Making Something from Nothing: Creative Strategies for e-Learning in Lab-based Environs

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The COVID-19 related shutdown of all face-to-face activities in Semester 2 of academic year 2019/20 at HKBU was challenging to teaching and learning, particularly for lab/skill-based courses. In my role in teaching Sculpture at the AVA/HKBU, I am in charge of studio practice, utilising studio and workshop facilities to teach the practice of sculpture, spatial and digital design, etc. Initially, I conducted classes via Zoom using PowerPoint slides, which soon proved to be very unsatisfactory. I had to adopt a more dynamic way of teaching, which had been evolving throughout the semester. Instead of just Zoom, I utilised a wide array of digital tools in combination with the Miro digital whiteboard. Students drafted and recorded their work in progress in Miro, which facilitated my monitoring of their learning of the subject. They also used a wide range of digital and analogue tools and materials to complete the assigned exercises, from drawings, to body sculptures, to wax and clay models converted to bronze casts and plaster casts respectively carefully scaffolded throughout the semester͘. This interactive "digital" atmosphere led to extremely vibrant online classes with high participant rates and very positive outcomes. Outcomes were not limited to the physical sculptures that students had to produce as in the usual face-to-face classes, even the process of learning was partially captured in timebased sculptures documented in various digital forms. This form of virtual classes provided some key advantages over physical teaching in areas such as group research, communication and documentation of work. It enabled the teacher to bring practical and theoretical work together to visualise the "dove-tailing" of information͘ I envisage continuing with this deployment of eTools for my classes when normalcy returns and intend to share my practice with colleagues to extend to more courses.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication6th e-Learning Excellence Awards 2020
Subtitle of host publicationAn Anthology of Case Histories
EditorsDan Remenyi
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherAcademic Conferences International Limited
ISBN (Print)9781912764808
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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