Learning and Teaching Investment Fund 2009

Summary of Projects

Project Title

Footsteps of the Impressionists: an Online Study Tour

Project Leaders

Alex Syndikas

Project Summary

‘Footsteps of the Impressionists: an online study tour’ project created an alternative mode of delivery to the existing art/photography – RMIT wide student elective ‘off-shore’ study tour in Paris, France.

While ‘being there’ has always been the cornerstone of this course, this alternative web-based ‘online’ mode assists those students who cannot afford the time away from RMIT University or costs associated with overseas travel.

In designing this mode of delivery, the emphasis centred on the use of global websites, QuickTime documentary sequences, Virtual Reality (QTVR) environments and ‘digital video’ footage and ‘still’ images taken from previous study tours in Paris.

Consideration was given to the integration of the RMIT University Library’s online resources into the course site. In particular, the ‘off-air’ art documentary recordings held in the media/AV section. The library holds an extensive collection on the Impressionist movement and its painters. The most accessible means of integrating video clips of these documentaries is via the library’s video streaming system. Video streaming eliminates the process of downloading large files in order for the documentaries to be viewed. This feature provides an invaluable means of interactive research material for this online environment.

Significant work was required on the physical layout of the course in collaboration with EduTAG, who then designed a suitable wire-frame template for delivery. EduTAG reduced the number of chapters we had created in order to make the learning experience less complex than we had initially designed. It produced a template that is ‘user friendly’, incorporating appropriate information about the locations of walks (the video recordings of actual walks), documented ‘still’ images, useful links to articles on the web, and video streaming documentaries relating to the location or artists. The front page introduces the various individual ‘Walks’ or ‘Museum Visits’ together with its various points of interest via a site map. Interactive thumbnails indicate the ‘Research Activity’ for this walk, together with the various links to location sites and other resources.

Outcomes

  • An interactive study tour course that can be accessed AT: http://www.rmit.edu.au/mediacommunication/studytours/impressionist
  • Development of a unit offering a fully developed web-based course incorporating current innovative technology to enhance learning.
  • For students, an alternative, accessible and engaging approach to studying a movement in art.
  • It contributes to the delivery of the ‘Global Passport’ and widens the potential for students to engage in cross-cultural and cross disciplinary flexible learning experiences.
  • It can be offered at various onshore and offshore campuses of RMIT.
  • It will be offered through Open Learning Australia as a single unit.
  • This online study tour will be implemented in 2011 as an RMIT University-wide Student Elective for local and offshore campuses.

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