An ode to artists that teach (online in a pandemic) and what we gained

An ode to artists that teach (online in a pandemic) and what we gained

Dr Celeste Chandler
Faculty of Fine Arts and Music

The VCA art breadth program comprises eight art-making subjects. In 2021 the program teaches approximately 2200 students across 50 deliveries as intensive and semester subjects. Before COVID  all subjects were face to face, in studios and workshops delivered by 16 practising artists, none had taught online previously. By the end of 2020, 6 subjects were fully online, and some had already been delivered 4 times over - a great deal was learned about teaching art via a screen, about engagement, feedback, curriculum design, assessment and how to get students to keep their bloody cameras on in a zoom class! This presentation focuses on what was done, what was learned and how this has created both strength and opportunity.

Each subject posed challenges: how to teach printmaking without a workshop? How to teach Animation without equipment? How to conduct tours of galleries, herbariums, print collections and gardens?  The program teachers had to find ways for the students to emulate the experience of looking over the teacher’s shoulder as they demonstrated a technique, manipulate materials, hold a brush, create a print, or assess the quality, liquidity, stickiness or stiffness of a material.

Witness the creativity and inventiveness of artists who teach.

This Zoom presentation was part of the Melbourne CSHE Teaching and Learning Conference 2021 held on Tuesday 1 June 2021.