MA Contemporary Art Theory

MA Contemporary Art Theory

Re-imagining the Art School Since 2001

Week 1 //// Course Induction


Course Handbook (link)

We will start the induction by running through the key materials in Course Handbook before moving on to examineΒ  ….

How seminars and workshops function in this course

The Jigsaw Classroom 🧩 : Breakout Groups and Channels in MS Teams

To help you prepare for our Monday seminars and workshops, you will be given a specific colour-coded resource designed inform how contribute to the week’s learning. Preparation is very important. You need to complete your own colour-coded task before you meet as a group to fit the pieces together.

Think if what you are making as akin to a jigsaw puzzle – you each hold an important piece of the puzzle. The puzzle cannot be completed without your input. This is the basis of our Jigsaw Classroom 🧩

You will complete your own component before you convene as a Breakout Group. As a Breakout Group, you will combine your individual contributions, piecing the jigsaw of elements together to produce a whole.

You have automatically been assigned to a Breakout Group, a small group of your peers.

Red πŸ”΄ Group

Yellow 🟑 Group

Green 🟒 Group

You will all remain in this Breakout Group / colour for the duration of the course.

This helps different seminar organisers assign the same resources/tasks to more than one student in the whole course (ensuring parity of support) while avoiding assigning the same resources/tasks to too many students in the course (ensuring your seminar is a Jigsaw Classroom).

Breakout Group Assignments

Most weeks in the run up to a seminar or workshop, your Breakout Group will be given an assignment to complete.

In each week there will be a colour-coded ‘Breakout Group Resource’. Everyone should read/engage with this since it is key to the task you will complete as a group.

Individual Colours, completing individual learning tasks 🌈

Each individual within a Breakout Group has be assigned a colour: Red πŸ”΄,Β  Yellow 🟑, Green 🟒

There are specific resources and related tasks allocated to different colour:: Red πŸ”΄,Β  Yellow 🟑, Green 🟒

Please make sure that you follow the specific instructions for your colour.

Use of Breakout Group Channels in MS Teams

There are separate MSTeams Channels for each Breakout Group. Again, each has be assigned a colour: Red πŸ”΄,Β  Yellow 🟑, Green 🟒

You must use your Breakout Group Channel when you are working with your peers online – something you will do from time-to-time in between our seminars and workshops.

If you use any other form of communication as part of peer-learning related to seminars and workshops, it will not register as part of your coursework and so will not contribute to your assessment and feedback (and, YES, this WILL impact upon your grades).

The MSTeams Channel is moderated; this means that your tutors can help you only if you use it. It also means that offensive or unacceptable behaviour, such a trolling or flaming, is not tolerated.

Crucially, when you are working online, please remember that we have varying bandwith access with different firewalls that can block software or spy on your data. As such, it is crucial that we all use MSTeams for the sake of our data privacy.

MSTeams / Your Breakout Group Channel can be used to host live video conferencing (VoIP), to send SMS short messages, to share files and to work with other digital platforms. Do not use any other form of communication unless specifically asked to do so by the Course Organiser.

Jigsaw Classroom 🧩 for Collaborative Inquiry

The Jigsaw Classroom approach this course takes allows us to re-model an established research method called β€˜collaborative inquiryβ€˜ (Heron 1985;1996). As part of a mixed art/social science cohort, you will form a community of practice that establishes its own unique programme of propositional, practical, experiential and presentational collaborative inquiry.

The process of collaborative inquiry may be integrated around any research method or theme that you can agree to focus on.

To kick-start this in Weeks 1-4 you will be given a ‘common inquiry’ as a cohort (i.e. all students enrolled on this course).

The common inquiry is simply something you all share as a ‘subject’ or ‘talking point’. It might be :

  • thematic (e.g. ethics, space-time, personhood, etc.) or
  • ‘materio-spatial’ (e.g. bananas, 2000 MHz, The Meadows, etc.) or a
  • research method (e.g. ethnography, art/o/graphy).

There are specific resources allocated to the different colour groups: Red πŸ”΄,Β  Yellow 🟑, Green 🟒 present different ‘lenses’ through which you will examine the common inquiry of the cohort.

So, as a Breakout Group, you will be pursing one of three means of engaging with the common inquiry.

This will give you opportunities to

a) share and consolidate your understanding of the common inquiry and

b) develop that understanding in a perspectival manner when given a chance to work with peers that are not in your designated Breakout Group.

By gaining a perspectival understanding of the common inquiry – you will start to develop and interwine a series of overlapping methods – some drawn from art, some from anthropology.

In a Collaborative inquiry, you will also learn how to pool your group learning resources and how to continue to pool your research as you work towards completing your research project proposal for assessment towards the end of the course. If you make effective use of the Collaborative Inquiry process, you should find that your research project proposal will be something of a composite of your personal learning and what you pick up through your group work.

It is important to learn how to effectively share learning resources that you encounter as much as possible. Share with your Breakout Group (where relevant) and share with the whole course (where relevant). Pooling and sharing such resources helps to support Collaborative Inquiry.

No lurkers!

Remember we are all responsible for pulling our weight to our mutual benefit as learners. If you are a ‘lurker’, your peers will suffer as a whole. The group’s ability to learn will be impeded. If you are a ‘lurker’, you group can choose to call out as a poor team player and this will impact upon you when it comes to assessment, feedback and, ultimately, your grade!

We are all researchers πŸ•΅πŸΌβ€β™€οΈπŸ•΅πŸΎβ€β™‚οΈ

Media and learning activities in this Course Handbook are designed to trigger you to engage in your own research towards fulfilling the learning goals of this course. Please remember that the short media presentations signpost what you could to do to learn what you might need to know to complete the short weekly assignment. You should be prepared to use your own inititive and conduct further research on your own each week.

Further reading on Collaborative Inquiry:

John Heron, The role of reflection in co-operative inquiry Published in D. Boud, R. Keogh and D.Walker (eds) Reflection: Turning Experience into Learning, London, Kogan Page, 1985, pp 128-138.

John Heron, Co-operative Inquiry: Research into the Human Condition, London, Sage Publications, 1996.

Boud, D., et al. (2001). Peer learning in higher education : Learning from & with each other. London, London : Kogan Page.

Back to COURSE HANDBOOK main page πŸ”™ (link)


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