Online Education in the Visual and Performing Arts: Strategies for Increasing Learning and Reducing Costs
A. James Wohlpart, Florida Gulf Coast University Craig Rademacher, Florida Gulf Coast University Scott Karakas, Florida Gulf Coast University Lisa Courcier, Florida Gulf Coast University Charles Lindsey, Florida Gulf Coast University
The appropriate use of technology to enhance learning and reduce costs has become a focal point in the discussion of online learning. Significantly, the use of robust teaching and learning platforms, along with videoconferencing and other technological tools, allows for a wide variety of course redesigns that range from the incorporation of online materials into traditional courses to teaching courses fully online. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the use of technology in general education introductory arts and arts appreciation courses, with a particular focus on increasing learning and reducing costs. We describe the successful redesign of a required general education course entitled Understanding the Visual and Performing Arts into a fully online course. Several unique characteristics of the course such as the use of an alternative staffing model, of computer graded practice tests, and of computer graded short essays were particularly effective in the redesign and could be duplicated in other courses even outside the arts. The paper concludes with a discussion of the improved learning that has occurred since the redesign was completed.