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Transformative Teaching

Focus on Pedagogy 2022
Something Has Changed: Gauging the contemporary climate of studio instruction
T. Winters et al.
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Gauging the current climate of studio instruction means understanding the characteristics of its learners. This is essential for facilitating discourse about studio pedagogy and its future. Since the post-pandemic return to in-person instruction, our research team noticed that ‘something has changed’ about the perceptions and attitudes of design and fine arts students. As a recent issue, related literature does not explain the changes in students that the team has observed. The changes may be attributed to the impact of our complex and increasingly volatile world, to the alternative learning environments that allowed instruction to continue though major unprecedented interruption, or the structure of learning prior to entering a college-level program of study. This collaborative investigation aims to discern the changes (not the cause) by collecting the shared experiences and perceptions of experienced studio instructors. The research design has three aims: 1) To discover how instructors define and describe the characteristics of today’s studio-based learners, 2) To discern differences across the studio-based disciplines, and 3) To identify the modern challenges and opportunities of teaching studio-based learners. An online anonymous survey featuring open-ended questions was developed to address the research goals. An invitation to participate was distributed through bulk emails, university listservs, and social media advertisements. The survey is designed to snowball to diversify the sample, both internationally and across studio-based disciplines. This presentation discusses the themes that are emerging from our ongoing data collection and summarizes preliminary conclusions.


Tara Winters is a Senior Lecturer and Director of undergraduate studies at the Elam School of Fine Arts and Design, Waipapa Taumata Rau, the University of Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. Tara has research interests in the pedagogies of creative practice, student wellbeing, the integration of digital pedagogies into studio based teaching, and the contemporary university as a studio. Recent publications include a review on the concept of academic resilience for creative arts higher education and evolving pedagogies for art and design studio teaching post-pandemic. Tara is principal editor for the International Journal of Education Through Art (published by Intellect).

Jody Nyboer, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the School of Design, Syracuse University. Pedagogy is front and center to her research, defined by investigations that explore overlaps of design, education, and creativity. Recent work includes establishing contemporary knowledge and discourse about design critique, discerning the supportive attributes of online applications for remote studio learning, exploring the relationship of environment to the creative production of design students, and examining the importance of creativity training in higher education.

Riham Nady Faragallah is an Associate Professor at the Department of Architectural Engineering in Pharos University in Alexandra (PUA). She has received her Ph.D degree from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Alexandria University (2013).She has an academic experience in teaching several courses such as architectural design, execution design, theories of architecture, environmental studies, technical systems in buildings, … etc. Also, she has published several scientific manuscripts in international journals and conference proceedings concerning urbanism, informal settlements, low energy systems and sustainability. She has participated in different architectural conferences internationally and locally. Her main research interests lie in the field of environmental studies and urban design.