- Arizona State University (ASU)’s Intro to Digital Media students
This is an independent research project as a new Graduate Teaching Assistant at ASU.
Based on my research, I developed the “Facilitate Fun Zoom” section for students to offer a 5-10 minutes exercise (warm-up/stretch/game/ritual) to their class.
I also gave a presentation to my advisor and peers in the Studio Art Pedagogy course.
Academic institutions were in the midst of chaos in the fall of 2020. All the teachers were forced to teach virtually regardless of their preparation levels due to the pandemic. I was not an exception as a new Graduate Teaching Assistant. One of the reasons I chose ASU was that I could teach college-level courses as an instructor of record while enrolling the graduate school. However, that privilege provided me with a challenging first semester. I was supposed to teach my first course via Zoom and Canvas learning management system after one chaotic summer. Here is my independent research project hoping to deliver the best teaching to my Intro to Digital Media students in the given situation
How can online digital art courses
help students access the value of their life experiences
by incorporating bodily experience?
Research and Insights
Bodily Experiences in Online Courses/Zoom
What I learned
Writings on Zoom Experiences:
- Women face larger challenges to speak up or to be heard (Gupta, 2020).
- Flattens perception of self and the world (Maxwell, 2020).
Why it matters
We need to recognize Zoom as a critical digital medium and provide class time to learn about it.
A method to reflect personal experience in relation to social context. Useful to center the marginalized voices.
What I learned
- Examples of autoethnography in art education:
- Animated autoethnography for undergrads (Blair, 2014).
- “Cabinet of curiosities” for museum educators (NAEA Museum Education, 2016).
Why it matters
When the time is challenging, using autoethnography in art education provides students a space for contextual self-reflection.
What we heard
- I want customized tutorials for each project.
- I want a more “in-person” feeling.
Why it matters
I must keep listening to what students say because there is always a space for improvement.
Development and Receptions
Spring 2021 Class Assignment
Facilitate Fun Zoom
- You will offer a 5-10 minutes exercise (warm-up/stretch/game/ritual) to your class. Your offering should be doable for your classmates who participate via Zoom.
- To analyze personal video conference experiences
- To compose a research project based on personal experiences.
- To explore and improve online communication.
Learn about Zoom/video conferences:
- It’s Not Just You: In Online Meetings, Many Women Can’t Get a Word In – The New York Times (Links to an external site.)
- The Trauma of Zoom. Body Language Across Borders and Time Zones by Hanna Thomas Uose (Links to an external site.)
- Zoom burnout is teaching us that learning is not possible without embodiment by Clare Maxwell (Links to an external site.)
Embodiment, warm-up, facilitation
Materials and Equipment:
Zoom, Mural (optional)
- Write down your experiences taking courses via Zoom.
- Pick one challenge of using Zoom that might be relevant to your classmates.
- Come up with your research question to respond to your challenge. Link to research question resource. (Links to an external site.)
- Use inspirations below or conduct your research.
- Come up with a 5-10 minutes exercise that is doable via Zoom.
Research & Inspirations:
- Research with keywords, such as “warm-up or icebreakers activities for online meetings” or similar.
- Some resources:
- Reflect on your daily activity, exercise, or ritual. Is there anything you want to share with the class?
- Facilitate the activity. Share your research question and the goal of your exercise with the class.
- Submit a 500-word reflection.
- Your reflection is due within one week from your facilitation. For example, your due is during class on Monday, 1/18 if you facilitate during 1/11 class.
- You will reflect on
- your experiences on Zoom
- your research question
- your research process – how did you come up with the activity you facilitated?
- the result – how did your classmates respond?
- conclusion – what did you learn? how will this affect the way you use Zoom or other video conference systems in the future?
Students’ Zoom Offerings include:
From the Students’ Essays:
Sense of Control
”Finally I did have one class that made these problems a priority because what we all had to do was find a way to better communicate online.
”I think having that kind of mental “break” to take a couple of minutes to relax our minds and think about another world where we do not have to stress about anything is always fun to relax.
”I learned that some forms of meditation (specifically silent meditation) is an effective form of escape from continuous Zoom classes as well as an effective stress reliever on both mind and body.
”It has shown me that beginning a virtual conference or meeting can be very daunting if it begins straight-away. Moving forward, I believe that I will start using similar methods to begin and host zoom meetings.
”After doing this [activity] it gave me and my fellow students back the control of our time and gave us the motivation to start this new class. I'm very grateful that every student had to do this so that we can always be reminded that we are all students but we are people first that need to interact in one way or another. These activities might seem small but because of the way it helps us escape our routine of hours of online class they end up helping with our mental state and gives us hope for what online classes should be in the future.
Sense of Community
”If I ever needed to be teaching virtually to my future students I would incorporate this assignment or a similar assignment. I really think it helped the classroom feel more like a community.
”I believe that this icebreaker activity was quite successful in bringing the class slightly closer together.
”I liked facilitating the zoom activity and connecting with everyone in my class. It was a great opportunity to confront the lack of human connection, a huge zoom issue.
”This class was amazing for forcing us to ask each other how we were doing, it was unusual to me at first but was exciting for me to hear people I barely know, talk, and tell the class about their day and what is going on in their life. It was awkward at first but played a big role in engagement.
”I wanted to give my peers an opportunity to take a few minutes to control what they were listening to and maybe give them a chance to press reset before another class.
Confidence for the Future
”I really enjoyed this experience and I hope that my future classes will also incorporate this into them.
”This idea of orchestrating a zoom activity will affect the way I use zoom in the future because I will try to have a better attitude, especially with early classes, and make sure I have some sort of ritual to wake me up and keep me engaged throughout.
”I would love to do another project like this because I think it is so important to add spice to each of our lives. I liked having a quick break before we got back to work in class. I learned how to use zoom more and I would feel so much more comfortable and experienced presenting an activity or project If I had to do it again or in another class.