VISA 110

“Foundation Studio:  Digital Media”

In this course, I aim to help students develop an understanding of how to use components of material, form, time technology and ideas, to convey meaning in the production of the creation of artwork and affect, in the act of making.  At the foundation level I feel it necessary I develop skills of media literacy and how to dissect visual influences in regards to meaning – of how a critical and creative approaches can be used to facilitation of a negotiation between work and a viewer towards reshaping one’s way of thinking.  This course uses technology, mostly in post-production, (Adobe Photoshop and Premiere) to render three art projects per year, both still and moving image.  As a way to accommodate various learning backgrounds and experiences with the programs, as well as different Teaching Assistant abilities with the program, I “flipped” the classroom by creating approximately 60 online technical skill building videos with accompanying assessment questions that students can complete as homework.  This allows students with more experience to quickly prove they know the material in the assessment questions, and allows those who need to see a demonstration more than once the ability to do so at any time.  For students who wish to have more guidance, there are 2 workshop hours per week led by myself and the Teaching Assistants for technical help, along with office hours. I activate the larger lecture time with group activities and TopHat interaction as well as traditional style lecturing, where I try and find points of engagement so students can see the relevance these topics have with their own research interests (if non-majors) and personal convictions.

To encourage a sense of collegiality, students engage in productive peer feedback before their projects are due using ComPAIR, activating an important component of the role of the studio. The most difficult part of teaching this course beyond its size, is to help non-major and incoming students understand that art is more than personal taste or for aesthetic pleasure, but a way in which we engage, intellectualize and make meaning out of our world. Starting in 2015 with a Teaching Learning Enhancement Fund Grant, I was able to redesign VISA 110, a class that runs three times a year and teaches a total of 420-480 students in all.  The course consists of a weekly one hour lecture, where I lecture and conduct in lecture active learning activities to cover the concepts of the course as well as develop on historical and theoretical implications of the content of representation in digital imaging.  Students participate in smaller lab discussions, critiques and other activities in smaller 2 hour labs (20 students per lab) run by Teaching Assistants.  Students are also required to watch approximately 1 hour of online technical videos per week, with accompanying assessment quiz questions after each video.  This section gives examples of teaching components for the course.


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