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day 4: research focusing

February 4, 2016

lisa hammershaimb

This was originally an email, and then en route to morphing it into another email to send to someone who’d ask the magic question “so…what’s the research about?” I thought…why all this email business? Why not be slightly more open? It feels a little hypocritical to cheer for open sharing + collaboration as presented by Alan Stearns in “Becoming Responsible for CSS” (such a great video…and though I don’t understand the jargon, the ethos is excellent) and then not be open with my own process. 

So…in the spirit of open, here’s my thinking this past week along with the updated big question and one subquestion (there will be more…but, for now just one). Thoughts welcome!

Basically the more I’ve been connecting with people the more it seems that–though there aren’t many art + design programs delivered fully online–there are lots of instructors integrating online elements in their courses to encourage community, conduct assessment, and build cross-disciplinary collaboration. 

Because the art + design discipline as a whole is historically very place-centric, I think it would be beneficial to document what is being done to extend the studio from a bounded group to a somewhat more porous digitally networked space. I think my dissertation could help encourage that dialogue as I give voice to educators who are currently doing innovative things that are blurring the lines and creating coalescent spaces

I’ve not been able to find any “official” research documenting what’s happening or how these learning networks are emerging and even more it seems instructors doing these things often feel that they’re all alone as they often are the only ones in their departments/institutions who are exploring these ideas. 

I also think that (probably post-dissertation/further research…because it might extend my scope too far) it would be excellent to build an open repository tool of networked curriculum resources so that art + design educators would have a peer reviewed pool of resources from which to draw and even more…an interactive community. It’s great to do your own thing but I think like design itself…without connection it’s easy to keep reinventing the wheel and forget you’re part of a much larger story. 

Big Question:
How are graphic design undergraduate instructors using the means of the internet and computer-mediated communication to augment, expand, and extend studio learning spaces?

Sub Question:
How do instructors view the integration of internet resources into traditional studio courses as being a link to the larger professional world of design?

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