Exploring online learning for art and design

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As we are well aware, digital technologies have impacted massively upon the ways in which students learn, and how they engage with one another and with the University. The learning landscape is morphing, and technologies are playing an instrumental part, e.g. the rapid expansion of online learning provision through MOOCs, the phenomenal use of YouTube as an informal learning platform, Google’s new Helpout offering, and an array of other online initiatives – all available across multiple personal devices.

In this turbulent world where much formal and informal learning is undertaken online, Sarah Kante takes a swift look at MOOCs, e-learning, and ponders: what is a good online learning experience, and how can it be applied to art and design courses?

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Digital literacy: alternative virtual learning environments

Workflow e-portfolio digital environment

Workflow e-portfolio digital environment

In order to continue the exploration of digital literacy within an art and design HE setting, this post focuses on online distance learning. In particular it mulls over alternative perspectives and seeks fresh ‘ways-in’ that may help to adjust our collective e-Learning spectacles.  As such, it is hoped that a stroll around virtual learning environments (VLEs), and alternative online environments, will prove useful. Desire and virtual communities are the conceptual areas framing this swift adventure. So, one question might be ‘are there valuable insights to be gleaned from alternative virtual spaces that could influence the ways we provide for students online at Central Saint Martins?’ Continue reading

Taking Care of Business? The political economy of MOOCs and Open Education

The future of education?

In this provocative article John Casey, Open Education Project Manager at the university’s Centre for Learning and Teaching in Arts and Design (CLTAD), reflects on the massive changes underway in open education around the world. Driven by a mix of new technology, idealism, politics and venture capital in a time of increasing economic austerity, the movement has plenty of contradictions as well as exciting opportunities. Continue reading

CSM All Staff Digital Literacy Event

September’s all staff Digital Literacy event provided an opportunity for colleagues to find out about some of the ways in which digital tools and social media are being used at CSM.

To start off Shan Wareing, UAL’s Dean of Learning and Teaching, provided a contextual overview of ways in which digital technologies are being approached at the university, CLTAD’s Nancy Turner fed back on key themes arising from the recent international conference ‘Designs on E-Learning’, and Angus Eason gave an update on MOODLE. They were joined by CSM colleagues who gave quick-fire presentations about their own uses of digital technologies to support the student experience.

It was acknowledged that we are experiencing radical shifts in the variety and complexity of HE provision globally – for example, the current blossoming of massive open online courses (MOOCs) adds to the fluidity and multiplicity of educational provision, and provides new environments for learning.  This evolving and complex educational landscape is one in which digital technologies are playing an increasingly significant part, and as such, staff and students need to become digitally literate. Continue reading