Life writing and life-learning: an analysis of creative writing students' work

Prescott, Lynda (2012). Life writing and life-learning: an analysis of creative writing students' work. Studies in Continuing Education, 34(2) pp. 145–147.



The study described here is based on the work of creative writing students engaged in life writing for a piece of assessment in a distance-learning course. Using the finished assignment pieces themselves, the students’ reflective commentaries on their completed task, and a follow-up questionnaire, the analysis was designed to explore the relationship between the students’ cognitive and affective learning. Although the assessment task clearly generated person-centred outcomes as well as the skills-centred outcomes around which the task was designed, in some instances these overlapped and blended into each other. It thus proved difficult to maintain a clear separation between the cognitive and affective learning domains, even in a context where other factors such as the social dimension of learning had been consigned to the background. The argument presented here supports the idea that, in the field of continuing education especially, we need to recognise the complex interaction between different kinds of learning. The paper also suggests that, in a learning context dominated by the academic requirements of higher education, the value of creativity and imagination, exercised through the development of writing skills, should not be under-estimated.

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