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Calling all Level Three creative writing students! - The Open College of the Arts
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Calling all Level Three creative writing students!


The Creative Writing department is now offering Zoom-based peer hangouts and workshops for students at HE6 (Level 3) on a regular basis. 

As most of you know, over the spring and summer creative writing tutors ran a range of online group activities, some on general skills such as critical and reflective writing and some on more specific aspects of the writing craft.

We were delighted by the positive response to these sessions and it’s made us determined to offer more of them, at all levels. Often, creative writers can be a little bit shy, particularly about sharing their own work with other students. But it’s very good practice to have peer feedback on your work, and the insight of other students at a similar stage to your own can be very insightful. It gives you important experience in giving and receiving criticism. Although at first feedback which is not entirely positive can be hard to receive, it gets easier with time – and all writers need to hear how they can improve.

There are other benefits to group work too. It’s been proven that being social can significantly enhance your learning, encouraging you to consider perspectives other than your own (or your tutor’s). It improves your vocabulary (useful for writers!) and critical thinking skills.

A 2014 study showed that, compared to working alone, students who engaged in group work increased their achievement. The group work enabled the students to construct new knowledge and to refine and assess what they do and do not know. In other words, working in a group helps you to make sense of what you’re learning and what you still need to understand or learn.

And for those of you who will go into a workplace after the degree: most employers work in some kind of group situation, even if at the moment this is mainly done via Zoom or similar video conferencing! Employers really value good oral communication skills and the ability to work in diverse groups, so you will pick up some critical employability skills too.

These new regular meetings will correspond with the work in each of the six parts of the new version of Retrospect and Prospect (CW6ADA_100819), but they are open to any Level Three student, whether they are doing another version of Retrospect and Prospect or the final Independent Project. 

The first peer hangout will be about Critiquing Other People’s Work with OCA tutor Nina Milton. It will be held on 17 September 2020 at 7pm. You can register for this peer hangout by completing this booking form.

All the other information is on the R&P Padlet; read it carefully and then have a go at critiquing the piece of work entitled Falling. And join Nina on 17th!

Log in to OCA’s padlet by visiting: https://oca.padlet.org and signing in using your OCA email address through the log in with google option.

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Posted by author: Barbara Henderson
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