Creative Facilitation in Research Workshop

Researchers and academics from the Faculty of Arts and Social Science attended a workshop on Creative Facilitation in Research on Monday 8th December. The workshop was designed and run by the IDEAS for Impact team, who shared some of their tools and techniques

Chris May, FASS Associate Dean introduced the workshop, followed by a presentation from Leon Cruickshank providing an overview of the creative facilitation taking place within the IDEAS for Impact project and ImaginationLancaster.

The group were then guided through a series of activities that enabled them to experience some of the IDEAS for Impact tools and explore possibilities for engagement activities in their research.  For the first activity, the participants were divided into smaller groups to use the Hexagon Cards to discuss and explore their research activities and groups that they might engage with.  Each participant then reflected on his or her skills, tools and limitations as a researcher using the Superhero tool.

The conclusion to the workshop provided the participants with an opportunity to think practically about how they might creatively facilitate a research activity and engage different groups outside the university.   In small groups, a creative facilitation planning pro-forma was used to guide the group’s thinking.  They responded to prompts such as the goal of the activity, the barriers to engagement and shaped an activity using the tools presented in the workshop, as well as thinking about new tools they might design.

The groups discussed and documented two detailed plans for engagement activities; one for MPs to engage with people with disabilities and one for gathering stories of immigration from a community in Morecambe.  Although the research areas belonged to only two members of the group, the rest of the participants became very involved with the process and were eager to take away a copy of the pro-forma to try out and share after the workshop.  Luckily the Ideas team had already produced sets of the tool for everyone to take away!