Virtual Classes - A New Reality

29 Apr 2020

Almost overnight Christie’s Education has digitally transformed the institute and all lectures are now being delivered online for students. What appeared to be a challenging prospect in the beginning has happened quite smoothly and is generating rewards. We share some perspectives from our campus in New York where our master’s students have been studying remotely for almost one month having started term three on 6 April. 

Dr. Julie Reiss, Programme Director of M.A. Modern and Contemporary Art and the Market, remarked: “On the plus side, the students are more punctual as there are no transportation delays. Attendance has been consistently high, possibly because there are fewer distractions. There are no classroom disturbances because the students mute themselves. You don’t hear people leaving the room or coming in late like you do in a classroom, and it may be easier for the students to concentrate.” All lectures are recorded so students can access them later or view them more than once if needed. 

Switching to online instruction has posed its challenges for academics, as they have had to adapt their teaching methods. Julie explained: “Once I share my screen I can’t see most of the students and I have to take it on faith that they are still there. It is less interactive and you don’t get to hear the students’ responses, such as laughing if something funny was said.”

Similarly, the Continuing Education team in New York has swiftly transitioned the delivery of short courses from their digital classroom and designed a new virtual series ranging from Conservation of Modern and Contemporary Art to Collecting Emerging Art. Dr. Marisa Kayyem, Programme Director of Continuing Education, noted: “Despite the fact that on-line courses do not allow us to view art first-hand, I’ve found that there are many positive outcomes. The constraints of the technology demand creativity in the way we present content, and participant engagement extends far beyond the digital lecture. Discussions continue in chat rooms, people post articles and personal viewpoints, students from across the globe make connections. We’ve been able to create a virtual community for those who are committed to the power and importance of art - particularly in these chaotic times.”

For more information about Christie’s Education virtual courses please visit our website.