Greg Bryda’s article on Art History Teaching Resources is about more than just than Wolff, the app he created for sharing slide presentations on a tablet. In it he thoughtfully interrogates the relationships between art history and technology, including the use of slide projectors in lectures, the adaptation of aids by MOOCs, and the tangibility of digital resources. While I am interested in this article’s implications for the materiality of objects, I also find it an excellent resource for thinking about how I use new media technologies when planning lessons. Bryda’s contribution to the discussion of how we teach art history is just one of the many important viewpoints shared on the Art History Teaching Research blog.

Instructional Process/Strategies

As part of my research on Instructional Processes and Strategies to use in lesson planning, I became most interested in the role of problem-based learning in adult education. Writing for the Newsletter of the Center for Teaching Effectiveness, art historian Mark Parker Miller shared his experience with assigning “problems” for his students to solve over the semester. In the article he outlines one of the assignments, how he approached it and also reflects on what went well for his students and also where some students struggled. Miller explains his objectives in a way I found helpful for thinking about my own curriculum planning and lesson planning.

Bloom’s Pyramid (Taxonomy!)

While looking for online resources on Bloom’s taxonomy, I came across a variety of different images illustrating Benjamin Bloom’s (1956) classification of domains. Of these, my favourite is Incredible @rt Department’s visualization of the updated layers of remember, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating applied to art history as an Egyptian pyramid. Along with the image the website also provides helpful links to other resources on Bloom’s taxonomy. Most importantly it also lists verbs and applicable questions for each of the respective cognitive domains that are relevant to the art history classroom.

Motivational Techniques

This online article is a compilation of excerpts from Barbara Gross Davis of the University of California, Berkeley book Tools for Teaching (2009). In it she explains there is “no single magical formula for motivating students,” but provides what she calls general strategies as well as tips organized thematically into sections such as “Incorporating Instructional Behaviours That Motivate Students,” “Structuring the Course to Motivate Students,” “De-emphasizing Grades,” “Motivating Students by Responding to Their Work,” and “Motivating Students to Do the Reading.” I found this article helpful because it gives brief, manageable strategies for motivating students in a variety of different ways.

Resources for Creating a Positive Learning Environment

When researching how to create a positive learning environment, I found the Teaching and Learning Resources site provided by Michigan State University’s Office of Faculty and Organizational Development to be very helpful. In fact many of the other themes listed such as “Learners and Learning,” “Curriculum/Instructional Design,” “Teaching with Technology,” “Teaching Methods,” “Assessment,” “Classroom Management/Academic Integrity,” etc. would have been applicable to almost all the interrelated components of lesson planning.   “Multiculturalism/ Diversity/Inclusive Classrooms,” provided a brief annotated bibliography of relevant resources related to infusing diversity in teaching, strategies for creating an effective learning environment, different approaches to student diversity, and many others. This site was so useful, I book marked it on my browser for future reference!