Use of VLE for threshold concepts


First Year students/ 30 students – one tutor/ Phase One

collage workshop – evaluation of learning through anonymous post-it notes:

  • what did you grasp today? what’s still a bit confusing? (if a student didn’t understand something, however small and seemingly inconsequential, it would be
    heard (anonymously) and acted on.)
  • whose work did you find successful? ( to remind students that whilst their drawings grow from personal values and engagement, they succumb to the viewers’ interpretations)

collage workshop – online summary from the session was prepared

  • The online space of the VLE with content structured in the form of a tutorial session served to allow students to repeatedly go over moments of uncertainty or trouble from the workshop.

The demands of project based learning are rigorous: the need to generate elements of work continuously (or fear falling behind) puts pressure on students to sidestep conceptually difficult elements by creating works that seem correct yet do not demonstrate a grasp of the underlying principles

First Year students/ 30 students – one tutor/ Phase Two

learning orthographic projection – evaluation of mistakes & omissions

  • double approach: hand design and CAD design of the same process_images looked right but were not right in both design environments

learning orthographic projection – online tools for tutoring

  • fifteen minute podcast and sample sketchbook as online handout

Removing activities from the scheduled studio sessions offers a strategy for responding to a stuffed curriculum and frees up time to focus on elements of transformative learning



Williams, J., 2014. The design studio as liminal space. In Charrette 1(1) Summer 2014.

Image available here 

The “Connected Curriculum”


UCL’s twenty-year vision and a wholesale commitment to changing programs of study/ its goal is to enable students to participate in research and inquiry throughout their education/ allows students to make connections both vertically across a program’s year groups and horizontally across disciplinary divides, even beyond the university setting/ research-based education aspires to widen the notion of what constitutes legitimate research and who has the authority to contribute to it.

The University is changing: new ways of knowing in order to thrive in a unknown future/ in the age of supercomplexity a new epistemology for the university awaits, one that is open, bold, engaging, accessible, and conscious of its own insecurity (Barnett)


  • students are encouraged to connect with staff and learn about ongoing research
  • connected sequence of research activities throughout students’ programs (scaffolding)
  • research is inherently social/ students are encouraged to connect their learning across the subjects they are taking and with the wider world
  • students are encouraged to connect academic learning with workplace learning and develop a full range of professional attributes and skills
  • assessments: critical questions concerning their forms or types of skills they address
  • interpersonal connections between people from different disciplines, cultures and backgrounds



Carnell, B., 2017. Towards a connected curriculum in architectural education: research-based education in practice. In Charrette 4(1) Spring 2017, pp. 14-26

Image available here





  • Dewsbury: the process of putting together a mix of relations
  • Phillips: agencement/ arrangement,fixing, fitting
  • Wise 1: process of arranging and organizing and claims for identity, character and territoty
  • Ballantyne: new identities are generated through connections
  • De Landa 1: assemblage as a whole cannot be reduced to the aggregate properties of its parts since it is characterized by connections and capacities rather than the properties of the parts
  • Anderson & McFarlane 1: it includes heterogeneous human/non human, organic/inorganic, and technical/natural elements
  • De Landa 2: it is an alliance of heterogeneous elements
  • Wise 2: they are dynamically made and unmade in terms of the two axes of territorialisation (stabilization)/ deterritorialisation (destabilization) and language (express)/technology (material)
  • Dovey 1: assemblages are at once express and material
  • Farias 1: assemblages focus both on actual/material and possible/emergent
  • Deleuze & Guattari: they are fundamentally territorial
  • De Landa 3: territorialization is both spatial and non-spatial
  • Dovey 2: territory is a stabilized assemblage
  • Angelo: it addresses the inseparability of sociality and spatiality and the ways in which their relations and liaisons are established in the city and urban life
  • Anderson & McFarlane 2: it is an a priori reduction of sociality/spatiality to any fixed forms/set of forms of processes or relations
  • De Landa 4: assemblage theory offers a ‘bottom-up” ontology that works with analytical techniques rather than logical reasoning (…) the theory opposes the reduction of the entities to the essences asa deficiency of the social realism
  • De Landa 5: they are continuously in the process of emerging and becoming
  • Deleuze’s becoming-in-the-world as opposed to Heidegger’s being-in-the-world
  • Farias 2: assemblage thinking tends to develop empirical knowledge rather than theoretical analysis and critique / it is about inquiry and explorative engagement

assemblage and the city

  • Farias: the city as multiplicity rather than a whole
  • McFarlane: assemblage refers to ways in which urbanism is produced not as a “resultant formation” but as an ongoing process of construction (…) it refers to city as a verb in making urbanism through historical and potential relations
  • Dovey: assemblages are the main products of the “flows of desire”

assemblage and critical urbanism 

  • McFarlane: assemblage as a concept, orientation, and imaginary/ as a relational composition process that contributes to the labour and socio-materiality of the city/ as an orientation to the potentiality of actors and sites in relation to history, required labour, and the capacity of urban process/ it offers some orientations to “critical urbanism” in terms of focusing on potentiality, agency of materials and composition of the “social imaginary”
  • Tonkiss: assemblage thinking is likely to generate a “template urbanism,” rather than a critical one
  • Brenner, Madden & Wachsmuth: they adopt the theory in relation to the political economy


  • One of the critical contributions of assemblage thinking for understanding the complexity of the city problems is to encourage multiscalar thinking
  • the diagram can be understood as an “abstract machine” in Deleuzian concept of assemblage thinking. In this way, diagrammatic thinking can be used as a means to abstractly illustrate the complexities of an urban assemblage as both a product and process
  • mapping can be considered as an abstraction that has the capacity to unravel what De Landa (2005) calls “real virtuality”, which is a kind of “reality” that has not
    been “actualised” yet
  • diagrams, maps, and types have the capacity to produce a kind of “spatial knowledge” that can be effectively used as a basis to draw on the ways in which the city works in relation to spatiality and sociality. It also assists with specifying the space of possible solutions for the existing city problems and embodied capacities for transformational change
  • assemblage theory reads place as a multiplicity that is in the process of “becoming” in relation to social-spatial and material-express alignments



Kamalipour, H., Peimani, N., 2015. Assemblage Thinking and the City: Implications for Urban Studies. In Current Urban Studies, 2015, Vol.3, pp. 402-408,

Image: Topographie du sol, mars 1957 Assemblage d’empreintes. Signée «J. Dubuffet» et datée «57» en bas à gauche. Titrée, signée «J. Dubuffet» et datée «mars 57» au dos. 60 x 105 cm, Available here

On the reliability and validity of meaning in arch and urban research


  • Gibson_affordances: how it is that some situations and objects seen to present themselves to us as things we can use
  • Wittgenstein_language games: in which we share common attitudes towards the world and what it presents to us (constructivist view where we make an interpretation of the world that facilitates certain interactions and limits others) Questioning is a kind of malady, a disquiet that can only be satisfied by an answer that makes the question go away.” Our questions occur in a context.
  • Scientific worldview contrasts the constructivist one as “everything about the real world lies out there to be discovered.”
  • Popper_Science is as speculative as other disciplines
  • Feyerabend_ science is much more creative than is stereo-typically assumed
  • Latour & Woolgar_have exposed the the human, interested, motivated world of the science laboratory that is usually excluded from accounts of scientific inquiry
  • Bloor: all kinds of knowledge is motivated and arises in a context of values and beliefs. Many scientific or sociological advances are themselves based on ungrounded assumptions, or on a persuasive narrative, in favor of a particular position at the expense of the alternatives. “Unmotivated decisions are impossible”

ACTIVITY THEORY: An activity is an organized set of actions that combine together to construct our reality; activities are central to our knowledge production; activities are considered as corresponding methods in research and the worldview within which these activities are perceived as meaningful by the actors who deploy them, as methodologies. Methodologies are value and belief sets that provide an interpretative framework for understanding the impact and significance of those activities.

Activity situated in a social context and in an interpretative community of users provides us with evaluative tools, not only for assessing the appropriateness of the proposed methods, but also of assessing the appropriateness of data (…) one can use an activity-theoretic account to explain why an architectural activity is appropriate in response to an architectural question, i.e. a question posed in the context of architecture; or one can use it to identify the architectural worldview and values within which a response is perceived as meaningful by the interpretative community of architects (..) it is false to assume that data alone, or evidence-based assessment, has the potential to point us towards a single narrative or argument leading to an incontrovertible conclusion in research.

By legitimizing alternative ways of interpreting data, and indeed what we might accept as data, the field of architectural research is given a voice with which to express alternative socio-cultural values and to describe how these values give rise to alternative, productive insights and understandings to traditional models of academic research, i.e. significant research outcomes, based in professional practices, which have potential impact.

Science tries to make claims about an external world that exists independently of the observer/ The sociologist is interested in the social interaction of human beings that includes the opinions and personalities of the individuals concerned, it is essentially a science of the social world rather than a science of the material world



Biggs, M.A.R., 2014. An Activity theory of research methods in architecture and urbanism. In City, Territory and Architecture 2014, 1:16,

Image available here

Peer to peer learning


Peer Learning Definition: Students learning from and with each other in both formal and informal ways with emphasis on the learning process and the emotional support that learners offer each other, as much as the task itself.

10 models: the traditional proctor model (seniors tutor juniors), partnerships between students of the same year, discussion seminars, private study groups, parrainage, counselling, peer-assessment schemes, collaborative project or lab work, projects in different sized groups, workplace mentoring and community activities.


  • working with others: sharing, acknowledging contributions, working together to develop collaborative skills.
  • critical inquiry and reflection: challenges to existing ways of thinking, opportunities for formulating questions, deep engagement
  • communication and articulation of knowledge, understanding and skills: testing and rehearsing the ideas of others, expressing concepts
  • managing learning and how to learn: self-management skills, not prompt by deadlines but by the exigencies of cooperating, identifying learning needs, collective responsibility
  • self and peer assessment: giving and receiving feedback, identifying criteria



Peer Learning in Higher Education: Learning from & with Each Other, (eds) David Boud, Ruth Cohen & Jane Sampson, introduction by David Boud, 2001, London: Kogan Page

Image available here




Khan Academy: type of a screencast that records the pen-tip of the presenter on a digital drawing board.


  1. classroom lecture with instructor on the blackboard
  2. talking head of instructor at desk
  3. digital drawing board (Khan-style)
  4. slide presentation
  5. studio without audience
  6. computer coding session

Two types of screen movement: static or dynamic/ Two types of narrative: explicit and implicit

Proposed taxonomy of videos based on human embodiment and instructional media from the digital to the physical. The proposed taxonomy: 1) holds the predictive attribute, 2) provides a fine-grained spectrum of typologies, and 3) is complemented with a visual representation of the existing and potential video production styles.(Chorianopoulos, 2018).



Guo, P. J., Kim, J., & Rubin, R. (2014, March). How video production affects student engagement: An empirical study of mooc videos. In Proceedings of the First ACM Conference on Learning@ Scale Conference (pp. 41-50). ACM.

Sugar, W., Brown, A., & Luterbach, K. (2010). Examining the anatomy of a screencast: Uncovering common elements and instructional strategies. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 11(3).

Chorianopoulos, K., 2018. A Taxonomy of Asynchronous Instructional Video Styles. In International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning  (IRRODL)Volume 19, Number 1

Image available here

Self-Regulated Learning v Self-Paced Learning



  • is the ability of learners to effectively engage in their own learning processes metacognitively, motivationally, and behaviorally (Zimmerman & Schunk, 1989)
  • an active and constructivist process whereby learners attempt to monitor, regulate,
    and control their cognition, motivation and behaviors after setting goals for their learning, are guided and restricted by their own goals and the learning environment they are in (Pintrich, 2000)
  • is a set of strategies that significantly affect learning (Whipp & Chiarelli, 2004)
  • it includes setting goals, using effective strategies for regulating learning, coding and repeating information, monitoring performance, asking for help when needed, and having confidence in one’s own skills (Dabbagh & Kitsantas, 2005; Zimmerman & Risemberg, 1997)
  • a learner who can self-regulate is organized, does careful planning, and makes keen observations and assessments (Butler & Winne, 1995)

Self-Paced Learning

  • a mode of learning that enables individuals to study online a mode of learning that enables individuals to study online or with the help of portable technologies in their own time, at their own pace, and from their own place  (Naidu, 2008)
  • Self or learner paced distance and e-learning courses at universities are based on increased learner independence and flexibility, as learners can start their courses at any time during the year, and complete them at their own pace (Anderson et al., 2005)



Kocdar, S., Karadeniz, A., Bozkurt, A., Buyuk, K., 2018. Measuring Self-Regulation in Self-Paced and Distance Learning Environments. In International Review of Research in Open Distance Learning, Vol 19.(1), 25-43

Image available here