blog page and inform themselves about the progress of the others. After a short acclimatization phase the heart piece of the whole initiative started on the 5th of April with an informal gathering. confirming the constructivist teaching claim. . During the second week in São Paulo participants worked in groups on different areas within the city. videos. urban space. This has surely to do with the fact this lecture has been featured on the front page of SlideShare. Communication with the Brazilian students entirely took place via internet. The division of tasks resulted in one CSI member to get up at 6 o’clock in the morning and using the two hours before breakfast to read and respond to the blogs. The post production phase has been minimized as participants were asked to reflect everyday on their work and archive material similarly in regular steps. Their projects needed to be translated into posters that were exhibited in June at the faculty of architecture. Conventional and ict tools should similarly be critically reflected upon in the perspective of representation and information dissemination. photos.the fact that the arrangements for professional could have been skipped this year in favour of a direct communication. A second introduction lecture (about São Paulo) was even further featured on the main page of educational portal. every participant has been asked to select a specific number of pictures and other forms of media and transfer it to a common external hard drive. Therefore like the first CSI workshop in NY. although we equipped every Dutch participant with a local sim card there was seldom an actual use for them. The participants were divided in sub-groups and equipped with a gps tracker. besides posting on individual blogs. the strong fieldwork focus required flexibility in schedule and attendance of group moments. A special task has been assigned to the four to five members of a group. Lecturers were taped and made accessible via our website. such as an introduction to the city. Within a self written webframe we integrated freeware applications and combined the voice recordings and the presentation files on SlideShare. In beginning of April the Dutch workshop group finally took off to Brazil. notes) to diversify impressions and information. a Portuguese crash course and several meetings clarifying content and administrative purposes.com. The results can be found via csi-sp.net. the question of ict and representation will be properly addressed in the upcoming year. Professionals whose attendance was not obligatory could follow the progress of the introduction phase online. The composition of each group changed the next day and after this initial stage of stimulating group work the organization hoped exchange would happen in a freer setting.com and have been extremely popular. and urban informality. Initial thoughts to run the preparation phase also parallel in São Paulo were given up as the preconditions of institutional support and a committed local contact could not be realized. which should also pay attention to use the range of media available (sketches. Nevertheless there has been vivid exchange (although the conventional way) among different groups and the results presented at the end of the second week revealed a large scale of diversity while featuring remarkably deep insights into very different matters. The grouping took place after a brainstorm session on the Friday of the first week and according to common interests. voice records. An additional daily assignment. while Brazilian students who were recruited towards the end of the preparation phase could get the same information via the website. At the end of the day the groups should write a blog entry reflecting on the day. In terms of representation the participants seemingly struggled to combine analogue information with digital work. The lectures covered relevant topics. The organization in exchange assured to remind students of their tasks and commented very morning to the blog entries. Most voice embedded lectures were viewed an average of 200-300 times a month while the introduction lecture of multimedia web applications had a hint clock of 500 on a single day. To avoid overload of raw data. mostly opting to translate sketches and hand writings into a digital poster. This assignment has been poorly followed as the common accommodation and informal meetings at night offered easier and more direct ways to exchange ideas and discuss.urbandetectives. was to collect and select individually recorded media. The organization by focusing on the learning process has been very positively surprised about the results.urbandetectives. The first week the combined group visited several locations by bus in Greater São Paulo. Although a central physical space is provided. The preparation phase for the participants started in February and consisted of weekly lectures. If someone is interested in the result please feel free to visit our presentation slideshows and virtual exhibitions via our website csi-sp.
Nevertheless the integration of blogging – new to most participants – revealed that a careful implementation taking into account the diverse level of knowledge and interest can lead to a generally positive attitude. which reminds strongly of the 5W + H. Furthermore only four participants could not imagine to continue blogging on an interesting matter in the future. Being extra curricular the event has been realized by external financing and in the reduced way possible. how (will the objectives measured). 1 to 10 and 0 to 9 respectively. the strategies). This in so far is surprising as many participants during the on-site phase mentioned the extreme density of excursions.SP participants.43 average. The reluctance and openness towards new technologies seem to depend on personal characteristics and preferences and reflect the diverse personalities among the CSI participants. Following thoughts should be properly addressed: Why. The indirect question addressed the computer skills including frequency of social network use. although the meaning of the numbers might vary. graphic. 10=great). There have been three different kind of closed questions: Type A could be answered with Yes or NO. attitude towards e-learning). In terms of work force amount has been reduced to its minimum. The results will be presented in this paragraph by making use of the practical guidelines of Polichar and Bagwell .93-7. A technical advisor is of utmost importance. Strikingly enough the lowest value has been the answer about internet-based application. program and world-wide-web experience. Type B with a one sided scale from 10 as expression of total agreement to the statement until 0 as entire disagreement. The participants graded it with a 5. photo-editing programs and CAD) ranked around 7 (from 6. While typical architecture related software (presentation.29) and expressed also in the margin of answers (4 to 9 and 5 to 8) a relative coherence among the participants. The authors established a checklist for setting up an online course. as the translation from input to output oriented working has been too short. There was no correlation to age or gender. Additional open questioned asked participants to give suggestions and direct comments in a few lines. extensive computer skills and an open mind towards non-traditional education. 5 being the appropriate intensity while 10 represents too much and 0 too little. The questionnaire can be found in the annexe but generally speaking an answer scale from 0 to 10 has been applied. The whole initiative has been conceived as a free-choice module outside the official curriculum that allowed greater liberty in setup and execution. Remarkable is the range of answers from 1 to 8 and 3 to 8 respectively. Considering the post production efforts required every day this equals working days of twelve hours.Who is the audience? Polichar and Bagwell  emphasize the importance of the audience (starting with computer and internet accessibility. Type B 10=expert). the goals. . . seeming to be a red rag for 44% percent (5 or lower. over 85% judged the blogging aspect of the workshop with 7 or higher (7. who all possessed personal computers. Aside the proper developed webframe all programs were free. a similar contact person should be available in terms of administration and theoretical content consequently the organization team consisted of three . Type B.Why setting up? As mentioned earlier the CSI 2009 workshop in São Paulo aimed to maximise the learning experience. the content.64 close to the value five indicating ‘just right’ work load and in terms of excursions 5. . In the first week the program was scheduled mostly from 8:30 departure until 18:00.70. The question about messenger and Facebook use featured the greatest difference. Half of the participants answered to the question about their attitude about the ict integration before entering the workshop with 7 or higher (Type B: 10=optimistic).Assessment In the post production phase participants were asked to fill out an evaluation form (at 100% return rate). which according to our personal impression has been very intensely filled. For the next year the organization will follow a comparable excursion setup but is seriously considering stretching the whole program over two and half weeks or even three. To assess the attitude towards ict direct and indirect questions have been applied. what (are the limitations.What are the limitations? The limitations have been certainly budget and time. Based on similar past experience the organization opted for a two week on-site setup.or shareware. These conditions have been extremely favourable in case of the CSI. Although the organization shares this opinion it appears that the setup has been stretching out what is possible within such a short time period. lectures and meetings. With the help of a settled introduction lecture and permanent feedback the organization. despite the fact the sample of 16 responses would not allow any conclusions in this regard anyway. who (is the audience). The third type (C) of closed question had a two sided scale.
10= great). The flexible setup of on-site visits and global views in forms of lectures should enable similar flexible thinking among different scales. With the help of Google Maps the workshop also received a spatial log. see also  therefore the organization commented on the blogs on daily basis. Giving feedback is essential for any group learning process. Although everyone complied with these requests.What are the strategies? The strategic tools to enable flexibility in scale and discipline had been a diverse offer from different angles.permanent staff. Planners.What are the goals? The precise aim of the CSI workshop is to deliver an integral learning experience to the participants and change the ways the look at urban problems.50 (Type B. This freedom “didn’t feel like a burden but as an opportunity to make the workshop ‘your own’. The lack of discussions and idea exchange on blogs and blackboards has been stated in other researches as well . but I believe the blog as format is excellent for communication. Every participant could influence setup. regular feedback meetings would have consumed much valuable time. to enable communication but also compensate for one another in eventual unavailability. architects. One student for example stated: “I think the result of the workshop is more than just a poster or text the experience was the most valuable part for me. Therefore blogging should allow participants to communicate with the organizers and receive feedback from other fellows and could thus reduce the requirement of face to face meetings to a minimum. Short feedback time is identified as one of the seven principles in undergraduate teaching . The written blogs were another important strategy to stimulate exchange but also to achieve the condensation of the workshop. law and planning. First of all. .” (A student’s comment) . The content of the workshop centred on processes and complex issues.” Similar the opinion of another student “The blogging was a bit too much work to follow and the blog was a bit too large to have a good overview. In the CSI case participants were phase-wise obliged to put posts on the common blog. with each having one expertise and an important knowledge overlap among each other. . Further self-motivated blogging has been. non-existing. as to say beyond the reach of local or national governments. “I think that [blogging] was a very nice way of sharing impressions. artists and others revealed another side to reality. besides a few exceptions. There might be certain validity to this position but the organization believes to a deeper dimension to this non-activity. content and methods and take responsibility for certain aspects of the workshop. virtual exchange among participants remained minimal. The often stated reason was a perceived lack of time. How to make use of the creative energies of informality in a world of increasing urbanization and inequality? Space represents an interface of observation but also communication among different disciplines. but the idea that we should do it every day was a bit to much for me. the common accommodation that has been chosen for to ease briefings and common physical meetings made face to face contacts omnipresent and stimulated exchange of ideas the conventional way.” On two occasions with different students one of the authors was positively surprised by the sharpness of some comments. Participants seem to have appreciated this challenging theoretical underpinning as the overall grade has been very high with 7. The flexible setup among different disciplines and scales should stimulate similar thinking among the students and indeed certain comments in the questionnaire and in conversations during the different phases indicate a certain success. To ease the link of global views and abstract information to on-site pictures and impressions gps loggers were distributed tracking the spatial moves of participants. opinions and information. With a group size of around 20 people. The concept of (urban) informality has to be understood in its larger meaning as sphere outside formality. A participatory approach is the way to realize that. Also the sphere of illegality pertains to informality but as this illicit form represents an extreme within the world of informality there is on the other side of the scale a reality of high potential to benefit lower population groups or society at large. .” Maybe the most important strategy to achieve the integral experience has been participatory approaches. academics illustrated their view points on certain topics while excursions guided by community leaders. Although blogging would allow students to exchange thoughts and discuss independently experience in the CSI workshop has shown that writing on the virtual board needs as much stimulation as a physical one. At this end situates the concern and the motivation of the CSI initiative. Informality in urban space thus contains spatial and non-spatial realities.What is the content? The content of this workshop has been informal production of urban space. “I always wanted to become an architect to influence lives of people…. but being here I realize the problems are on a different scale… I should better become a planner … even better be a politician”.
by teaching you will learn. also to attend this conference and Maria Snelders from Stylos for all her advice and support during the last years stimulating and inspiring pro-activity. Type B. 6 REFERENCES Printed and Online Media  Attoe. in: American Association of Higher Education Bulletin. The low frequency of blogging will be addressed in a two-fold manner. Two parallel workshops. & Mugerauer. 5 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The Workshop is the product of many supportive hands. For students to take an active role in the learning community.This statement confirms other research findings: “Participatory/active learning is key to online success... Even more remarkable is the highly converging satisfaction grade (7. . one in Brazzaville the other in Kinshasa will communicate via blogs and embedded multimedia applications to inform each other about progress and exchange ideas potentially in combination with 'video conferencing'. With this additional experience it is hoped to translate this first article version into a journal submission by the end of 2010.93 with a margin of 7 to 9. Studies in Higher Education. 1993. ‘A "Teacher's Dozen": Fourteen General. Individuals are coming with a considerable package of knowledge but also characters are more settled and diverse.’. R. Instituto do Arquitetos do Brasil. in learning processes and interconnected thinking can thus be more valuable than yearlong expertise in a field. A careful setup and integration of ict has optimized workflows and stimulated pro-activity of students who taught themselves with minimum guidance how to approach complex issues of poverty.”  A facilitator concentrates on the process as to say the way to walk not the destination. Excellent Studio Teaching in Architecture.  Angelo. April. 10=excellent) and about the personal workshop results (7. the Secretary of State for Housing for their great tours and lectures. Universiteitsfonds (Delft) and StuD fonds (Delft) that supported us financially. by reducing the daily work load and freeing the adequate time and by increasing its necessity. 10=excellent). Research-Based Principles for Improving Higher Learning in Our Classrooms. preparation and skills. for providing the space and to all people that assisted us during the different phases. ict integration will continue. the faculty role shifts from course leader to course facilitator who communicates passion for the content to the students and who empowers students to become increasingly autonomous learners. (1991). T. We owe our gratitude to SEHAB. The CSI organization would like to address a special acknowledgment to the CvB Fonds (TU Delft).” 4 CONCLUSIONS In the domain of tertiary education it becomes very evident that one size fits all is an unattainable and even undesirable setup for teaching. Type B. Already the old Romans realized the interrelation of teaching and learning: “By learning you will teach.31 with a margin of 7 to 8. “The teacher has become more of a coach on the side rather than the main source for delivering information. A. inequality and slums in an unfamiliar urban environment.”  This may explain why the City Space Investigation workshop series initiated and carried out by students could yield results that may be compared to any curriculum-based alternative. Additionally the unanimous assent that the participatory approaches (the workshop's methodological backbone) have been adequately realized confirms that the City Space Investigation Workshop is on the right track of development. The discrepancy in answering the evaluation form substantiated the impression of the organizers that participants were very diverse in their expectations. The knowledge in human capacities. W. For the upcoming workshop that most likely will take place in the twin city of Brazzaville and Kinshasa at the border of the two Congos. to the IAB.
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