I have found that Falmouth’s MA Fine Art online is always a fascinating concept to anyone unfamiliar with online learning. The common depiction of Fine Art students at HE level is so entwined with the idea of the paint-smeared physical studio, where every wall is plastered with sketches hung from masking tape, that the transposition of this discipline to an online space always makes for an interesting conversation about online pedagogies and digital tools.
As well as a carefully crafted course taught through Falmouth’s online platform Canvas, MA Fine Art online makes use of a range of other digital tools to facilitate sharing work and communication between staff and students. One of these tools is Falmouth Journal, which grants every MA Fine Art student an online Critical Reflective Journal to share work-in-progress and experiments throughout their course. Falmouth’s use of blogs for fully online courses is discussed in more detail in a previous post called Educational blogging for Falmouth’s fully online Students.
Falmouth Journal also hosts MA Fine Art online’s Graduate Showcase, now in its second gradating cohort. Lighting the Beacons showcases work from students studying all around the world, demonstrating persuasively why the course is a success. Lighting the Beacons is not just an online exhibition of student work, it is an impressive record of a number of physical and digital exhibitions which students have created and curated around the world as part of this course.
“This graduate group have made projects and built connections across multiple time-spaces; their work has been shown and situated in sites that include galleries, libraries, community centres, beaches and mountains in places across the world, including Sussex, Somerset, London and Leeds, UK; along with Tromsø, Norway; the Gold Coast, Australia; and in online spaces.” – Kate Fahey, Final Major Project Lead
I’m confident that MA Fine Art online will continue to generate interesting conversations about how Fine Art can be successfully taught online, and I’m pleased that when I’m asked how it works, I’m able to point to artefacts like Lighting the Beacons and say “This is how”.