One of the challenges the Scenic Art department (and the Production Arts and Design course as a whole) faces is how to engage students who have varied complex learning styles? We have students that are School leavers, from further education and mature students. Each has come a on a very different journey to get to the same start point. Some with learning outcomes that detail Dyslexia, dyscalculia and ASD. So in a subject that has a lot quality books (comparatively with video and online content), is this too text heavy for students who maybe struggle with volumes of written instruction? Of course we are a very practical course, the students are in 4 days a week getting a lot of contact time with practical examples lead by myself and the lecturer but they need to be researching themselves outside of class time. Expanding their knowledge of art history, techniques and materials not normally covered in class. Researching for personal projects and potential work placements. As a department we have continued to address this gap, using short videos, extracts rather than large pages of text, visual examples and practical lessons.
What I’m interested in is getting the students engaged with their subject beyond the 9-5 of the classroom. Do they use the resources available within the institution like the library, websites like Paperclip (a wiki webpage set and catered towards RCS Production Arts Students)? If not, why? What is the barrier? And how do I then support their learning, what can I do make it easier for them to access information? Its something I’m looking forward to exploring.
Has anyone else had similar issues? Did you over come them? Was there already something in place to help or did you come up with a new system to support students journeys?