Teaching Online Now

Dear friends,

In the weeks and months following the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, many teachers and students experienced online learning for the first time. For some, the learning curve was steep, while for others, the digital space was nothing new. 

AHTR was founded as a space of community to share successes, failures, and reflections on teaching art history between peers. It was also founded so folks would not have to reinvent the wheel each time they taught; instead, they could expand the knowledge and experiences of colleagues. With this in mind, we have decided to devote the AHTR Weekly to teaching art history online throughout the coming academic year. 

All the content will be handily filed under the Online Teaching tag on the Weekly, and it’ll be the first thing that you’ll see when you land on the AHTR site. 

As well as practical resources, including an evolving spreadsheet of existing materials, we plan to publish reflections and content that take critical stances in examining the move online across academic institutions. If you have a resource for online teaching you’d like to recommend in briefer terms—from a packet created for faculty to something you’ve tried yourself—you can add it to the spreadsheet using this form. We’ll be sharing the spreadsheet as an Open Educational Resource in early August for others to add to at will. 

Online teaching presents challenges and real ethical consequences as often as it does new opportunities for pedagogical innovation and communication. We will highlight a range of issues and ideas: conversations over triage teaching in the spring sliding into a new normal (of sorts) for the fall; students’ questioning (and protesting) bang-for-buck in their payment of thousands of dollars of tuition for remote learning experiences; concerns and approaches to working with the inequality in higher education as low-income students try to make their way through online learning; the looming threat of mass layoffs of both adjunct and tenured faculty; and more.

Any critical framework built around online teaching must address issues of racial equity and diversity in art history, and the ways in which the issues described in the paragraph above intersect directly with antiracist approaches to teaching, topics of decolonization, and systemic change in higher education. 

We’re excited to roll out some upcoming posts already in the hopper, and please be in touch if you have either practical or critical resources for teaching art history remotely that you’d like to share.

Looking forward to continuing to do what we do best and sharing, learning, and supporting each other—

All of us at AHTR

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