Wednesday, 22 February 2017

CASE STUDY: Engaging with Contemporary Visual Arts in France

What happens in the module?

This module is an optional unit run over two semesters by Amanda Crawley-Jackson for third year students studying French.

Students critically analyse the work and key themes of contemporary visual artists in France. They then work in groups to design their own virtual 3D art exhibitions, as well as an accompanying portfolio containing learning materials for visitors written in French. Students have the chance to interact with French artists and exhibition curators to help them to design their exhibitions. The students critique the work of other groups, and peer assess the final outcomes.

How do students develop their capabilities?

Authentic Problem Solving: Students are given an ‘authentic’ challenge – to design an exhibition to best represent the work of contemporary artists in France. They experience the challenges of working with constraints, by learning about practical issues such as insurance, public liability, access, budgets and so on. They also have to learn to use software which may be unfamiliar to them to present their final exhibition

Innovation and Creativity: Students are challenged to design an exhibition which is innovative and attractive to visitors, and one that stands out from those of the other groups.

Risk-Taking: With this challenge, there is no ‘right’ answer. Students may design iterations of their exhibition that then receive poor feedback from the artists or curators. They have to learn from this feedback and continue to develop their ideas.

Taking Action: Students work as self-directed groups, and have to show initiative in their interactions with others.

True Collaboration: Students have the opportunity to interact with contemporary artists and exhibition curators, using French. Students have to make sure this interaction and communication is professional and productive. The students work in groups to a shared goal. The peer critique aspect of the module is also an important example of collaboration beyond group work.

What did students think of this?

"I learnt a great deal about independent learning; I had to do my own research and at times I found this challenging, but I think it helped us to make bolder decisions".


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