Tag Archives: Domain

more from caa

-Art History Unstuffed…what a great name.  Must look into this.  Out of Otis.  They’re the ones who gave up the survey.  That’s something to look into.

-Give students the intellectual framework.  Address why “this is important.”

-Have the students rewrite Vasari’s Lives!  I love it! (Vasari is part of my research.)


So I’m here at the College Art Association annual meeting, and the session developed by Janice Robertson, Gale Levin, and Janhavi Pakrashi (all of Pratt Institute, NYC).  This is an alternative-format session:  open for tweeting, there is also an open mic going around the room as a “talking stick.”  Interesting to see, read, and hear what others are doing to “rock the boat” in their art history classrooms. Crowdsourcing the strategies…. A few points that strike me:

-If digital becomes the norm, then tweeting will no longer be rocking the boat, reading a book will be rocking the boat.

-Do students “shut down” when technology (power point) comes on?

-Redesigning the traditional observation paper — have the student take on a persona from the period.

-What to do with technology in a large class (50 students)?

– Create debate teams in class.

-Getting students to talk to each other instead of listening to lecture.

-Have students collaborate on powerpoint in class by throwing in images student pick to illustrate a point.

-Flipping the classroom.

-Team teaching with a colleague from a different discipline art history and folklore!)

-No long art history surveys!

-Using twitter to write a short description of a work.

-Incorporate your tech-savvy librarians into your teaching, your blog, your students’ work.

-Open-ended questions

-Some may prefer to tweet than speak

-Better to be involved than back away

-Many faculty are still unwilling to be involved with technology

-Technology takes a lot of time in class

-Drafting a syllabus/format for flipping the classroom

-How might online tools allow us to alter or flip the classroom

-Get the images to the students before they come to class

-Twitter isn’t the only tool, but can be a beginning of the discussion.

more to come….


A message to my students

I sent this out to students in my Bernini seminar this morning.  I’m really hoping to hear from them.  They’re a great group of art history and art history/studio art majors.

Hello everyone.
When I learned I would be teaching this seminar one week before classes began, I also learned that some students needed Museum Studies credit.  I looked for a good reading in Museum Studies that would bridge a lot of ideas — faculty-student collaboration, working online, ideas about what needed to be put together, etc.  I found some good articles (some of these were from Hannah…thank you!), but none that really fit the bill.  So I decided I’d have to write the article myself.  And I’d really like to incorporate your input.  Guinea pigs?  I hope not!  More like contributors.
I’m part of a faculty project this semester and this is my particular goal:  getting a complete draft of this article by the time of our opening.  (We all have our deadlines.)  Some of my ideas are posted to a blog: http://blog.maoch.org/.  The very first blog post is called:  Working on an exhibit.  Right now, it’s just some topics…I’ll be adding more.
If any of you would like to leave a comment to this post (or any others) with your ideas, suggestions, questions, or problems you’ve encountered that future students will need to be aware of, I would very much appreciate it.  Your contributions will be acknowledged in the article.
Please give it a thought.  The Bernini online exhibit will be the fourth online exhibit I’ve done with students.  When I first started this, there was nothing online to look at as a model.  There’s still very little out there.  So we’re all trying something that is still new here.
I look forward to your observations.  No comments are too short, and all questions will be addressed.  And no, you’re not being graded on this.
Looking forward to your hearing from you.
-M. Och

Thinking about scholarship and discipline

In the history of art, “history” is generally foregrounded.  For the early modern period, artists respond to earlier artists, art-writers respond to earlier artists and to what has been written.  “The word” — both visual and textual — is nearly sacred.  It’s incomprehensible (irresponsible) to ignore what has been published, or what survives as a manuscript.  I really want my students to read “that article” published in the 1950s!  In many disciplines this is absurd.

The work of early modern art historians is generally solitary work.  There’s something really pleasurable in working through an idea on one’s own.  Maybe it’s like making bread.  Weller’s comments about archives rang true to me. I’ve worked in the Vatican Library — a collection of books and manuscripts, and now digital materials, that was organized in the 15th c.  That is a powerful environment of scholarship and home to a remarkable genealogy of scholars.  An online search doesn’t offer this experience of “being.”

The work in contemporary art can be almost entirely online.  The excitement is of a different sort.

I agree with Weller that discipline and area of research matter here.  I’m thinking particularly about data collection and data collecting, and what that data is.  There’s a difference between what’s available online (articles, primary sources, etc.) and what we do with it.  Many museums have done tremendous work in making their resources available, and this has been especially important for researching provenance of works in the 20th c.  For academics, digital scholarship is often what we do with students.  My project here (the online art exhibit) is work with students.

“Lack of relevance.” Really???

This quote from 2.3, Lack of relevance, struck me:

“Baby Boomers preferred some face-to-face encounters with their instructors; Generation X students reported substantial, pointless interaction in class, and the Net Gen students felt that the interaction mechanisms designed by their instructors were much less adequate than their personal technologies.”

Weller is suggesting here that f2f encounters are less relevant to our students now than they were to many of us as students.  Gosh.   Do we agree?  If so, are we willing to accept it?  I’ve taught online (ok…just once), and “even there” I worked to interact with my students, and I worked to develop strategies to get my students to interact with each other.  If students’ “personal technologies” are more “adequate” (and “adequate” for what, I have to ask), something is very wrong.  Does this have something to do children learning more from tv and computers because this is where parents put them?  Is the generation now in college less comfortable with interacting with people?  With adults?

I feel that accepting Weller’s statement as accurate (or as inevitable) is equivalent to dumbing down my classes.  I would be admitting defeat.  I want my students…and all college-age students…to become comfortable communicating f2f with others.  They will have to negotiate all kinds of things in their futures, quite possibly whether to wage war.  How viable are “personal technologies” in that situation when war is waged against human lives?


Working on an exhibit

What do students need to know before developing an art exhibit online?

Paragraphs on:

Function, purpose, goal(s)

Institutional requirements, restrictions, limitations

Professional development for students, particularly museum studies (minor)

How is this subject best explored in an online exhibit?

Technology — DTLT

How much does any one student/professor need to know about technology?

Collaborative teaching and learning

Collaborative curating — what models do museums offer?