The ‘Introduction to Art History’ will be delivered online. We trust you agree that our chosen method is easy to understand, user-friendly and uses widely familiar and accessible technologies and platforms, including PowerPoint, YouTube and Zoom.
The ‘Introduction’ course consists of two, complementary components. These are:
10 pre-recorded lectures that you can watch as YouTube videos at a time convenient to you.
Each pre-recorded lecture is one hour long, and divided into three or four discrete parts. The end of each section marks an appropriate point at which to pause and take a break. This format of lecture in bite-sized parts reduces screen-fatigue, and enables you to learn at your own pace and at times convenient to you, in whatever time-zone you find yourself. Moreover, all 10 pre-recorded lectures are delivered to you ten days before the course officially starts, to give you ample time to absorb teaching contents, and they will remain available to you until the end of the week of your course.
Daily, live Zoom seminars
These are held each week-day of the course in two groups at either 14:00 or 16:00 [London time]. These tutor-led discussions will use Zoom video conferencing software to examine relevant works of art closely and to discuss topics raised in the pre-recorded lectures. These sessions enable you to ‘meet’ your tutor and fellow students and exchange ideas. The week before your course a Zoom trial and ice-breaking session will be organised. These sessions are recorded and will be made available to all students.
Conversations and Questions
If you have questions or comments that you could not raise during the live Zoom sessions, you may send them to the tutors via a student-to-tutor forum on the VLE [Virtual Learning Environment]. Please try to keep those concise and relatively short. Your tutors aim to respond by the Friday evening of your course. Peer-to-peer conversations (not monitored by the tutors) are encouraged and a relevant forum for this use can also be found on the VLE.
Over the past decade, we have seen a significant increase in online resources presenting works of art and architecture in high definition and sometimes in three dimensions. These resources will both enrich our ‘live’ discussions and provide you with further inspiration for self-guided exploration.
The VLE (Virtual Learning Environment)
The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is a website The Courtauld uses to deliver information and resources to its students. Your course page will include handouts, class schedules, readings and discussion forums. Once you are enrolled, you will receive a personal log-in for the VLE by a month before the start of your course.
The Short Courses department, by special copyright licence, adds suitable readings to your course’s VLE page. These readings are chapters or extracts taken from our extensive specialist art history library; once downloaded you may print or save these files permanently; however they cannot be shared with others.
The Courtauld’s Library services have compiled period-specific guides of free-to-access resources for art-historical study. These include displays of art, objects and books online, as well as journals, texts and videos. ‘Introduction’ participants will receive these at the start of their course.
Technology support during your course
While participants will be responsible for ensuring they have access to a computer with webcam and microphone, and the internet, we shall be on hand to support issues of access to lectures and discussions.
Detailed and simple instructions will be sent to you, and a trial Zoom session will be organised in the week before your course to introduce you to your tutor and fellow students and make sure that you are able to join the online discussions.