Academic staff who taught technical subjects were interviewed. The
information obtained from those staff about their teaching methods is
This subject is taught as a series of lectures and tutorials. It relies on
sequential learning and is taught in three segments across the semester.
Currently there is a study guide available and a set of readings, so there
are materials available if students were absent for a period. The subject is
soon to be taught by flexible learning to be delivered as printed materials
and audio tapes of lectures.
The subject is taught in a six hour block, one day per week for seven weeks.
There is usually an hour discussion, then the students work with the
lecturer on a one-to-one basis as required. The lecturer acts as a
facilitator and adviser giving the students professional advice. The student
receives guidance, regular review of their performance and feedback. The
learning is sequential as it relies on a heuristic approach with maturation
over a period of time. The atmosphere in the studio is also an important
part of the learning, and there is a time and quality cost to the student if
they are not there. Currently there are no alternative teaching methods
The teaching methods are very similar to those used in painting. However
drawing is much more directed and prescribed, especially in the formal
qualities. Sequential learning is essential because it means doing enough of
the subject until the skills are acquired. The current lecturer has produced
a life drawing disk which is interactive and contains three hundred images.
On the disk there are a range of viewing strategies that students can
choose, a tutorial guide and the opportunity to obtain print outs from the
disk. It gives the same type of presentations that a student would obtain in
the studio course. The lecturer received funding of twenty four thousand
dollars to develop this computer-aided learning package.
This course is an introduction to photography and is taught one day a week
over seven weeks. The course involves sequential learning such as the basics
of how to use a camera, taking photos and printing photos, where students
are demonstrated techniques which they try themselves. Students need to be
present in class to learn the practical skills.
The subject is taught over a seven week period for one day a week, using
small group work, hands on demonstration, slides with discussion, excursions
and field trips.
The conceptual work involves hands-on experience and discussion which is
taught in a group. This aspect is difficult to catch up if the students is
absent, as the group work critically involves personal interaction between
staff and students. Sometimes the lecturer can immediately see what problems
the student is experiencing and then they can focus on this aspect, which
facilitates their development.
Another reason for the student to attend classes is that this subject
involves specialised equipment which the student may not have at home. In
addition, some of the processes involve toxic materials, which are best used
in a studio.
Alternative delivery could include the use of a video or CD ROM. This would
be a useful delivery method for some of the technical processes and as a
tool to present students with role models of artists and their artworks and
exhibitions. It could also record documentary evidence of textile practice.
One aspect of this subject is taught for seven weeks with one six hour block
per week. Much of the learning process relies on the student being present,
being part of a group and interacting with the lecturer.
All the perceptual skills involved sequential learning. The students
undertake hands-on exercises where technical skills are demonstrated and
taught on a one-to-one basis. Much of the subject depends on the student
being present for introductions, for if they miss the beginning they are
disadvantaged. Again the interaction with the lecturer and other members of
the class is important as learning occurs when student’s mistakes are
corrected while they are practicing the skills.
Foundation Studies 100 and Elementary Studies 101
Foundation Studies 100 and Elementary Studies 101 are two of the main first
year subjects. They are taught one day per week, in a six hour block. The
first hour in the block involves a lecture where the subject matter for the
session is introduced, being followed by a demonstration, individual tuition
and a closing session of about an hour. Essentially the subject is conducted
as a seminar where ideas that arise in the lecture are discussed and
concepts reinforced by individual tuition.
An important aspect of the learning process is the personal interaction with
the lecturers and peers to see if students have understood the topics, the
nature of the project work and to give feedback on work they are doing. Most
subjects are skills based and there is an underlying building of skill and
concepts, running throughout out the semester.
Sculpture is taught using small groups where each week two students give a
presentation on an artist, assisted by the lecturer who will add information
as required. Students are introduced to the technical skills they need by
demonstrations from the technical officer, who will also demonstrate the use
of equipment. While students undertake projects that have the flexibility of
individual choice, these projects do need to be completed within the
Summary of Staff Comments
Staff were asked if their subjects could be taught by any alternative
delivery methods which could cater for students who were away for extended
periods. While videos and computer aided learning were suggested as
alternatives in certain areas, all staff considered student attendance was
vital. Students needed to be present for the art techniques taught in the
subjects. Students learned from making mistakes and having these immediately
corrected by staff, and they learnt from discussions with each other.
Students also commented that in order to effectively learn the technical
skills it was important to be in the class. One student said that being in
the class was vital because if you were absent you would miss out on the
direct interaction with the lecturer and your peers. Students also stated
that they learnt a lot by visually watching other people carrying out the
techniques and by observing other people’s mistakes and discoveries.
Staff suggested the use of CD ROM and video as alternative delivery methods
for some aspects of the course. Of the two suggestions video was seen as
more viable, as it was not as expensive and was more accessible to students.
Video was seen as a useful practical alternative for the delivery of some
aspects of the course and this could include:
- the basic techniques involved in a technical area.
- include a set of scenarios of the problems students experienced when
learning new techniques. This was an important aspect for it would give
students some of the experiential learning, which they missed if they were
- stimulus material such as the works of various artists their ideas and
- artists taking about their work or exhibitions.
- material that would not change significantly over a period