A Balanced Way of Teaching Art and Design Using E-Learning

By Gautam Wadhwa.

Published by The International Journal of Arts Education

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

One of the challenges of teaching graphic design courses is that the instructors must teach both soft design skills and hard design or technical skills. Soft design skills—such as aesthetics, intuition, balance, recognizing harmony in page design, and stirring emotions through design—are ephemeral parts of design. These skills are best taught face-to-face in a classroom setting where students can interact, observe, create and analyze. Hard design skills or technical skills are best learned by observing and then creating, or simultaneously observing and creating. E-learning lends itself well to teaching technical skills in a way that facilitates simultaneous observation and creation. Employers want to hire designers who equally possess soft and hard design skills. Given the limited amount of contact hours during the semester, it is difficult to spend time teaching both soft and hard design skills in a balanced way. The paper presents innovative and interactive E-learning components that facilitate engaging and balanced teaching.

Keywords: Teaching, Art, Design, Online, Interactive, Multimedia, Digital, New Media, E-Learning, Research

The International Journal of Arts Education, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp.69-77. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 253.764KB).

Assoc. Prof. Gautam Wadhwa

Assistant Professor, Media Arts and Game Development, Art Department, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Whitewater, USA

Gautam Wadhwa is a designer and an educator. He is an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design and Media Arts and Game Development program at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater, WI, USA. As a design consultant he has worked with clients like: United Nations, World Gold Council, Timex Watches, Lee Copper Footwear, etc. He is passionate about using technology in art education. He has been awarded several grants such as the Learning and Technology Development Council’s grant to undertake research and come up with new ways to use E-learning in the arts. He has spoken at several prominent international and national conferences like AIGA Design Educator’s Conference, UCDA Design Summit, and Sloan-C Blended Learning Conference. He is also involved in design-based community outreach projects that aim at sustaining traditional crafts and augmenting the income of artisans living below the poverty line through new and innovative design and marketing initiatives.