The research was conceived as a result of teaching adult learners on a City & Guilds Jewellery course who showed keen interest toward practical work but less interest in their design sketchbook work.   In most cases the qualification was not their intrinsic motivator so saw little value in completing sketchbooks beyond their initial ideas just to fulfil the course criteria.  

The aim of this action research was to change learners attitude, motivation and understanding toward design development to result in improving the quality of their sketchbook work and being able to complete this autonomously away from sessions in order to free class time for practical work.  

The intervention focused on providing a variety of student centred learning activities during two concise sessions over the ten week course.   Following this a triangulated data set was collected and analysed using a variety of methods to show that by delivering actively interesting sessions learners were motivated in design development. Despite developing early understanding, the intervention alone was not enough to provide completely independent learning and revealed that in conjunction guidance was needed to provide ongoing improvement of design leading to heightened learner confidence.  


I teach two part-time jewellery design and making courses each term at an adult education community centre.   One is non-vocational and the other which is the focus of my research is a City & Guilds (C&G’s) Level One Award; the course consists of ten weekly three-hour sessions.   Students can choose to do the Award as a stand alone unit or continue their studies and enrol the following term to gain another unit Level One Award in jewellery.   If they complete four Awards they gain a C&G’s Level One Certificate.

This is the second year I have taught C&G’s as a module based qualification allowing students to build up a qualification that can be studied to fit around their life and...