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Workbook Framelock

a transitional survey and critical analysis of student approaches to creative process documentation in photography, visual art and media education


This paper outlines our 2009-10 University of Brighton Learning and Teaching Fellowship project to create a survey of student creative process documentation (workbooks, sketchbooks, notebooks etc) found on AS/A2, diploma, foundation and BA Photography/Art/Media courses.

The project involved the collation of an archive of photographic examples of practice, sound recordings and questionnaire responses, to be made available online to a wider community of interest.

An underpinning rationale for the work was our observation from previous fellowship research that higher education students tend to maintain earlier prescribed, habitual and unreflective approaches to their creative process documentation, that may inhibit rather than enable the development of their creative practices.

Utilising the concept of ‘Frame Lock’ (Bernstein 1992) and its impact on the development of ‘meta-learning’, pedagogic questions are raised that are applicable across a wider field of student progression from further education to higher education.

We have gathered the data in order to test the hypothesis that student perceptions are often formulated on implicit assumptions about the instrumental value of such documentation processes, frequently derived informally from staff, peers and previously learned behaviours in relation to perceived course requirements. The online interactive ‘archive’ of gathered data/ material evidences a range of student approaches and understandings of the use of the workbook. This (currently incomplete) archive aims to present all of the gathered data in a relatively open format, enabling users to browse, view, listen to and work with the material.



Partnerships - Articles from the Learning and Teaching Conference 2010

Falmer, University of Brighton


full paper here:

linked website with student work here: :

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