Moore’s historic Summer Art & Design Institute (SADI) and Young Artists Workshops (YAW) transitioned to an online format for the first time this summer, and educators, students and their families have been artfully navigating these challenging times to create a fun summer experience.
With SADI and YAW beginning on the same day in mid-July, the pressure was on to create a great online learning experience. Fortunately, teaching in a virtual learning environment wasn’t a new experience for Associate Dean of Continuing Education Joanna Jenkins. Informed by her background in online teaching, Jenkins and her team helped lead faculty in preparing to move to remote instruction, and sent out a survey to students who had signed up for their programs to assess how Moore’s youth programs could best support their needs.
“Our faculty was really great in terms of their receptivity to teaching online,” said Jenkins.
Personalized educational attention is a value that Moore is committed to, and Jenkins was determined to continue that practice virtually in youth education classes. Classes were kept small to allow for direct interaction between students and faculty, creating an atmosphere where each individual’s questions and needs could be answered. Scheduling of classes and break times also prevented screen fatigue and encouraged improved information retention.
“Putting those elements together created a healthy learning experience,” noted Jenkins.
Youth Education faculty also interacted with parents for feedback as they prepared for the online programs. Many parents were simply curious about the semantics of moving classes to remote settings, while others expressed concerns over students’ attention span and the stresses of online learning.
“We built in ‘brain breaks,’” said Jenkins. “Parents were happy to hear that.”
Other parents expressed understandable disappointment over their students losing the signature on-campus experience that programs like SADI offer. Jenkins and her team worked to create an experience that was still communal in both education and personal connections. Students participated in professional development workshops on home studio design, networking, college portfolio preparation and more. After classes and dinner breaks, the young artists came together for virtual study hall—a time when students can receive mentoring, do homework together, chat with each other about their assignments and work directly with SADI assistants, who are BFA students enrolled at Moore.
FUN AND GAMES
The Youth Education department also collaborated with Moore’s Student Affairs office to provide engaging entertainment opportunities, such as movie screenings, video game nights, and bingo and trivia nights that students’ families are also invited to participate in.
“The curriculum built in a lot of community-building events with students—one-hundred percent virtual,” said Jenkins.
SADI and YAW run through early August, and students can look forward to many more educational opportunities along with fun, such as closing ceremony celebrations. Jenkins expressed pride in the students’ work.
“They’ve been really attentive to developing their community of friends or peers, where they know they can get feedback, critiquing each other and learning,” she said. “Hopefully, these are relationships that will continue moving forward.”