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DAY 1: looking for answers…

January 27, 2014

lisa hammershaimb

So today I discovered that there are people out there researching studio learning methods and studio practices and even the pedagogy of learning in community and how awesome it is and how maybe it could even work with disciplines other than traditional fine/applied arts. I am stoked to read everything I can get into my little iPad screen because it makes me feel like there is actual merit to my own ideas…I’m not reinventing the wheel, just showing how it might roll along in another context or situation. I also discovered this great thing called “tacit knowledge.” Seriously…we’re all tacit knowledge experts if you know where to look and how to ask the right questions to reveal it. So yeah…I think today was filled with a couple larger positive turns and I think in the not too distant future I’m going to take the very scary step of sharing these ideas in an email and see how they distill out. Ironic right that I have no fears about sharing them on the internet because it feels so wonderfully cavernous and anonymous but sending an email feels like I’m rooting down…feels like I’m staking a claim and saying that this matters to me. And even more crazy…it does.

What follows is the wet paint…digital, yet still very open to fingerprints, smears, smudges, mixing, etc.

My area of research interest:
1. Tacit knowledge transfer in an online studio space

  • How does it work?
  • What is the experience like?
  • What channels does it utilize?

2. Learning Communities when studio cultures relocate to online environments or how learning occurs in horizontal communities rather than vertical instructor-oriented hierarchy

Why is this area important from a big perspective?
I’ve read a couple articles recently that have studied the positive effects of studio culture in arts-based college programs. Because studios are safe places with high levels of reflection, feedback, and group learning through critiques it is thought that they are particularly effective at helping designers “not just learn about” but also “learn to be”. The sharing of ideas produces self confidence and modeling of instructors engaging in process helps students get an insider view of industry tacit knowledge.

But how does tacit knowledge regarding design develop when the studio moves from a physical to online space? How do faculty-student interactions produce design knowledge and designer self efficacy when the studio space moves from being a shared physical location, hosted by an instructor, to an online interface ultimately mediated by a computer interface? Does the studio experience remain fundamental to the educational experience if there is no physical studio space?

Many schools are moving part or all of their delivery online in order to reach a broader base of students or cut down on their physical infrastructure needs and traditionally studio focused programs are also beginning to transition. This area of research is vital if online delivery programs are going to keep up high level of quality and produce not only students with functional program+software skills, but also who are confident as professionals.

Why is this area important for me personally?
I lead a fully online undergrad graphic design department thus for our students to succeed and earn an education that is worthwhile, it is important to me to know how to best structure my own program.

Through which two research methods will I position my study?
Ethnography // study the “people group” of online undergrad graphic design students
Phenomenology // descriptive emphasis; study “what it is like…”


References:
Brandt, C. B., Cennamo, K., Douglas, S., Vernon, M., McGrath, M., & Reimer, Y. (2011). A theoretical framework for the studio as a learning environment. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 1-20.
Cennamo, K., & Brandt, C. (2012). The “right kind of telling”: knowledge building in the academic design studio. Educational Technology Research and Development, 60(5), 839-858.
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