Experiential Learning

I work with Community Engaged/Experiential Learning initiatives in two of my classes, and have aided a colleague in my department with an engaged learning component to his Public Sculpture Class.

Upper Level Visual Arts Experiential Learning

Over the past four years I have developed and executed a community-based experiential learning component into upper-level theory seminar course, required of all BFA majors. It has now become an isolated third year course, VISA 375 “Artists in Society”. Students are paired up with visual arts community partner to complete a set project, towards a rigorous and reflective understanding of contemporary art context beyond the University walls.  Utilizing years of students’ gained knowledge from academic study of the visual arts, students apply theoretical knowledge into tangible practice with fifteen different institutions in the Vancouver arts community. The results were multi-faceted, from a developed logic of understanding in the functions and effects of applying their knowledge, self-confidence in their abilities, and a sense of pride in by making a fulfilling and important contribution.  The collaborations also integrated the undergraduate BFA students to the larger artistic community in Vancouver. Now in its fourth year, it has influenced my methods of teaching to facilitate approaches and create habits of reflective practices that lead to life-long learning and the ability of the students to envision themselves as professional practitioners.

For more information on Engaged Learning in Upper Level Visual Arts, please see:

  • Course details, including syllabus, schedule and prompts can be found here.
  • VISA 375 “Artists in Society” class blog can be found here.
  • The first evaluation can be found here, followed by a second year update on the Longitudinal Impact of Community Based Experiential Learning, can be found here.
  • Research Ethics (Approved) Proposal for further study on the class can be found here.
  • Presentation from the 2017 World Alliance Education Conference can be found here.

Team-Taught Foundation Level Experiential Learning

In my role as one of the foundation year faculty members in the Media Studies stream of the Coordinated Arts Program and the Bachelor of Media Studies, in the first year of the program we held a stream-wide community partnership joining the organization Leave Out Violence (LOVE) BC and one hundred first year media studies students. The experience with LOVE BC was brought into our entire curriculum through a workshop and many students run interviews.  In my class, the interview and further research was executed towards creation of moving image artworks, serving to subversively dissect ideologies perpetuated in visual culture that effect the youth that use LOVE BC. The works served as resources for future LOVE BC workshops.  The component ended with a team-taught lecture wherein an analysis of the work was pursued by each of the faculty members.

The second iteration of this course worked with the curators of the New Media Gallery at the Anvil Centre in New Westminster in the creation of works containing visual responses to the ideas posed in the exhibition and by the curatorial lecture.

  • Detailed overview of activities over 2 years can be found here.
  • Conference Paper Presentation at the 2016 Symposium on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in and across disciplines, co-written and presented with Kathryn Grafton (English) abstract can be found here.

Furthermore, I aided in the development of a Community Based Experiential Learning opportunity for a colleague in the Department, Richard Prince.  The public art project is now up at the Gordon Neighbourhood House in the west end of Vancouver.  I was active in the facilitation of the class, found funding, attended administrative meetings with the centre and Richard, visited the class as I acted as a jury member for preliminary proposals.

For more information on the Public Art Project at the Gordon Neighbourhood House, that I supported in my colleague Richard Prince’s class, please click here.