At the College Art Association conference in February, Marie Gasper-Hulvat an Assistant Professor at Kent State University-Stark, presented her project, “Tweets, Secret Words, Bingos, and Blogs: Facilitating Engaged Participation in Art History Surveys.” 

Gasper-Hulvat astutely noted:

So many traditional art history survey classrooms function as venues for spectacular rather than participatory experiences: Students sit passively in immovable desks, staring at bright images on a screen that illuminates an otherwise dark classroom. The disembodied voice of their instructor tells (oftentimes quite compelling) stories about the projected images. The instructor is perpetually divided from the students by virtue of professorial authority, by controlling and narrating the images on the screen, by the implicit social contract established by the university setting. The professor remains the active and powerful agent who wields knowledge and grades while the students remain passive and receptive agents who receive all that is wielded at them.

Following her presentation Gasper-Hulvat posted an excerpt of her poster on the Art History Teaching Resources blog with the hope of discussing her methods with a broader audience and collecting other techniques professors use to actively engage students in art history courses, especially the notoriously difficult survey format.

Follow the discussion on Twitter #EngagedArtHistory!

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