Teaching Online

I've been teaching Picture Book Design for Hollins University online this summer, and while I so miss being with everyone, I have to admit, the class is going quite well. We record everything for one student who lives in Japan - there's an advantage to online learning! She wouldn't have been able to join in otherwise!
     I've figured out a pretty good way teach from our wee apartment. I've claimed the teal chair in the corner as teaching headquarters. It keeps my footprint small so that Stan can have the rest of the apartment. We purchased a rollie desk that has become an absolute lifesaver. The recent addition is the circle clip light that helps illuminate me face-on and lessens the variations that time and weather can have on recordings. Two pair of earphones has become essential. One is a wired set that offers the best quality. The other is a wireless set of ear buds that lets me keep an ear out for a student who might need help during work-time while I'm able to freely move around.
     We work primarily in Moodle and Zoom, where I keep all of our recordings, videos, handouts, slideshows, etc. for easy access during class and after. (We use a similar program at Winthrop U called Blackboard.) Students participate in a discussion board that stretches their writing and thinking skills. I've even been using my Wacom to do quick drawing demos in Photoshop that I share via Zoom. Truly, this is all working surprisingly well and the students are bonding and doing good work - something naysayers argue can't happen in an online teaching environment. Well, I'm here to tell you it can! And I'm still getting those "A-ha!" moments from the students when they realize the impact of placement, color, depth, etc. on their art — all those elements of good design that make a final illustration work. I love it when I see those little light bulbs go off, and happily, I am face-forward for those in this environment!
     So, while I miss my students and still prefer teaching face-to-face, this has turned out to be a very good way to operate too. I imagine all future learning will be some sort of hybrid, taking advantage of the positives of online learning, because it is effective too!

1 comment:

Zoe Ranucci said...

Hi Elizabeth! I looked up circle clip lights and there are a gazillion of them. Can you tell us what model you are using?