MOOCs and the Art Studio: A Catalyst for Innovation and Change in eLearning Development and Studio Pedagogies

MOOCs and the Art Studio: A Catalyst for Innovation and Change in eLearning Development and Studio Pedagogies

Howard Errey, Megan J. McPherson
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8324-2.ch004
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The challenges of MOOCs are currently a significant issue for universities. New contexts of openness, massiveness and collaboration on the Web are challenging traditional forms of university education delivery. These challenges are catalysts for change both generally and in studio pedagogies in particular. This chapter focus on how disruption caused to traditional art studio teaching models occur through intersection with MOOC activity. The provision of studio arts subjects by MOOC providers is also shown to be innovative for MOOC design and delivery. The authors show these challenges by drawing on their participation in two arts based MOOCs, The Art of Photography and Practice Based Research in the Arts. The MOOC pedagogies of openness, massiveness and collaboration, provide opportunities inherent in studio-based arts delivery which contemporary MOOC platforms rarely achieve. The authors draw into question potential frameworks for evaluating choosing and designing contemporary MOOC activity. This chapter falls within the ‘policy issues in MOOCs design' with specific relevance for the topic of ‘technology and change management for the MOOCs environment'.
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Background Contexts


MOOCs were initially envisaged as a collaborative and distributed learning activity (Burnham-Fink, 2013). MOOCs took advantage of an opportunity in the ways the Internet could operate as an aggregator and disseminator within and between learning communities. This capability, commonly known as Web2.0, enabled educators to pull content from student input, and repurpose these contributions without the need for central lecturer created content. This development was based on the theory of connectivism which was also the subject of the first MOOC in 2008 on Connectivism and Connective Knowledge (Downes, nd). It was from this first MOOC that the term MOOCs was coined (Daniel, 2012). Early MOOCs took advantage of student blogging and social media syndication and aggregation to gather and distribute knowledge for enriching the learning experience. The term cMOOC was later coined to represent connectivist MOOCs (Levy, 2014).

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