Emergency Remote Studio Teaching Notes from the Field

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Tara Winters


The creative arts use primarily visual, kinaesthetic and somatic modes that depend on face-to-face communication in contrast to many other university subjects which rely more heavily on the written word. The hands-on, practice-based nature of art education makes it perhaps one of the least transferrable subjects to a fully online model. What can be learnt, then, from the forced situation of teaching and supervising studio-based learning in a higher education context under COVID-19 conditions? This reflective essay draws on the writer’s experience as a Fine Arts lecturer involved in emergency remote teaching (ERT) of studio-based, visual arts courses during the 2020 academic year. Framed as a series of ‘fieldnotes’ it aims to capture those fleeting, yet significant, thoughts and reflections so easily lost once things quickly reach a level of ‘new normal’. Notes from the field include: the effects of the shifted social dynamic of online communications in a teaching and learning context; the challenges of the video call as a dialogic space for the studio critique; the impact of the more structured nature of online systems with regard to documenting and recording creative work-in-progress; and the affordances of the dynamic, multi-modal nature of the digital medium for working with contextual research material. Developed as a pedagogical perspective combining reflection-in-action and reflection-on-action I offer first-hand observations and discussion, socialised against relevant literature, as a contribution to urgent conversations on the shape of the future learning environment.


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How to Cite
Winters, T. (2021). Emergency Remote Studio Teaching: Notes from the Field. Journal of Teaching and Learning With Technology, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.14434/jotlt.v10i1.31580
Reflective Essay