Online Communities, Critiques and Second Life Teaching in the Visual Arts

Susan Miiller, Annette Cohen, Linda Smith


This paper demonstrates successful online studio courses where digital photographs of actual student drawings replaced seated critiques. Online studio courses excelled with integrated collaborative and social approaches to learning through the use of Web 2.0 tools. The Wimba classroom in Blackboard was used for online office hours, and synchronous small group critiques. This video enabled tool facilitated live drawing demonstrations and audio communication, conveying a synergy between students and instructors that contributed to motivation and collaboration. Discussion board forums, “About Me” essays, Camtasia software with inset windows and narration, and critiques held in Second Life help establish a rewarding learner community. Ability to use the digital camera and Blackboard technology for class presentations and critiques demonstrate student progress to educators considering developing online courses in the arts at their institutions.

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