Discovering the PEDAGOGICAL Paradigm Inherent in Art History Survey Courses

This dissertation utilized a Delphi methodology in discovery of the perceived outcomes and teaching strategies that are common for art history survey courses taught at higher education institutions throughout the United States. A group of art history faculty, chairs, and current researchers focused on studying teaching and learning within art history weighed in on their perspectives through three mixed method survey rounds, ranking the importance of various themes developed through the responses. The results discover that there is still a strong preference for a Socratic seminar teaching strategy, while the participants also highlighted other outcomes and strategies that are important areas for future research in the discipline.
Keywords: Study of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), Art History Survey, Delphi Methodology

Questioning the Survey: A Look into Art History Survey and its Pedagogical Practices

The traditional art history survey course is a staple throughout higher education. This course has been taught in a similar manner for generations. This study questions several art history faculty members regarding their unique practices in an effort to understand the pedagogical implications as we move into the twenty-first century. Through continued dialogue, coupling reflections on personal experience, this heuristic inquiry intends to produce and share through a developing community of practice new pedagogical alternatives to what has become labeled, “Art-in-the-/Dark.”

Understanding the Student Perspective of Art History Survey Course Outcomes Through Game Development 

In collaboration with Kelly Donahue-Wallace at the University of North Texas, this study asked students in the capstone course for an interdisciplinary art and design degree to work through team-based learning to design games that would address art history survey course outcomes and have the ability to be implemented into future instruction. The research was formed as a heuristic, design-based study that relied on observation, surveys, and analysis of creative artifacts to answer the following research questions:

  • What is the student experience of the art history survey course and the student’s perceived role of this course within their programs of study?
  • What are the learning objectives for an introductory art history survey course as identified by students who have successfully completed the course?
  • How might the suggested learning objectives of an art history survey course be obtained through game play and for what audiences?
  • What do art and design students learn about art history from the game design process?

Conference Presentations

  • February 2019 (New York, NY): College Art Association (CAA):
    • “When a Textbook is not an Option: Developing and Manging OERs for Online Art History Courses” (Slides)
    • “Understanding the Student Perspective of Art History Survey Course Outcomes through Game Development” (Slides, Game App)
    • “Gallery House: Re-Imagining the Art School Fraternity Experience” (Slides)
  • February 2018 (Los Angeles, CA): SOTL Bootcamp at CAA: “A Study in Gamification of Art History Survey Courses.” (Slides)
  • February 2017 (New York, NY): College Art Association (CAA): “Defining the Pedagogical Paradigm in Art History Survey Courses”
  • March 2015 (Indianapolis, IN): Foundations Art Theory and Education (FATE): “Gamifying and going OER with Art History Survey”
  • February 2015 (New York, NY): College Art Association (CAA): “ Alternatives to Art-in-the- Dark, Developing a Community of Practice”
  • March 2014 (San Diego, CA): National Association of Educators in the Arts (NAEA):
    • “Gamifying Art History and Design”
    • “Teaching Fails.”
  • October 2013 (Arlington, VA): Virginia Art Education Association: (VAEA):
    • “Questioning Art History Survey, Alternatives to the “Art-in-the-Dark,”
    • “Gamification of Design and Art History,”
    • “Question the Survey, Developing a Community of Practice.”
  • April 2013 (Savannah, GA): Foundations Art, Theory and Education (FATE): “ePortfolios, developing a community of practice model in support of life-long learning”
  • March 2013 (Fort Worth, TX): National Association of Educators in the Arts (NAEA):
    • “Beyond “Art-in-the-Dark,” a discourse on alternative methods to the traditional art history survey”
    • “ePortfolios: engaging visual art students in 21st century skills”
  • August 2012 (Reston, VA): Society of Applied Learning Technologies (SALT): “ePortfolios 2.0, expanding ePortfolios through the incorporation of social media”
  • April 2012 (Vancouver, BC): AERA: “Bridging the Gap: E-Portfolios Fostering 21st-Century Skills in Studio Art Courses” (Roundtable Presentation)
  • September 2011 (Nottingham, UK): RAISE: Engaging students in challenging times: “Social Thinking, expanding student engagement inside and outside of the classroom through technology.”
  • November 6, 2010 (Norfolk, VA): Virginia Art Education Association Annual Conference:
    • “ What it means to be an artist/teacher”
    • “WWW: Wikis, Webquests and Weblogs”
    • “Utilizing technology for effective course management”