Course Spotlight – ART 262

Allison Zhang teaches the History of World Art II as though she is guiding students through a museum as they learn to be curators themselves. In this course developed by Zoë Jones (see also History of World Art I), each section of the course website is designed as if it is a wing of a museum. Whether students are learning about Ancient Near Eastern art or Byzantine art, expectations of where students will go are clearly outlined through links on the weekly schedule. Discussion and presentation happen in a private Slack cohort and grades in Blackboard, but otherwise, all content is in the open on a beautifully presented and organized course website.

The museum metaphor is carried into assessment activities in this course from the first semester. Students participate in writing exercises as curators writing ‘grants’ for funds to obtain additional artifacts for the museum collection. Why they are important historically and how they will add to the museum experience are elements of the ‘grant’ argument. The final project requires deep research of another artifact that exists in the museum collection or that could be part of the museum. Students can choose which item they want to investigate.  

A common online course situation happens when the instructor is someone other than the course developer. Professional video lectures require a lot of resources to put together or may have been created by the instructor of record so creating new lecture videos may not always be feasible.   Zoë Jones originally developed this course so most of the instructor lecture videos and content was created by her. We are curious to hear about how Allison navigates this situation as an instructor and any lessons learned that she can offer on this and with the use of metaphor as a framework for learning.  

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