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Teaching & Learning Art Online: Art Critiques

Welcome art teachers!

While nothing will ever compare to an in person critique, online critiques really CAN work. You just have to find the right format for the class you’re teaching.

In the video above and in the text below, I lay out several viable options for critiques. Pick the one that best suits your class’ needs! You can see the critique formats I’ve chosen for my class this semester here.

Check out our Critiques area too for examples!

-Prof Lieu

INSTAGRAM CRITIQUE

Gouache Self-Portrait Painting, Julie Sharpe

“Nice olive greens in the face!” -Prof Lieu

PROS
• Casual, fast, and easy to type a 1-2 sentence comment.
Motivates students, everyone loves getting a comment!
Ask students to use your hashtag (ex: #proflieu) and tag you, so you are easily notified
Hashtag makes it possible for students to see what others are going
All you’ll need is to have the Instagram app on your smart phone.

CONS
You’ll have to check Instagram often, at least 2x a day.
1-2 sentence comment is not substantial.
You have to remember that all your comments are public.

WRITTEN CRITIQUE

Critique #1
“Right off the bat, I’m so excited by your desire to experiment and try new things as an artist, which is just so important in pushing yourself. One area I think that you can push in this specific piece is perhaps how your concept works with your technique or the mediums you’re using.

For example, in your artist statement, you talk a lot about disguise and that’s a big concept in this piece. But, how could that really be pushed in the way you use the person that you’re photographing. For example, how could their pose speak to the idea of disguise, maybe you could even be more liberal with the band-aids that are on them. Almost like they’re a mess.

 You’re doing such a great job of exploring mixed media and being really bold as an artist so I would just say like great job and just keep pushing and experimenting more.”

Critique #2
“I think you’re really succeeded in getting your viewer to see this everyday object in a totally new perspective.

The needle and thread part wasn’t immediately apparent to me. I thought of a river, or a tangle of hair. I think that slow realization is good for the viewer, but I would also like to see that river extended into a longer thread.

The handmade quality of the eye of the needle makes it look as if it were an artifact built for some kind of worship or place in the home. For that reason I would consider how the pedestal functions with your sculpture. Does it need to be a museum white pedestal or could it be something else?”

Pros
• No scheduling required, can be done any time
• Write at your own pace
• Critique can be edited and refined as much as you want.
• Text files take up very little space in Google Drive/your laptop
• You can determine the length of the critique, anywhere from 1-3 paragraphs.

Cons
• Typed critiques are more easily misinterpreted because the tone of your voice is missing
• Can be time consuming to write depending on your writing skills
• Maintaining a personal connection to students is tougher because they don’t see your face and can’t listen to your voice.

Sharing Options
Google Drive
• Create a Google doc and type the critique there.
• Move that Google doc into the student’s folder in Google Drive.
• Email or message the student that the critique is in their folder
• You can send the student a direct link to that Google doc.

Email
• Email the critique to the student, although not recommended as students don’t check their email often, and everyone is being inundated with emails right now.

AUDIO CRITIQUE

Pros
• Easily recorded on smart phone.
• No need to worry about how you look on video.
• Hearing your voice fosters closer connection,
• Faster than typing & you’ll probably say more.
• Nuances in your voice prevent misinterpretation that can occur in a typed critique.
• Sound files are small compared to video files and won’t take up as much space on your Google Drive

Cons
No visual of your face, feels more anonymous than a video
Recording in 1 go is faster, which puts pressure on continuous speaking. (you won’t want to bother editing the audio, it’s too time consuming and requires editing skills)

Recording Options
• Use the Voice Memo app on your smart phone.
• Download the Google Drive app.
• Upload the audio file from the Voice Memo app to Google Drive.
• Move the audio file in Google Drive into the student’s folder.

Sharing Options
Google Drive
• Upload the audio file to the student’s folder in Google Drive.
• Upload the audio file to Google Drive and send the link to the student.

Soundcloud
• Upload the audio file to Soundcloud and send the link to the student.
• You can embed the audio file into any site. (see the audio files here on this page)

VIDEO CRITIQUES

Pros
• Seeing your face and hearing your voice is the closest connection you can make with a student remotely.

Cons
• You have to consider how you look. (no recording in pajamas!) 
• Video files are much larger than audio files and will take up space on your computer and Google Drive.

RECORDING OPTIONS
• Record the video on your smart phone.
• Record the video with the webcam on your laptop.
• Record the video with a DSLR camera.

Sharing Options

Google Drive
• Download the Google Drive app.
• Upload the video file from the Voice Memo app into Google Drive.
• Move the video file in Google Drive into the student’s folder.
• Con: having lots of video files will quickly fill up your Google Drive and your laptop.

YouTube 
• Upload the video file to YouTube, then choose privacy settings:
• Public: video shows up in searches and on your channel.
• Unlisted: video does not show up in searches or on your channel, but anyone who has the specific link can view the video.
• Private: add student’s email and invite them to view the video
• Pro: you don’t have to keep the original video files, as YouTube has the option for you to download the video file any time.

ONE-ON-ONE VIDEO/AUDIO CALL

Pros
• Seeing your face and hearing your voice is the closest connection you can make with a student remotely.
• One-on-one calls allows you to give all of your attention to that student.
• Flexibility in when the call is scheduled.
• Accommodates students in a different time zone.
• Both of you have the option to choose audio or video.
• Option to record the call (ask the student first) so the student can revisit the conversation later.

Cons
• Can lag if one of you doesn’t have a good Internet connection.
• Time consuming if you have a large class.

Call Options
• Zoom
• Skype

TEACHING & LEARNING ART ONLINE

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