Teaching methods based on tutorials, cumulative projects, and concept based learning strategies.
Dannell MacIlwraith Assistant Professor Kutztown University
More and more colleges and universities are beginning to
explore offering traditional studio art and design courses online. At Kutztown
University, first year students are required to take an online Digital
Foundations course. This course gives a solid grounding in basic computer
skills, software knowledge, and visual thinking, a framework for more complex
areas of digital media. By giving the flexibility of an online class — students
can still have hands-on techniques, experience constructive critique, hand-in
physical prints, and have a good mentor/student relationship.
As the curriculum designer, I based my teaching methods
on tutorials, cumulative projects, and concept based learning strategies. The
short tutorials are designed to maintain attention. I have abandoned the
traditional discussion forums of online education, instead utilizing social
media for critiquing techniques. Finally, through surveys, quizzes and an
‘artifact’ project the faculty assess Digital Foundations for tweaking and modifying
for future sections.
Many colleges and universities are moving classrooms
online for financial savings. What are the most effective strategies for
teaching art & design online? What about ensuring the same rigor and
quality as an in-person course? We’ll explore possible solutions to these
problems that are facing the early pioneers of online education in design.
Gerol C. Petruzella Ph.D. Associate Director Academic Technology Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
One of the contexts in which design can have a vital and immediate impact in education is in the design of the online course space. As higher education expands to more meaningfully accommodate the role of instructional design in developing pedagogy and curricula, there is an increasing opportunity for such work to be put into practice, not only in specifically design-focused curricula, but across majors and programs generally. Longstanding research points toward a significant correlation between well-designed environments and improved educational experiences and effectiveness. As digital environments, not just physical ones, have become a mainstream part of the student experience, we have compelling reason to mindfully and intentionally apply design principles to those spaces as a matter of course, rather than as a specialized or ‘add-on’ practice.
This presentation offers a comparative case study in the effectiveness of applying basic considerations of design to an online course space, and offers some preliminary analysis. The same 200-level philosophy course, taught first in 2012 with no explicit attention paid to issues of design, and then taught again in 2015, with intentional consideration of visual, accessibility, web, and mobile design issues, will form the basis of the investigation. Analytics data and trends collected by the learning management system, including direct and proxy measurements of participation, engagement, and assessments, will undergird some conclusions about the efficacy of including intentional and explicit design work as a standard element of course creation.