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As Good as Face to Face? Facing the Challenge of Teaching Design History Online to Design Degree Students

As Good as Face to Face? Facing the Challenge of Teaching Design History Online to Design Degree Students



This presentation focuses on the use of Blackboard Learn™ to teach design history to entry-level design degree students (250-300 a semester). The teaching methods include a holistic approach that ...

This presentation focuses on the use of Blackboard Learn™ to teach design history to entry-level design degree students (250-300 a semester). The teaching methods include a holistic approach that involves shaping Blackboard Learn into a visually engaging and lively interactive environment that makes use of the Discussion Board for online tutorials involving discussion, learning tasks, and assessment activities. A team teaching approach for over 10 years has produced a large body of experience and student feedback that this presentation will draw on. While wary of the effectiveness of Blackboard Learn and teaching online for entry-level undergraduates, our experiences indicate there are many benefits and that we are able to offer students a rich learning experience that is as good or better than the traditional face to face approach.

Swinburne University at Blackboard Teaching & Learning Conference 2013 Melbourne



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As Good as Face to Face? Facing the Challenge of Teaching Design History Online to Design Degree Students As Good as Face to Face? Facing the Challenge of Teaching Design History Online to Design Degree Students Presentation Transcript

  • As good as face to face? Dr Denise Whitehouse Faculty of Design, Swinburne University The challenge of using Blackboard as a learning environment for teaching design history to first year Design Degree students: 2002-2013
  • About me • Denise Whitehouse • Senior Lecturer, Design History and Theory • 20th Century Design ( 1st year BB- 2002-103 ) • (National Carrick Learning & Teaching Award; Swinburne Vic Chancellor Award) • From Print to Pixel (Masters BB- 2012-13 • Faculty of Design: Communication, Interior, Industrial, Product/Engineering, Multi Media, Film and Television, Design Factory Grant Featherston: Contour Chair 1954
  • The Brief 2002: the Faculty’s first online subject using Blackboard The Challenge • Could we offer students an equal experience to conventional face to face? • Entry level design students • Student resistance • Staff resistance • Design educators resistance • How to make history relevant to everyday life and practice
  • 2002-7 Experimentation, Trial and Error • Technology • Injecting BB with language of design/design history • Design History’s image/object intensive methods and content • E-learning pedagogy • Keeping activities determinedly online • Discussion Board for Synchronistic Tutorials • Team teaching practices; facilitating, collaborating, open questioning, activities/tasks
  • • Break down of classroom peer pressure dynamic • New teaching practices & relationships • Students responsible for learning • Collaborative construction of knowledge online not possible face to face • Greater breadth and depth of learning • Flexibility • A method with wider applications As good as
  • Structure • Lectures/screenings • Discussion Board Studio Tutorials • Face to face: Induction and Excursions • Quizzes • Research Assignment
  • How does it work • BB is the 20th century design community hub • Lecture/screenings set the physical face and visual language of the community • Announcements interface- sets the sustaining narrative • Discussion Board - large and small group interaction • Visual/Design language, engaging, changing space • Communication: alive and populated • Simplicity and consistency • Keywords: community, design discourse, student centred, interactive, collaborative, active not passive
  • A social and cultural space Welcome, inform and set the conversational image and text narrative
  • Navigation and accessibility: information, participation- lectures, studios-quizzes- resources
  • Announcements: Constantly changing, informing and building visual vocabulary- setting the logic and a sustaining dialogue
  • Fostering student creative involvement: Design a banner
  • Lecture/ Screenings set the weekly agenda: Face to face, Lectopia recordings and PPs posted
  • • Groups of 15 students • Synchronistic for 2 hours • Discussions, interaction, exchange, tasks & activities, www, youtube, streaming • Facilitation and feedback Discussion Board Studios
  • Week 1 & 2: Fear of the New: Induction and Immersion Blended- Injecting BB and Online Studios with personalities and people- a social site
  • Continuing the logic Design identities for discussion board studios: international modernist styles, designers and movements
  • Fostering the personal- collaborators
  • The Studio experience in Week 10: Italian design : teachers as facilitators- setting the stage
  • SIGNING IN Pace and variety; skills; student driven and peer learning; depth and breadth
  • Activity 1: “Italian 20th Century Design Lecture review”: Open questions, sharing knowledge Comprehension, articulation, critical thinking,
  • Activity 2 Brief: “Italian designers/ Design entrepreneurs” Individual research and discovery, Students building and sharing –www, YouTube, streaming etc
  • Activity 2: student responses and observations- tutor feedback and guidance
  • Activity 3: “Anarchy & more & summary” – choice, discovery, interaction- class review
  • Students create the site’s content, building a body of shared knowledge as they research, post information and images, exchange opinions, question, get feedback and learn from one another with an ease that is not evident in the face to face classroom.
  • Blended Learning Excursions- socialization, communication, trust, skills. Responding to student feedback
  • A total experience Studio, Design Quiz, Essay- Assessment-Communication
  • Student experience 2012: • I hate everything about this subject • I think I prefer more the face-to-face class because I don’t like very much the technology and the idea of being in front of a computer for two hours makes me frustrated.
 • I really dislike the idea of an online class. If we wanted to do online classes wouldn’t we stay at home and google? Basically the idea of going to school is to learn and to have a teacher that always there to help and understand you. • Pace of discussions and activities and the format of BB Discussion Board
  • Student experience: 2009: • I'm enjoying the online thing. It's great to develop new skills such as relying completely on computer ability- especially when submitting tasks. It's all new for me as I've always been involved in 'face-to-face' learning, but I think it's important to embrace new technologies- exactly what we are learning in class really.... Liberation from physical classroom peer pressure dynamic • I am really enjoying working online and find it really beneficial- it allows you to view everyone's thoughts on the topic in a much more effective and efficient way then if we were in a class room. • I agree …. I was hesitant at first but once we finished our first class online I could see the benefits. I think it almost encourages everyone to contribute to our discussions more so than in a classroom. I'm learning a lot! • yeah actually, that's true...in class quite often people are too shy or timid to speak up. But online it's easy to have a go and making a point isn't so confronting.
  • 2012-3: Breadth and depth and individual learning • The best aspect would be the learning and online class of this subject as they are easier to access and get feedback from a teacher with your answers. • Online learning, relevant and interesting content, a mix of lecture styles that cover a broad range of interesting topics. • How the online class is set up. Also the lectures set up. I attended them every week, just purely because I found them very interesting. • 
 As much of a pain as it can be sometimes, I have found the tasks in our online discussions to be most useful. Having to research and analyse supporting examples for various topics generates a greater understanding of what we are discussing. May 2013 Peer learning : Everyone participates • The lectures which provide informative and interesting information and knowledge …. I also enjoy the online learning environment … it provides opportunity for everyone to participate and …express their opinion
  • • I found that I became more depended on myself to answer the questions, as I couldn't simply ask someone who was sitting next to me. It was also a lot more convenient as I didn't have to go all the way into the city. May 2013 • I preferred it in some cases; it seems there was less pressure on me when I may have said something slightly wrong (less people looking at me/judging me), which helps with my anxiety. Studios have been most helpful I think. May 2013 • At first I found it to be a strange concept, but now I actually prefer it. It means that each student has to participate in discussion, which works out to benefit all of us a lot better in the end. May 2013 Flexibility • Being able to do classes from home or other locations • At first I thought it would be difficult since there wasn't any face to face contact but it was easier than expected. The studios have worked best for me because I live 1 hour and a half away from uni (by public transport since I don't drive) so its just so much easier to go to class online. May 2013
  • • A disciplinary social and cultural logic • Active not passive • Synchronistic Discussion Board enables the social interaction, sharing and collaboration, exchange • Better understanding & comprehension of lecture and subject matter • Literacy, visual literacy, comprehension, and critical thinking • Breadth and depth of knowledge As good as face to face
  • To conclude A BB and Design History/Theory teaching method with wider application Improved teaching and learning, including genuine team teaching Denise Whitehouse, Swinburne Faculty of Design: dwhitehouse@swin.edu.au