A reflexive archive: the development of a digital learning repository for the fine art curriculum.

Renton, Lucy, Flint, Dr. Rob, Shave, Prof Terry [Contributor] and McGuirk, Tom [Contributor] (2009) A reflexive archive: the development of a digital learning repository for the fine art curriculum. In: Szuc, Andras, (ed.) New technology platforms for learning - revisited. LOGOS open conference on strengthening the integration of ICT research effort: proceedings. Budapest : European Distance and E-Learning Network. pp. 105 -113. ISBN 9789638791412


From entry level, students in Art and Design higher education are usually expected to develop their studies in the context of external professional practice. For this reason a key part of the student learning experience consists of exposure to the ideas and thoughts of external visiting practitioners who may not themselves be professional educators. In contrast with many academic disciplines there is no firm boundary between theoretical and applied practice in Fine Art or Design, so the content of such visitor's lectures is as varied as contemporary art practice itself. Thus the challenge for the educator is how to co-ordinate and modulate the educational value of such diverse content delivery. The Reflexive Archive project explores the development, enhancement and electronic dissemination of this material. Aided by funding from the Higher Education Academy Art & Design Media Subject Centre (HEA-ADM), the project created pilot models of how the ‘Reflexive Archive’might be sustainably maintained in future. The primary aim of the project was an archive for video recordings of guest lectures by art practitioners relevant to the student’s present studies and future practice. At Nottingham Trent University, the ‘Live Lecture’ series is an integral part of timetabled teaching at all levels from first year undergraduate onwards, and a public talk, in collaboration with nearby Broadway cinema and arts centre. This project set out to enhance student experience of these guest lectures, and to develop their pedagogical usefulness, through archiving the recorded video alongside a discussion page in which the students could respond to the talks and the speaker themselves could be encouraged to participate, thereby extending the ‘Q & A’ session that often follows such talks in a way that allowed students time to reflect on the question, perhaps to feel less shy or intimidated about speaking, and for participants to be able to refer contextually to related material elsewhere on the internet through direct linkage. This latter advantage was to prove central to the second pilot project, which emerged out of the collaboration with Kingston University.

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