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Posts tagged ‘online learning’

day 2: Digital Spaces for Learning and Assessment in Art and Design

February 9, 2016

lisa hammershaimb

Article Title:
Digital Spaces for Learning and Assessment in Art and Design 
by: Ian Pirie, Stewart Cordiner and Jenny Triggs

Identifying a need for greater communication and transparency in the art + design critique process, in 2010 Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) created an online digital space to aid feedback and help support engagement in the critique process. They still continue to meet face to face in studio spaces but critique is largely conducted in an online interface.

What they did:
ECA created their own custom LMS where students upload their work in progress and completed work. Along with their image files, students complete a series of reflective questions describing their process journey and rating themselves on a series of skills acquired. Instructors also complete critique using a series of reflective questions and comments and rate the students on skills shown. When both parties have completed their responses, they are shared and an online dialogue begins about the work.

Why it is interesting to me:
A fully face-to-face, traditional design program identifies what I think is a key positive to online art + design learning: the ability to move critique from the often nerve-wracking dog and pony show within a studio to a space where people can reflect and receive comments and feedback and engage in a dialogue on a more personal basis.

When analyzed, data showed that students identified value in feedback that was mutually constructed and dialogical which the online interface easily supported. Instructors too found value in seeing projects progress through various stages and reading the students’ backstory in creating them. That said like any time feedback is given…it varies based on writing ability and overall engagement with the process. Some students were frustrated with lack of communication from the instructor and vice versa.

Overall, it’s an interesting look at how the internet is bleeding into a fully face-to-face art and design program and I’m curious how the program has progressed these past six years.

Pirie, I., Cordiner, S., & Triggs, J. (2011). Digital Spaces for Learning and Assessment in Art and Design. future learning spaces, p. 43-67. Retrieved from:

day 1: intention

January 25, 2016

lisa hammershaimb

It’s Monday once more, which means it’s back to writing and back to intention setting. Last week my intention was to engage with materials that explore the relationship between the academy and the art education world, with a particular emphasis on the fuzzy place that is training in vocations that once were considered “craft” and thus outside of formalized academic learning but for the last almost 100 years or so have moved into institutions of higher learning.

What that ended up meaning—which feels somewhat appropriate retroactively—is that I did equal parts reading articles and spending time with people actively engaged in these fuzzy spaces learning about their experience of learning and teaching. I spent an evening with fellow designers/design educators breaking down design real life versus academic real life (I wish there wasn’t an binary but I think there still might be…), talked hair styling pedagogy whilst I got a wicked fade from my stylist (what if graphic design had gone the route of hair cutting/color/styling and stayed true to its trade roots rather than jumped ship and become “academic”? So many questions about identity and where you plant your disciplinary silo!) and read lots I didn’t record because I just ran out of both time and words.

My intention for this week is: for real, for real begin landing the plane of my dissertation topic. Though I’m all about serendipity and chance encounters and staying open to new ideas…I know at this point I’ve put enough time and probing into this beast that the next step is not to jump down another rabbit hole, rather it is to set a few posts in the ground, declare some things in a more formal way, and begin building.

When I’m working on a design project there’s a key moment every time where I have to take all the inspiration I’ve gathered and all the ideas I’ve dreamed up to a blank page in front of me and begin making. I’d love to say it’s this beautiful romantic moment of creation and eventually it is but…at that single start moment it’s scary and so hard. Moving from head to heart to hand to page is uncomfortable and awkward and difficult and revealing because what comes out is both completely me and no longer me. The words or ideas or images I create are both all mine and begin to live a life of their own the moment I write them. I set them free and I hope the relationship is reciprocal.

I think I’m at that place with this whole business. I’ve thought and researched and tried and failed and learned in an iterative cycle over the past two years, which has grown me in profound ways as a researcher and as a human. Now comes the time to begin making.

I know who I am. I know what I want. And it’s scary stuff but…I also know that I am strong enough to see it through and bring it into the world.

So this week begins that process of declaration and statements—of signals and foundations—of stepping out and stepping into and seeing what might happen next.

day 1: intention

January 18, 2016

lisa hammershaimb

It’s Monday which means it is back to reading, reflecting, and writing. After my travels, birthday, and general back-to-work logistics hiatus, writing feels both wonderful and intimidating. All the people who say writing is a habit even more than a flash of genius and the best way to write better is to write poorly with great frequency…are correct. Writing allows me to get ideas in my head out into a visual space and in so doing begin to untangle, sort out, admire, critique and generally sense make. It’s hard at times because doing all of the above requires slowing down sufficiently to be mindful.

But now, I’ve climbed back aboard the #5papers train which means I’m back to not only writing more regularly but also reading, reflecting, and generally structuring my week so that I can be more mindful.

Today being Monday means it’s time to set the week’s intention. Last round I was all about exploring narrative inquiry as a potential methodology and design educators currently teaching hybrid/online courses as my research subjects. Though this larger idea and I only been together a short time, I’m totally in love and ready to commit and may be fantasizing about our long-term future together. As every good love story must have conflict, my supervisor still doesn’t know and I should probably clue him in sooner than later. But…that’s a conversation for another day.

My intention for this week is to engage with materials that explore the relationship between the academy and the art education world, with a particular emphasis on the fuzzy place that is training in vocations that once were considered “craft” and thus outside of formalized academic learning but for the last almost 100 years or so have moved into institutions of higher learning.

Last week I had an interesting discussion with a friend (who is a design educator) and he brought up the tension that he sees regarding identity and legitimacy for arts educators. He said he thinks that because we as a field tend to be outside so much of traditional academic structure, we in many ways are more willing to dilute our pedagogy to fit into the larger structures (to gain legitimacy) than to view our place on the fringe as a privilege for the unique vision it provides. Things like online studio pedagogy and online learning in general for art and design education can be seen not as a good, progressive, step but rather as a threat because we’ve only “just” convinced everyone that the studio needs to be on college campuses and is legit so suddenly denying the need for geographic presence or even calling for a new twist on things can threaten everything.

I think he has something there.

With these things in mind, what would it look like for my dissertation to be part of more a reconciling than anything between two very different ways of thinking? Could my dissertation be an artifact that begins to open the door for people who think very differently to come together in commonality, seeing that human connection / online methods of delivery are not binary?

So, it’s with these questions that this week begins! It will be interesting to see where the meandering takes me.

day 1: vocalization

June 2, 2014

lisa hammershaimb

So last entry I may have gotten a little overly emotional about this whole doctoral thing. It was the weekend after a long week and I think all my filters lowered concurrently with me deciding to write and the dawning of a new month…perfect storm to call out the inner teenage girl angst-ridden portion of my artistic soul. Identity and its construct have been one of my constant obsessions from my late teens onward and I think I’m only now beginning to see what when I begin using language like “finding myself” or “growing into myself” it generally means (A) there’s a lot of other stuff that’s been going on externally to destabilize me and (B) I’ve generally been drinking too much and sleeping too little in an effort to silence the voices and find some personal clarity. When all is well being myself and actually growing as a person are occupying enough of my own psyche that I don’t need to verbalize how I need to do them…they just happen.

But anyways, the weekend meltdown did bring to light something that I think is valuable namely that I do need to root more deeply into these ideas and be intentional about this process so that I have that legitimacy, confidence, and credibility inside me. All the positive self talk in the world isn’t going to make up for sloppy work so yeah…time for the work part of the equation.

On Thursday I will be holding an all-faculty training session and, as we’re on the brink of several significant changes as an institution, have decided to present on faculty burnout. I know…total downer topic, right? Just when everyone needs a rah-rah girl to point out that the cup is way more than half full, I’m bringing up the b word. But seriously, I think our faculty has been consistently told that they need to “consider the student” and “take care of our students” and “do all you can to ease the student into this next step” and though I’m all for making the students comfortable…if my staff is burned out it means we’re losing ideas and losing the desire to take risks and generally losing out on what we do best.

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Assignment 4 Final

April 27, 2014

lisa hammershaimb

So…it’s all officially over. You can read Assignment 4 in all it’s glory here.

The papers are in, the grades are in, and this past week I’ve been giving myself massive amounts of sleep, comfort food, and grace as I recover from what may well be the most intense term yet. Yeah, between my promotion, birthday, travels, meeting schedule, and massive papers and learning…I don’t think “most intense” is an overstatement.

Good news is that thus far I’ve succeeded far beyond what I ever thought possible and for that I am so so so thankful. In the next week or so it’s time to contact my esteemed adviser, get into the flow of summer research, and figure out how not to fritter away the next 4 months of my life. Today…living small seems to be just fine. In fact…it’s pretty awesome.


February 23, 2013

lisa hammershaimb

acceptance letter

nothing new under the sun…

November 1, 2012

lisa hammershaimb

“Thanks to the Web, I have found that the earliest example of open and flexible distance learning was the Chinese Civil Service examinations, which were established in 605AD and lasted for 1400 years.

Embodying the Confucian principle of openness to class mobility, these were open to even the humblest peasant (but alas, not women!) and local officials would select potential candidates unable to attend formal institutions, invite them to developing calligraphic and literary skills and study the Confucian classics and then, when they felt ready, present themselves for examination in the capital, which required them to apply their scholarly interpretations of Confucianism to matters of state. The oldest graduate was 98!

Thanks to the Internet, I also once found myself working at the National Institute of Multimedia Education in Japan while also teaching masters students in the US, Canada, Mexico and Algeria online for Canada’s Athabasca University. Such is globalization!”

Colin Latchem, distance educator and author

quality matters.

November 1, 2012

lisa hammershaimb

I got this book, Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Distance and e-Learning: Models, policies, and research, last week and have just browsed it a bit but am totally looking forward to sitting down and marking it all up as I learn more about how distance ed can be the best possible experience for all its students.

The main thrust of this book seems to be about just what quality assurance is in a distance learning environment and how it can best be achieved. There are case studies from educators working all around the world and the book itself is edited by Insung Jung, an educator working at the International Christian University in Tokyo and Colin Latchem, a distance education consultant with over 30 years of experience, currently living in Australia. I love that distance education really does embrace the world as its student body and this book is the perfect reflection of that.

There’s also a fair amount on accreditation and distance learning, addressing the always present debate as to if distance education merits its own accreditation methods or can be judged in the same scheme as a ground school. The accreditation issue is something that definitely interests me because I know schools (at least here in the States) seem to live and die by their accreditation status.

I, oddly enough, never thought I’d say I can’t wait to brew up an Americano, light a candle, and spend some significant time reading about quality assurance, but I hope in the very near future I can do just that!

Online Learning, Only Better

October 25, 2012

lisa hammershaimb

“A well-designed, student-centered online course can improve student learning and teach students life skills across a much broader spectrum than a face-to-face course ever could. I think every student should be required to take at least one online course as part of his or her formal education.”

–Holly A. Bell, from Online Learning, Only Better

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