Creating a transnational experience in Art and Design Education via Social media

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Creating a transnational experience in art and design education in the Caribbean via social media - Presented at AIGA Geographics Design Education conference Honolulu Hawaii Dec 14 2012

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Creating a transnational experience in Art and Design Education via Social media

  1. Creating a transnational experiencein art and design educationin the Caribbean via social mediaLesley-Ann NoelThe University of the West IndiesSt. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago
  2. Although Facebook is seen as a distraction bymany educators, nevertheless it can play avaluable role in creating a transnationalexperience in art and design education, byproviding a platform for students from differentschools to discuss, critique and collaborate onwork, as was seen in this example of aFacebook project of three art and designinstitutions in the Caribbean. 2
  3. Literature Review“Analyzing knowledge dimensions and cognitive process of a project-basedonline discussion instructional activity using Facebook in an adult andcontinuing education course”Peng-Chun Lin, Huei-Tse Hou, Shu-Ming Wang, Kuo-En Chang“Social Media Use in Higher Education: Key Areas to Consider for Educators”Julia E. Rodriguez MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching Vol. 7,No. 4, December 2011“ ‘Screw Blackboard... do it on Facebook!’: an investigation of students’educational use of Facebook”Neil Selwyn London Knowledge Lab - University of London, Institute ofEducation, UK 3
  4. We can each launch the blogs and have a sense of what theemerging talent is throughout the Caribbean …the blog cancontinue to live on as an archive...linked to the institutions mainsite, and the project can develop annually with each successivegraduating class sharing their work virtually.It mitigates isolation and might foster regionalcollaboration and a sense of community for the graduates. Why dont we form a large FB group for the participating students and lecturers? This is a different activity to the blog - to actually promote the networking among the students. My class does a lot of brainstorming and discussion via FB already. 4
  5. Setting Common Heritage: • First Nations • Geographical Location • Plantation History Barbados & Trinidad • Anglophone • Former British Colonies Martinique • Francophone • Overseas Department of France 5
  6. Participating institutionsUniversity of the West Indies Barbados Community IravmTrinidad & Tobago College 28 year old institution60 year old university 44 year old college focusing on25 years of Art and Design 16 years of Art and Design Contemporary Art 6
  7. Results & Discussion▪ 41 posts of significance – either introductions or photos with some rapport established through comments▪ 13 students introduced themselves and posted an external link to an online portfolio▪ 8 students posted photos of their work – 5 BCC, 1 UWI – Design,1 UWI- Fine Art, 1 IRAVM▪ One student posted 11 times throughout the period and got feedback from all four programs in the three territories and was able to benefit from advice from lecturers from different countries. 8
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  16. What worked? ▪ Cross disciplinary (fine art and design) and trans Caribbean discussion started through this forum ▪ Increased student engagement evident through ‘likes’ and comments – no matter how superficial. ▪ Posts generally positive – “interesting”, “nice”, “strong” or asking about process and materials, thereby expanding students’ knowledge. ▪ Act of presenting their work to an unknown audience forced some reflection. Effective written presentation requires preparation 17
  17. What worked? ▪ Facebook platform has no hierarchy - lecturer’s voice is not ‘louder’ than students. ▪ Self evaluation and evaluation of peers are integral to the critique process and therefore expanded the classroom activity, engaging students in a subtle way. ▪ Ability to see whether messages have been received or not (new) ▪ Greater Engagement strengthened relationship between most active lecturers and students 18
  18. Challenges • Quality of posts – uncaptioned photos, work presented without rationale or statement • Feedback quality - Lack of comments, superficiality of comments, always positive • Multidisciplinarity - Fine Art bias in 2011 group. • Facebook changes - functionality, posts difficult to bookmark, don’t follow chronological order • Language barrier • Difference in academic calendar 19
  19. Way forward ▪ Better Guidelines for posting and critique • Select driving questions or controversial issues as project topics: • Allow ample time for online discussion: • Provide a structured rubric for online discussions: • Pay attention to the effects that individual differences may exert on the learner’s interactions ▪ (Peng Chun Lin) ▪ More balanced mix of students
  20. Conclusion ▪ The use of Facebook in art and design education is not without its challenges but it can play a role in increasing student engagement and interest and in the world beyond their own. These more engaged students are often more open to discussion, critique and collaboration, and these benefits make it a useful tool in art and design education. 21

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