A short(er) note today. I’ve been swamped; the fall semester just started, and I’m co-teaching two studio courses in the interaction design program at CCA.
Preparing for the semester has been challenging. Meeting for three hours twice a week is feasible when you’re using a physical classroom. That won’t work on Zoom; long video calls aren’t conducive to good studio work. So, we have to restructure projects and materials created for “in-person” environments. Additionally, some of our students are in different timezones.
As a result, we’ve structured our courses to be mostly asynchronous. The question is: How do we effectively teach studio courses while minimizing real-time interactions with students? Studios rely on feedback. When it comes to critiques, asynchronous digital channels aren’t as rich as real-time interactions in physical spaces.
At least that’s my impression now, at the beginning of the semester. But perhaps there are also advantages to being asynchronous and digital. Our task is to discover those advantages and amplify them.
I’m confident that we can create valuable experiences under these circumstances. Early on in the pandemic, when everyone was adjusting to working from home, my schedule got packed with back-to-back Zoom meetings. We were trying to continue working as we did when we shared physical offices. It was exhausting and ineffective.
But now that we’re several months into this way of working, there are fewer meetings on my calendar. I’m working mostly asynchronously, and I’m more productive than ever. It’s taken time to discover the pacing and upsides to this way of working, but now they’re evident — and I frankly prefer this new modality. I expect something similar might happen with teaching. I’ll share with you what we learn.