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Lesson Plans

aesthetics course on-line

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Julie C. Van Camp (jvancamp)
Sun, 16 Feb 1997 07:05:28 -0800

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As I teach philosophy of art, I have been encouraged by the recognition of
many ArtsEdNet discussants of the importance of understanding something
about aesthetics/philosophy of art.

I would appreciate your thoughts on the viability of a course on aesthetics,
for University credit, taught entirely on the Internet. (Individual
responses to my e-mail are welcome -- to avoid unnecessary "litter" on the
discussion group.)

This spring semester, I am teaching a junior-level introductory aesthetics
course "partially on-line." We meet in person once a week, but everything
else in the course is on-line -- "Conference-on-the-Web;" extensive use of
e-mail among students, with me, and to send in written assignments; on-line
readings and assignments.

We are using this course (partially) as an experiment to see whether a
course entirely on-line is viable. To replace the in-person class, we would
strengthen the opportunities for dialogue on-line, perhaps adding a
"whiteboard" for a real-time text discussion and/or "CoolTalk" office hours
with real-time voice discussion through the Internet. I would also add a
weekly e-mail distribution to students of the "lecture" material on the
reading. On-line students would need to make a commitment to complete
assignments and participate on-line every week during the 15-week semester,
but they could complete all of this work at their own convenience --
weekends, evenings, whatever. (If offered during the summer, it would be an
intensive 6-week course.)

We have a way of listing this course with "double numbering" so it can be
counted either as undergraduate or graduate credit. We believe that
residents of California who are admitted students at either CSU or UC could
enroll through existing reciprocity agreements, and we are working out the
technical details on that procedure. Non-residents could enroll for
University credit through our "Open University" (Extension), without being
admitted to the CSU, at a cost for the 3-unit course of $435. We grant
University credit for Open University enrollment, but the decision to accept
the units toward a degree would rest solely with your home institution, if
you are pursuing a credential or graduate degree.

I personally am troubled by programs which grant entire degrees through
on-line courses. The development of oral communication skills in discussion
is a terribly important part of any education. But Internet courses seem to
be a promising avenue for making courses on specialized topics available to
students who otherwise would have no opportunity to take such a course --
i.e., for filling in some "gaps" in the curriculum.

I would appreciate your in-put on this possibility. Please take a look at
the class home page for this semester and let me know what you think:

Would K-12 teachers working on an advanced degree be interested? Would
undergraduate majors in art/art education be interested?
Julie Van Camp, Associate Professor of Philosophy
California State University, Long Beach
1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840-2408
office phone/voice mail: (562) 985-5545
E-mail: jvancamp

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