Note: There were 21 responses. Therefore, several participants identified as more than one association.
Note: The one participant listing under 5 years experience has over 5 years experience as a TA and is an active researcher in the field.
Note: Some participants specified more than one subject area. Other includes Art Theory/Criticism, Pedagogy, Studio.
Note: Institutions may have more than one delivery method. Though the research is focused on on-ground delivery, noting the growing balance in delivery methods is important.
Note: Several participants added specifics regarding class size: On ground ranges from 75-112 versus the online delivery is between 25-30 students per section. Another institution varied from 20 to 70 students per section.
Average observed student demographics based on response:
*Note: Institutions are largely either traditional or commuter. As a result, deviation here is extremely broad.
- BFA/BA (Art Majors): 51%
- Non-Art History Majors Fulfilling General Education Distribution Requirement: 39%
- Non-Art History Majors Fulfilling General Educaiton Requirement: 74%
- Art History Minors: 8%
- Art History Majors: 9%
- International / English Language Learners: 9%
- 1st Generation Students: 49%
- Minority / Under-Served Populations: 27%
- Military: 6%
- On-Campus*: 47%
- Off-Campus / Commuter*: 57%
- Non-Traditional Students: 30%
- Traditional Students for the Course Level: 74%
- Students who take the course out of sequence: 32%
- Part-Time Students: 16%
- Full-Time Students: 84%
Insight provided regarding course student demographics:
- Currently, an average 25% of the students come from majors other than related to the visual arts (journalism, history,etc.). An average 75% of the students come from a visual arts majors: for them, the course is also part of their core curriculum. For 100% of them, the course satisfies a general education requirement.
- Other disabilities: Students with learning disabilities (including, but not limited to ASD, ADHD, dysgraphia, comprehension difficulties, etc) - 35%, Students with physical disabilities - 3% Students with emotional disabilities - 10%
ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) is an increasing disability among the student population, and while most of the students who fall on the spectrum are very low on the Autism spectrum (maybe have been diagnosed with Non-verbal learning disorder or Aspergers) this is a growing area and one that most faculty have not been trained to deal with. Additionally, I have a growing number of students who enter college after having an IEP (Individual Education Program) in high school and are use to receiving accomendations in class and testing (examples are notes provided, one-on-one reviews, tape recording lectures, extra time on tests, tests read aloud, etc)
- My institution has two courses dedicated to different student populations: 1 semester for non-majors and 2 semester for major, minor, and others.
Note: Several participants provided more detail to how their art history survey course fits within the curriculum:
- The survey is 00-level, the basic introductory level, but it is taken by ALL -- seniors seeking to fulfill their last general education requirements in addition to freshman, and everyone in between.
- Survey is required of art majors. Modern and Contemporary is required of Media Arts Majors
Note: Several participants had comments with regard to this question:
- It is tough when their reading and writing skills are not up to the skills needed. However, there are no pre-requisites.
- It used to be Art Appreciation, but that requirement has been eliminated.
Note: The participants clarified the "Other" focus:
- The course covers world art but has more representation of western works.
- Both. About 3/4 Western and 1/4 Global
different surveys have different foci
Two of our courses are "Western"; one is "Global/Non-Western"
Typical Delivery Method Extra Descriptions:
- Convincing students of the worthwhile nature of understanding art from the past.
- Non-Art History majors
- Common syllabus
- Seminar/Lecture (2)
- Large lecture + smaller TA supervised sessions
- Coverage (Note, Art Appreciation is used here to encompass global, thematic, or general theoretical approaches regarding courses that connect art to general culture rather than focus on the formalized canon):
- 1 Course
- 2 Courses: 1 Western, 1 Non-Western
- 2 Courses: 1 Art Appreciation, 1 art major specific (art and design school)
- 2 Courses: Prehistory to 1400, 1400 to Present (or similar split) (12 Participants)
- Some have flexibility within this model
- 3 Courses: 2 Western Surveys, 1 Non-Western (4 Participants)
- 3 Courses: 2 semester split Western Surveys for Majors, 1 semester for non-majors (2 Participants)
- 4 courses: Prehistory to 1400, 1400 to Modern, Modern/Contemporary, Non-Western
- 4 Courses: 1 Art Appreciation (Non-major); 2 Western Surveys; 1 non-western survey (for art history majors)
- Multiple courses: Intro to World Art (Thematic 1 semester) with other surveys of specific content areas (Intro to Asian Art, Intro to Modern Art, etc.)
Note: Several who claimed that there is no required textbook stated that it was the instructor's choice, but the institution did not mandate a specific text.
Note: The participants added several notes along with listing the textbook to clarify their responses:
- Stokstad (of course!)
- Art Past Art Present (Non-major) but Stokstad for the two-semester survey
- Western or Non-western versions of Kleiner's text based on the course
- It is at the discretion of the individual instructor
- Book is accessed through an e-book format.
Placement within the curriculum:
- Surveys are core requirements for Art History or Fine Arts / Design majors
- Reduced requirements for completing the course as non-majors to fulfil credit requirements.
- Fulfills a general education requirement but is not directly required within the general education curriculum.
- Students are allowed to sign up without guidance, placing it anywhere they wish within their curriculum.
- Separate surveys are offered for majors versus non-majors. For non-majors it fulfills a general education distribution requirement.
- Community colleges must consider the transferability of the course credit to 4 year institutions.
- National Association of Schools of Art and Design Requirements
- Non-Western is an optional additional elective
- Survey is a prerequisite for upper-level art history courses
Teaching space (physical and digital):
- Faculty computer with Internet access, "Smart Rooms"
- Some have document camera and dvd players as well
- Supported by a general LMS (for auxiliary communication)
- Blackboard (4)
- Digication (ePortfolio LMS)
- Weekly discussion forums or blog posts
- Houses supplementary reading and syllabus
- Online courses available
- Terminal degree not required for online teaching.
- Classroom variations:
- Auditorium (1 or more projectors and stadium seating) (3)
- Traditional (1 or more projectors and individual student desks) (14)
- Tables instead of desks
- Art history designated classroom (May have art posters on the wall) (2)
Student demographic qualities:
The main statement is "diverse." These were the items listed. Round 2 will ask for further clarification on perceived percentage of these students in a given course. Although some answered providing such ratios or percentages, not all provided that level of detail, and it seems necessary.
- BFA students (art and design majors)
- Non-majors fulfilling general education distribution elective
- Non-majors fulfilling general education requirement
- Art history minors
- Art history majors
- International / English as a second language
- 1st generation students
- Minority or underserved population
- Off-campus / commuter
- Non-traditional students (24 years old or more, work full-time)
- Traditional students for the course level (100=Freshman, 200=Sophomore, 300=Junior)
- Students who take the course out of sequence within the curriculum
- Part-time students
- Full-time students
Course Description Themes
- Introduction, Survey, or Overview
- "Traces the development," "chronological framework"
- Describes the specific content covered: "Introduction to art and visual cultures of major world regions from ____ to ____."
- Major/key works, masterpieces, landmarks, monuments, movements, styles
- Describes a canon to be covered
- Mention of no prerequisites necessary (or prerequisites if there are)
- Socio-cultural methodology:
- "Become familiar with the cultural, political and historical role that an art object played in its original context."
- "art historical description and interpretation based on the social, cultural, intellectual, political, and religious contexts that produced it"
- "major landmarks of world art and architecture are considered as aesthetic objects, cultural documents and within their socio-historical contexts."
- Religion and politics
- Renaissance becomes highlighted as a dividing point.
- Description of skills produced:
- Analytic skills
- Interpretive skills
- Evaluative skills
- Description of course practice:
- Field trips
- Western with "some other cultures/world cultures"
- Painting, sculpture, and architecture
- Crafts, drawing, photography
- Few mention issue/theory/methodology base (mainly for what might be considered an art appreciation course rather than a survey):
- "Students will investigate various historical and contemporary representational practices that societies have developed to define, maintain, and institutionalize different categories of visual culture and producers. The course will introduce art historical and critical methodologies, emphasize the importance of cultural diversity in defining and understanding visual culture."
- Few institutions allow the instructor to create the course description
Who determines them:
- Instructor not institution level
- Department/degree requirements
- General education distribution outcome requirements
Themes in order of most common to least common:
- Introduce the discipline / create a foundation
- Develop a critical vocabulary
- Identify key works
- Identify key movements/styles
- Identify a historic development
- Describe the formal qualities of a work of art
- Identify the context, formal qualities, and themes select works of art.
- Explain the influence of context on production
- Relationship of context and history
- "Develop oral communication skills through informal and formal presentations"
- Understanding of culture / Visual literacy
- Articulate the ways in which different peoples express an understanding of the human condition and respond to environmental opportunities and constraints.
- Describe how personal choices derive from and affect social, cultural, and environmental contexts.
- Engage in aesthetic experience in order to understand artistic expression and to learn how meaning emerges from the cultural contexts of both artist and audience.
- comprehend meaning in human life through the study of the expressive and figurative power of images through topics under question
- Critically evaluate in an argument
- Apply critical understanding
- Critical thinking
- Research and compose scholarly material in proper MLA format
- "Identify and demonstrate information competency skills through assignments that require research and evaluation of sources from books, journals or academic data bases"
- learn the fundamentals of writing about works of art and architecture.
- Visual analysis:
- "develop an educated eye and open-minded responsiveness to the visual vocabulary of art and artists"
- Identify how issues of diversity, identity, creativity, and social responsibility are related to modern life, art, and design.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the diversity of values, beliefs, and ideas embodied in the human experience.
- Research/ use electronic sources
- Digital communication
- Critically evaluate the canon:
- "Identify and explain the significance of the Western canon and be able to identify some postmodern criticisms of the canon."
- "Identify and explain how differences of time, culture, viewpoint, medium, and audience can influence the creation and interpretation of visual imagery."
- ARTH 101 and ARTH 102 have one of the highest failure rates at my University, comparable with first-year physics and calculus.
- We used to have a two year long cave art through contemporary mandatory survey. Too much, too fast. We revised and refined the core art history courses to meet the needs of studio majors who are both makers and consumers of visual culture. Since we do not have art history majors (although we do have art history minors), we believed that before having students take any survey it was important for them to address art history theory and methodology, grapple with 'what is art/design?", and identify what and how take for granted--great men, great monuments, often a western focus and the classes that they take in studio (life drawing, drawing and composition, form and space).
- Taught by other instructors the same way since the 1980s.