Curriculum design & assessment, Teaching strategies

Some social commentators have stated that the pandemic forced us to jump forward in technological and logistical development.

The emergence of online platforms is here to stay and it need not be net negative.

Embrace the medium, it’s limitations and opportunities.

So when the decision was made to cancel face-to-face teaching, it felt poignant to frame this as an opportunity. Below are some learnings.

The medium facilitates a number of modes of communication. These include, one to one, one to many, some to some, some to many. The use of the main space as a traditional lectern hall and breakout rooms as tutorial spaces, feels an appropriate extension of physical into digital.

Attention payload is much higher online. Communicating through the internet is new and poses new challenges. One of the greatest challenges sits within each student’s attention span. To capture and keep attention various strategies must be employed. The prior requires a variety of stimulation & provocation, variation in group sizes appropriate to the mode of communication, multi-media approach and strategic consideration of student positionality, interests and learning styles. Keeping attention requires us to consider fatigue, sessions must be shorter and offer a multitude of breaks, ensuring media is not too data heavy/triggering/numerous and is sufficiently considered as appropriate, simple and open.

***Update: 24/02***

Reviewing the session’s recording (another pro for the virtual university), the following notes are pertinent:

Student consideration
Motivation (intrinsic vs external) [individual, team, institution, education…etc]
What are we fostering?
Metrics & ranking, neoliberal competition in university
Workload and wellbeing
Adapt to the institution?
The Slow University

Institutional Research


Not going to lie, I found this confusing from the get go

“Should we research our own institution?”

This statement feels so open and without clear oorientation, at least for me.

This begs a question regarding the privilege of knowledge.

Having recently formally joined the arts via Open School East’s Associate Artist program, my journey into alternative education and peer-to-peer learning. That I was a community taught Artist was unbeknownst to me at the time. I thought my seniors and contemporaries had knowledge I did not, after all, the far majority of them had creative degrees/backgrounds/connections.

I feel the same way about the minimum assumed understanding of a subject.

Sometimes we have to assume a certain base, especially in regard to structural concepts e.g. colour, form, grammar.

But when we ask questions we should be clear of their context.

In my context, of course, why would I not do the necessary background information before entering a space. What key information regarding structure and process, experiences and expectations, this is done through commonly available research methods (the internet) and informal conversations with those in the know.

So when the session progressed, it became clear there was a gap in understanding, the question referred to researching the theories, practices and polices of the institution we are in. Perhaps this was obvious, and perhaps this is an interested reflection in a comment I made to a colleague earlier “I don’t think we can or should spoon feed students, the effort required to bridge a knowledge gap is what makes it stick in the mind”. I would add that like the formation of muscle memory and the thickening of neural pathways, practice makes better.

As for the answer to the question, before the session I said YES, after the session, my response is 3. When forced to choose between A & B, always pick 3.

(For added clarity, the point is to be open and opaque, forcing the reader to find their own solution. This may be about making your own solution, reframing the situation, using different language, consider unknown unknowns…etc. Finally, whenever you can, do both, look inside, outside, top, underneath, light, shadow and then bring in a fresh pair of eyes)

Post literature finding task

Pedagogy 101 (ish)

The task was nice and straightforward, open and as challenging as you wanted it to be.

Like any good assignments, you get out what you put in. Luck also comes into play.

I came across Idées vagues/images claires: Image, Pedagogy, and Politics in the Films of Jean-Luc Godard, 1966–1969 

As a huge lover of the French New Wave, Godard was a Breathless source of inspiration.

That this was the second time (the first, a year prior, by curator and director of Open School East) that I had been re-directed towards Godard influential works became less of a sign, more akin to a cameraman chasing me down the street, shooting me while being shot.

…if you get the reference.

And so reflecting on images, applying critical thought to images with respect to broadcast media, is central to my aims.

It is very of the moment.

We are now surrounded by even more images than ever before.

Visual literacy is vital.

Written with hope and a longing for community

zziisshh, behind the ii’s