Distance Learning Using "Microsoft Teams
The first semester of the 2020 school year began with compliance to COVID-19 measures. Regular face-to-face lessons were suspended, which led to a major challenge of how to give concrete form to art education acquired through physical experience. It was an opportunity to rethink our fundamental relationship with art, which we usually take for granted. For the Year 1 and 2 students, in particular, it is essential to have a “place” where they can understand and acquire basic skills through dialogue with their teachers to have a sense of the distance from their subjects while struggling with the materials and confirming the production process. It was the first time for the faculty members, the students as well, to have distance learning. We had no choice but to proceed with this experimental approach to explore the effects of such learning methods.
Since “Microsoft Teams” is the official tool for promoting remote learning at our university, we started with the verification process to see what kind of practical skills and practice classes can be done using this communication platform. Specifically, we created an independent channel within Teams. Through this channel, we were able to present assignments to the students and students were able to upload images of works in progress that were taken with their smartphones, so that we could check their progress and critique their work. At the end of the first semester, I think we benefited from such learning method to a certain extend. Although text-based communication is burdensome and cumbersome for the instructors, one of the benefits of this method is that students were able to interact more closely with the instructors and receive advice, which was not possible in the face-to-face classes.
The student works created in such learning method were then exhibited for about a month in July at the University Museum as the “Curriculum Class Work Exhibition 2020”. In a context where horizontal connections were almost completely cut off, the works created by each student as they confronted themselves were different from those of previous years and had a different appeal.
For now, our university is planning to resume face-to-face classes for practical skills and exercises in the second semester. I don’t know how long the current limited situation will last, but at least for art, the importance of the experience gained through the body and the five senses remains unchanged. The future challenge is how to make the best use of the results of the first semester’s efforts in the second semester.
Exhibition at the University Museum〈Curriculum2020〉