Suggestions – planning/teaching – Fall 2020

Keep flexibility in the forefront:
We don’t know. The first thing is that we have to be okay with that and then still act. 

Designing your class and your plan of approach

Think Hybrid and Get Comfortable operating between spaces.

synchronous/asynchronous, in person/online, using more than one LMS/platform.

You will need to create a balance between being prepared and being able to think on your feet.

You don’t have to do everything before class starts—But don’t leave everything to the last minute.

What kind of a teacher are you?  If you aren’t a planner—you’ll need to plan more, if you are an over-planner don’t let yourself do too much work.

Consider a schedule where you sketch out the semester and then finalize plans each week in advance.

Reconsider rigid curriculum. – If nothing else we have learned that everything can change in a moment. •

Consider putting what absolutely needs to happen in person off until we are back in person. eg Alt Pro/non-silver, tradition darkroom. put off until the spring, adjust what you expect of each class. 

Start by designing the class/approach so that you first put your energy into things that will apply either on line or in person.
(syllabus, lectures, demos, ) set up your LMS (Blackboard, Canvas, Moodle) so that it will be useful for in person or on the ground. – Plan things out generally—don’t get bogged down making the perfect design. Sketch first, fill in later.

What can be pre- loaded content?

What is content created in response to the class dynamic, needs and individuals?

Do not make the mistake of adding busy work.  Online education leads itself to exercises that can be measured and controlled through uniformity. This is generally speaking not good for art. Try to avoid this (this may necessitate a need to push back against LMS and general procedures and may fly in the face of some advice you are being given from your school.

Resist the pressure to measure everything. Create flexible assignments that put the creativity in the hands of the students. Make them responsible. 

Do not over produce videos lectures or video feedback– if you can find a link to a good demo, don’t re-do it. Let yourself make quick demos on the fly. Share videos with other instructors. 

Create assignments that encourage students them to problem solve as both a practical and a conceptual solution to the class.


Think Hybrid (inperson/online, synchronous/asynchronous, platforms) 

Use LMS Canvas/Blackboard/Moodle in a way that could be applicable to either in person or online.

Consider a hybrid between synchronous and asynchronous. Plan to use Zoom or other synchronous platform with flexibility—students can watch later, students can turn off their screen, give students another place to give feedback or have conversation, let them comment in chat. But also let the students who thrive in conversation and presence be there.

Eg Dischord and Zoom for Synchronous experiences.
Slack, CritViz, VoiceThread for Asychronous (others to be listed)

Other strategies

Consider allowing students to participate in planning and creating content. Assign them texts and discussions they can lead.

Expand your colleagues and community within and beyond your institution and share resources.

o Assignments,
o Lectures,
o Tech demos,
o Quizzes
o readings
o conversation topics.

Use visiting artists (see SPE data base)

Continue to insist on students showing up (not necessarily literally) and being rigorous. (Sister Corita Kent’s Rules) 

Facilitate interaction between students 

Have a dedicated social space that is not the discussion board (ideally its not part of the LMS) Provide or encourage use of social spaces that are not measured or closely monitored.

Create things that can be reused by yourself in the future or by others.

Keep copies of your lectures and assignments on your own hard drive –do not be overly reliant Canvas or University owned Google drives to store your only copies of content. Especially if your school does own your class within the shell—keep copies of what you’ve created in a place that you can later access for yourself.

Use links whenever possible and avoid proprietary platforms that might be inaccessible after the semester is over.

Consider creating your own resource that you lead students to and something that can be used wherever you teach. (Camilo Ramirez webpage is an excellent example

Crowd Source and expand beyond your usual community (use FotoFika) to solve the following questions

  • Keep track of good available resources


• Tech demos:, the art of photography
• Podcasts and Interviews: The Magic Hour, the Art of Photography 
• Artist Interviews/databases: St. Lucy, Lightwork, Blue Sky,
• Publications available online: Lens, Aperture, Photographymag

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