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ARTH 114: Introduction to Western Art I

Course Description

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 2 This course presents a chronological survey of western art from the Prehistoric through the Gothic periods. Within each chronological period, individual examples of painting, sculpture and architecture will be considered in terms of their intrinsic qualities and also as embodiments of the historical and cultural context from which they emerged. The presentation of this material will consist primarily of a review of individual objects but will also include the presentation of relevant conceptual issues and will incorporate interdisciplinary perspectives.

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 1 I am planning on using Canvas as my main platform for a number of reasons:

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 2 It is designed for course creation and distribution, it is relatively easy to use, it allows for secure sign-in by students taking the class and students are familiar with it which should make the learning curve involved shorter.

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 3 The core course material will be presented to students using the same software that I use when I present this course in the classroom, i.e. PowerPoint. I typically lecture using PowerPoint slide presentations illustrating the works of art being discussed. Although I will be using the same PowerPoint presentations that I use in a lecture course, I do not plan to make extensive use of video lectures but rather plan to augment the existing PowerPoint presentations with voice over and text. These audio and text enhanced PowerPoint presentations will be posted online for student access.

5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 2 In addition to this content, I plan to generate concept maps for each period covered that clearly and directly present the key underlying determinant concepts that have informed and shaped the art.

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 4 One of my intensions for this course, as I stated in my proposal, is to utilize web resources, especially Google Art Project and Google Earth, to make students more aware that the art works and buildings that are covered are real and tangible entities that exist in specific locations and have identifiable physical properties, i.e. that the course involves the study of objects not just images of objects. I plan to accomplish this goal by giving assignments that require students to participate in virtual trips to specified building sites and that require students to visit in virtual terms the museum collections that house the objects studied. These virtual art and architecture experiences will be accomplished using Google Earth, Google Maps, Google Art Project and other virtual art and architecture Internet resources.

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 3 I also plan to provide students with links to key art history information resources on the Internet. For example, there are a series of video discussions, held in front of the works of art, that are available at Smarthistory, a well developed and academically sound art history information resource. In addition, there are many other multimedia resources on the Internet that can be integrated to enrich course content. For example, there is a virtual tour of Amiens Cathedral that is available online and the University of Virginia’s Rome Reborn Project also includes video tours of the reconstructed city as it existed in 320 C.E.

8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 3 Another possibility is to direct students to free online lectures that are available on specific topics by art historians who specialize in the topic areas covered.

9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 2 In addition, I am planning on using various technologies available on Canvas or which can be accessed through Canvas. I plan on using EtherPad to foster active learning, Skype or Canvas’s video conferencing feature for virtual office hours and canvas’s chat room for class discussions.

Learning Objectives

  1. 10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 2
  2. To provide students with a foundational knowledge of early western art and architecture that can serve as a framework to help them understand and contextualize examples of related art that they may later encounter in their travels and readings.
  3. To provide students with vocabulary to help them conceptualize and communicate their experience and knowledge of the works considered.
  4. To introduce students to the fundamentals of art historical methodology, such as formal and iconographic analysis, and to develop their skills in the use of these art historical methods.
  5.  To make students aware of the ethical implications of museum acquisitions policies.
  6. A final and important goal of this course is for students to come to an understanding of the usefulness of the experience of art as a process that allows for the direct perceptual experience of values and goals and also to make them aware of the usefulness of art as tool for the development of the cognitive and affective aspects of mental experience. ­­­­­

Values

11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 2 Interactivity, Active Learning, Reflection, Empowerment & Transformation

Syllabus

12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 4 Download the file

Online Learning Environment Description

13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 1 I am planning on using Canvas as my main platform for a number of reasons:

14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 4 it is designed for course creation and distribution, it is relatively easy to use, it allows for secure sign-in by students taking the class and students are familiar with it which should make the learning curve involved shorter.

15 Leave a comment on paragraph 15 1 The core course material will be presented to students using the same software that I use when I present this course in the classroom, i.e. PowerPoint. I typically lecture using PowerPoint slide presentations illustrating the works of art being discussed. Although I will be using the same PowerPoint presentations that I use in a lecture course, I do not plan to make extensive use of video lectures but rather plan to augment the existing PowerPoint presentations with voice over and text. These audio and text enhanced PowerPoint presentations will be posted online for student access.

16 Leave a comment on paragraph 16 1 In addition to this content, I plan to generate concept maps for each period covered that clearly and directly present the key underlying determinant concepts that have informed and shaped the art.

17 Leave a comment on paragraph 17 1 One of my intensions for this course, as I stated in my proposal, is to utilize web resources, especially Google Art Project and Google Earth, to make students more aware that the art works and buildings that are covered are real and tangible entities that exist in specific locations and have identifiable physical properties, i.e. that the course involves the study of objects not just images of objects. I plan to accomplish this goal by giving assignments that require students to participate in virtual trips to specified building sites and that require students to visit in virtual terms the museum collections that house the objects studied. These virtual art and architecture experiences will be accomplished using Google Earth, Google Maps, Google Art Project and other virtual art and architecture Internet resources.

18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 1 I also plan to provide students with links to key art history information resources on the Internet. For example, there are a series of video discussions, held in front of the works of art, that are available at Smarthistory, a well developed and academically sound art history information resource. In addition, there are many other multimedia resources on the Internet that can be integrated to enrich course content. For example, there is a virtual tour of Amiens Cathedral that is available online and the University of Virginia’s Rome Reborn Project also includes video tours of the reconstructed city as it existed in 320 C.E.

19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 1 Another possibility is to direct students to free online lectures that are available on specific topics by art historians who specialize in the topic areas covered.

20 Leave a comment on paragraph 20 1 In addition, I am planning on using various technologies available on Canvas or which can be accessed through Canvas. I plan on using EtherPad to foster active learning, Skype or Canvas’s video conferencing feature for virtual office hours and canvas’s chat room for class discussions.

Syllabus

21 Leave a comment on paragraph 21 1 Download the file

Interactivity

Ideas for Building Interactivity

22 Leave a comment on paragraph 22 4 I envision that interactivity in this course will be achieved by using Canvas’s web conferencing tools or perhaps Skype for real time video interaction. Certainly, virtually office hours will be established to allow student/professor interaction. Further it would be great to use the real-time video and whiteboard capabilities of canvas to allow for virtual class discussions. However, this approach would depend on the number of students in the class and their availability and scheduling. Asynchronous opportunities for group discussions could be achieved using a Word Press blog or other tools.

Interactivity and the Course Learning Objectives

23 Leave a comment on paragraph 23 2 I see interactivity as furthering Goal 2 as it is listed above, as students would be required and expected to use the vocabulary they have acquired to help them communicate their experience and knowledge of the works discussed.

Active Learning

Ideas for Building Active Learning

24 Leave a comment on paragraph 24 5 One excellent way to foster active learning in an online environment is to provide the opportunity for students to explore on their own in order to discover resources that can augment those provided by the instructor. The Internet is an amazingly rich resource for the distribution and the acquisition of art historical knowledge presented in a variety of media formats. I have found from past experience, specifically in the contemporary architecture seminar that I am teaching this semester, that students are eager to contribute to the course content by discovering, identifying and sharing information resources and also by commenting on and explaining what they have found. Although it is certainly possible for other students taking the course to comment on the links and information provided by students in this format, my plan is to encourage students to seek out and share resources rather then to feel compelled to comment online about those provided by other students. It has been my experience that students are a lot more excited to present material then they are to comment on what others have already presented. There is a dimension of what I might call “blog burnout” that I have observed in students of this latest generation and I would like as much as possible to avoid dampening their innate desire to learn and share learning by insisting that they provide a critical commentary on everything that gets posted.

25 Leave a comment on paragraph 25 4 An excellent tool that I have used this semester for the above purpose is EtherPad, one of the collaboration tools offered in Canvas. The other option is Google Docs. However, I think that EtherPad is better for this function then Google Docs if only because it does require that the students have any account besides a Canvas account.

Active Learning and the Course Learning Objectives

26 Leave a comment on paragraph 26 2 One of the goals for this course is to provide students with a foundational knowledge of early western art and architecture that can serve as a framework to help them understand and contextualize examples of related art that they may later encounter in their travels and readings. By providing the opportunity for students to explore and discover their own learning resources and share their discovery with others the process of contextualizing new material based on what they have learned will begin before the course is completed rather then just in terms of later life experiences.

Reflection

Ideas for Building Reflection

27 Leave a comment on paragraph 27 2 To foster the value of reflection, I plan to have students keep an art journal.

28 Leave a comment on paragraph 28 2 The art journal is a document, created by each student in the class, the allows each individual to respond in writing to a relatively small number of art works, typically four or five, throughout the semester. The purpose of the art journal is to encourage individualized and personal responses to works of art. Although works of art are real objects that demand objective understanding that is arrived at through rigorous empirical observation and analysis, they are nevertheless products of the human imagination whose expressive content can not really be understood except through an intuitive and empathetic response on the part of the viewer.

29 Leave a comment on paragraph 29 2 This approach does not deny the specific meaning of the objects involved as understood in terms of the culture that produced them, but does nevertheless recognize the importance of personal responses that produce insights which are meaningful even as their veracity must necessarily be looked at critically from the standpoint of what is known about the art object from a factual historical and cultural perspective.

30 Leave a comment on paragraph 30 4 The software used for the art journals will simply be Microsoft word. As my goal here is to cultivate the ability of the student to respond to works of art in terms of their own highly personal experience, I do not necessarily envision the students sharing these journals with other in the class, although I suppose I would be willing to allow that as an option.

Reflection and the Course Learning Objectives

31 Leave a comment on paragraph 31 1 I believe this activity best addresses learning goal five as described above:

32 Leave a comment on paragraph 32 2 A final and important goal of this course is for students to come to an understanding of the usefulness of the experience of art as a process that allows for the direct perceptual experience of values and goals and also to make them aware of the usefulness of art as tool for the development of the cognitive and affective aspects of mental experience. ­­­­­

Empowerment & Transformation

Ideas for Building Empowerment & Transformation

33 Leave a comment on paragraph 33 6 Of course this value could be addressed through the art journal assignment as described above. Since this is a document which will be generated throughout the semester, it would allow for a discussion, not just of specific works of art, but also discussions of how the course experience might have helped develope the individual perception and understanding of art and any personal change that accompanied this.  However, I also think it would be interesting to try to develop before and after questionnaires to document transformation of student’s perception and understanding of art and any related personal transformation that might have occurred.

34 Leave a comment on paragraph 34 2 The questionnaires could offered through Canvas.

Empowerment & Transformation and the Course Learning Objectives

35 Leave a comment on paragraph 35 2 I consider that empowerment and transformation align with goal 5 of the course as described above:

36 Leave a comment on paragraph 36 2 A final and important goal of this course is for students to come to an understanding of the usefulness of the experience of art as a process that allows for the direct perceptual experience of values and goals and also to make them aware of the usefulness of art as tool for the development of the cognitive and affective aspects of mental experience. ­­­­­

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Source: http://umwblogs.org/2013/10/01/arth-114-introduction-to-western-art-i/