Allen, Claire and Evans, C. K. (2012) Going beyond the obvious: Engaging fashion design and fashion communication students in reflection and self motivated investigation. In: Fashion: Exploring Critical Issues. Inter-Disciplinary Press, Witney. ISBN 978-1-84888-148-8

This paper presents an exploration of the interactive possibilities for engaging students in their fashion studies encouraging them to go beyond the Google culture of information skimming.
The future digital savvy learner (digital native) is expected to have a heightened visual spatial intelligence and respond to rapid changing signals. These students are likely to be easily distracted a phenomenon described by Linda Stone as ‘continuous partial attention’ which is the desire of an individual to be attentive to the continuous stream of information, however they act as a ‘live node’ in networks, connecting, engaging with and transmitting information. This behavioural and cultural shift requires a radical rethink of how we present information and stimulate engagement.
We have considered the future learning environment where it is expected students will have their own digital device (eg:iPhone/iPads/Slate and 3D devices) with them at all times and this will be linking them to information that complements their studies.
The study looks at comparisons between tutor expectations and student learning experience within the fashion study field. It will investigate ways to engage the fashion student to move beyond the ‘attentional’ gate of surface learning considering such methods as embed spaces for thinking and reflecting, contributing information, socialising and learning. The study tracks the research process of fashion students and investigates teaching methods to guide them in their navigation through infinite unedited fashion related information.

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