Thursday, November 1, 2012

Developing an Online/Blended Studio Art Course

I have recently been asked by a former cooperating teacher to share my incites about creating an online art class. His department is being asked to do this for their brick and mortar school. So many schools are starting to create blended learning programs within their schools and I decided to share my ideas I'll be presenting to these teachers here as well.

Important Points to Remember

  • Set a timeline and due dates-This allows a flexible class to still have structure and keep students on track with their work. See image to the left.
  • Provide multiple forms of instruction (written instructions, visuals, student examples, videos)-You should provide everything you would in a traditional classroom but in a digital format. If you were to do a demonstration, make a video. Images of artwork and student examples can really get students interested and communicate the content better.
  • Provide multiple forms of assessment (quizzes check reading, project demonstrates mastery, reflection questions show understanding)-I use projects as the biggest form of assessment in my classroom but I find quizzes and written work show another view of what students understand and are taking home from each lesson.
  • Simple materials unless provided-Unlike the traditional classroom where you order supplies, in many cases students need to provide their own. Keep it simple when choosing supplies keeping in mind safety and cost.
  • Be available for questions-Students need to know they can reach you if they need help by email, telephone, or in person.
  • Give feedback for every grade-Written feedback is essential for communicating to students who are working independently about how they can improve or what they are successful at. In my classroom students are also able to make corrections and resubmit work for a better grade. This is something I have found to work well but it is up to you.

Sample Lessons

For a complete look at all the elements I include in the lesson visit my What Does a Lesson Look Like? post.
Here I have provided some images of what the curriculum pages look like in my classroom.


Art 1 Sample Lesson

This Art 1 lesson includes many visuals, some vocabulary, and many written instructions for students because this is an introductory course. I also included a video in this lesson to show what it looks like when someone is doing the shading techniques. I encourage students to include objects in their still life that tell a story. For most Art 1 projects they have a week to complete them.


Art 5 Sample Lesson

By contrast, this Art 5 lesson includes lesson visuals, more writing, and a project about concept rather than technique. The students in Art 5 should have much more experience in working independently on projects and are working on creating a portfolio for colleges. For Art 5, students have multiple weeks to complete projects but I ask for in progress work checks to provide feedback and direction when needed.

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