Art students creating a wiki book

Card's author : Stephan Barron
Card's type of licence : Creative Commons BY-SA
Testimonies : Stéphan Barron set up a collaborative space for his art students. This space is a wiki. He is a teacher and researcher at the Paul-Valéry University, Montpellier III.

Why do this?

  • for a space to submit papers and homework,
  • for a space to find information, create, and share documents ...
  • for collective creation of contents
  • for a space for information on pedagogy, professional careers, exhibitions…

How can we conceive the courses?

This is the logical continuation to my teaching methods, which have always been open and participatory. It is a way of teaching that is half-way between the one used in fine-arts and the one used at universities. I hate traditional teaching methods at universities; I find them absurd and grotesque: doctors who have written a thesis on a highly-specialised topic, as an extension to their studies, under the umbrella of such or such professors, force their students to learn words that are set in stone and to repeat them like wise apes. What I am interested in is learning to learn, discovering, knowing and improving…that is the real sense of teaching for me. There is a text on this in the wiki below

How do students relate to this?

Of course there is a different relationship that is less hierarchical and frontal, more distributed. Even classrooms must be different: forming a circle and not a pyramid. I am with the students and I am there to share and learn also. I do not have the absolute truth, knowledge changes constantly and everyone knows something they can contribute to the group and to me. It's not demagogy, it's true. Each generation of students know something new (techniques, or books). An example of this is the video-art wiki: we talk all together and if a student has something new and interesting to share, it is posted on the wiki…

The difficulties and barriers to avoid

There are technical difficulties. Sometimes students delete key functions, like a student who placed his file in the page for research and blocked this function for a whole year until we finally understood what had happened. Some student profiles were blocked on the tool, but it's a broader problem all together. Others simply just don't understand why we are using it and are simply not motivated and lazy. They prefer sitting at their desk and listen to words, just because they're lazy
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