Having completed the implementation of my RILS exercise on Queeky, there are a few things I would like to change in future incarnations of the exercise.
There are many things that went well during the RILS in my classroom:
- The students loved it!
- The work they produced was very interesting
- Every artist took a unique approach to the workflow and process of creating
- It got my students openly discussing their methods and helping one another
That being said, there are a few things that I would definitely want to tweak before running the RILS again. First I would have to try to find a solution to the spotty wireless internet connection in the room. Many students had difficulty even connecting to the program because they could not get online, and this took up about 10 minutes at the beginning of the exercise, which ate into not only the RILS time, but also their class time. The last thing I ever want to do as an educator is take learning time away from my students. I feel I could have “play-tested” this scenario a little better in that regard, but everyone did eventually get connected and were able to complete the exercise.
Secondly, I would really like to have integrated a little more inspiration into their pieces.
I originally wanted to have the students to do variations on a historical figure. I even had an image picked out of a zombie Abraham Lincoln as an inspirational piece (I don’t think I can link it here due to copyright, but I was simply pointing them to the website.) That is the type of thing I wanted to run, but I knew that given the early issues, we simply wouldn’t have the time.
I must say though that my students were awesome overall and had a wonderful time with this project. The variety of work I got was encouraging, and allowed my students to really just explore their artistic persona’s a little bit deeper. It may not have even been a bad thing that it ended up being more of a “free-drawing” session, because I think it really sparked the creativity and inspiration in the room. As an instructor, I think that should be your call. It’s definitely something that could be done either way, depending on the desired results I’m sure.
The overall experience was positive, and I even had students asking questions and wanting to know more about the software as we proceeded. This brings me to another thing I would change; have an introduction to the software prepared for them to review prior to taking the course. I had an announcements made in their classroom that we would be doing this exercise, so everyone was all signed-up for the site, but nobody had bothered to test out the software. That would have saved a lot of headache and, I think, helped them produce better work. Time constraints really wouldn’t allow me to teach a tutorial lecture to them, but I think I will put together a podcast for them to follow along with to help them understand the software before we run the Queeky workshop again.
All-in-all it was successful. A few things I would change, but I don’t feel bad and I busted my hump on getting this thing together! I feel I did everything in my power to deliver a unique and engaging experience for my students, and I am going to continue tweaking this exercise until it can be implemented into their regular schedule of activities in the ART 2 classroom.