In an environment of economic uncertainty and increasing competition, universities are challenged to find alternate methods of maintaining quality educational outcomes given the rising costs for teaching space. Furthermore, in countries such as Aotearoa New Zealand, geographical isolation from the international research community remains a key issue. The development of virtual learning environments (VLEs) is promoted as a viable solution, particularly methods of narrated lecture slides and video-casting which have the potential to be re-used and offer more flexibility through online delivery. As part of an on-going teaching and learning research fellowship project at Auckland University of Technology, this paper discusses the specific case of an undergraduate course which was developed using Microsoft™ PowerPoint™ and Screencast-O-Matic. Each approach is analysed in the context of developing and delivering course content via Blackboard Academic Suite ™ in combination with low-cost technologies including Skype and YouTube ™. While the freedom to tinker with new technologies, particularly in fields of creative practice such as fashion design, provide an opportunity for “visionary innovation” (Finn and Fraser, 2012), the authors identify opportunities and limitations that warrant consideration for academics who are considering a higher level of engagement with technology to enhance teaching practice.
|Keywords:||Fashion, Virtual Learning Environments, Higher Education, Distance Education, Flexible Learning, Sustainable Design|
Senior Lecturer, Fashion Department, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
Senior Lecturer, Fashion Department, School of Art and Design, Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand