LaSalle college of the arts finally told all their staff to take all the courses ongoing and teach online. I have the privilege to be one of the first few to do an online class. We all join into the meeting room I hosted, and I check that everyone can see me and my other screen of hands on paper to do demonstrations, and I check that everyone can hear me. Time becomes inconsequential, and three hours fly fast. The lessons I give are not that different except showing how to do something like drawing a head of a person using a reference has to change and is based on new visuals, that is either something in a magazine/book at hand, or it is my student’s heads showing on the screen, in the case of learning how to draw people.
I also use my own travel sketchbooks as a reference, and a lot of the materials are covered through giving multiple examples and demonstrations on the screen. This seems to be a well received method, because all they have is the screen to watch, their attention becomes more focused, and they can see every strokes I make with less distractions compared to when in a classroom. With demonstration on a screen, everyone has the same view of my hands and paper. In a classroom sometimes people are obstructed or on a strange angle when I am demonstrating.
The not so good part of online class is the lack of feedback that I am getting as a teacher to what my students are actually doing. There’s a lot of silence that I feel I must fill with more examples or more talking that is not necessarily useful or effective. However I am glad we have addressed that before we ended the class, and I’ve told my students to give me a bit more feedback during the session.
In the midst of the online broadcast one of my ipad stopped working so I had to work with just one view which is of my hands, and toggle the screen when I need to show my face. It’s not the worse situation even tho this didn’t help smooth broadcast in my opinion.
I ask myself what is my expectations for this online class, and the TOP answer seem to be more interactions from the students to me so I can tailor the instructions according to their needs. The other answer is for me to give them the best lesson content that I can and showing as much as possible the techniques that I use. I realise I tend to give too much information too fast, so every so often, I check in with them if I needed to adjust.
To summarize, an online class for art lessons is better than in a classroom for the purpose of teaching and showing how to do it, but requires participants and students to give more feedback, either in sound, or in facial expressions such as a nod, or a noise. It requires the teacher to be more hands on in showing examples and for students to participate more with their voice and head body language than in a classroom, and as long as this is clearly communicated, I think the class is beneficial for all.