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A workshop at 3am?

We waved at Jennifer on her webcam, wrapped up with a cup of something in her hand as we introduced each other on the orientation workshop for the new MA programme.

Induction workshop

OCA has recently launched its ground breaking MA in Fine Art online, which started with a two day workshop in Barnsley which attracted most of the cohort to attend in person, including a candidate from Barcelona, but unfortunately our student in Vancouver couldn’t make it, though she did get the gist of the two day event, even though it was in the middle of the night for her, by joining us via Skype online.
Since this bonding event, the 14 new MA students have scurried back to their homes, to get started on their part time four year long programme, inspired and full of optimism about their artistic development but perhaps a tad scared about the IT demands of the programme which include the use of blogs, web seminars with webcams and headsets.
Angela Rogers, Unit Leader for Visual Enquiry, talks to a group of students

Its hard to get a sense of belonging in a group of students not working together every day, but using webcams and having group and pair work designed in, on top of seminars and tutorials, the students are already forming friendships and have a good support network. The background of the students who gained places on the programme is varied and includes ceramicists, painters, textile artists, sculptors, and installation artists. The age range is broad too, the youngest is a 35 year old man, the oldest, a retired GP in her seventies.
The first online Fine Art MA in Europe (if not in the world?), this has got off on a good start, headed by programme leader Emma Bulley, one of our OCA tutors, who is fresh from the MA programme at Worcester. Leading on the first two course units are Caroline Wright (from Norwich school of Art and Design) and Angela Rogers, a research fellow of Brighton university. Validated by the University of the Creative Arts, we are delighted at the level of interest this programme has provoked, and already have some possible students lined up for the 2012 intake.

Posted by author: Jane Parry
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One thought on “A workshop at 3am?

  • I think this venture sounds really exciting and I shall follow the progress of the MA course with great interest.
    I believe students can develop a sense of group belonging by using communications technology – I went through a similar experience myself with a short Open University course. It worked a treat because most members of the group were willing to make the effort to communicate with their fellow students. We learned a great deal from each other. Best wishes to everyone involved.

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