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Ideaschool’s reshaped degree attracts other educators

January 21, 2014

Aiai and Silka1Interest in EIT’s project-based arts and design degree has triggered Government funded research aimed at helping other tertiary educators develop similar programmes.

EIT’s ideaschool designed and introduced its project-based approach for Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design students starting their degrees in 2013. It is the first of its kind for arts and design schools in New Zealand, although the approach is gaining momentum with leading
educators overseas.

“We expected it to work well, but the restructured degree has exceeded all expectations,” says ideaschool head Dr Suzette Major, who spearheaded the change.

“The work produced by our first-year students is breathtaking. They are fully engaged with the holistic approach to learning and that’s reflected in record attendances and completion rates.

“The energy and enthusiasm generated by staff and students in the classroom tell us this is working for everyone associated with the

ideaschool students build up the skills needed in the creative industries by undertaking a series of real-life projects designed to develop practical expertise, techniques and theoretical knowledge.

“I’m proud that ideaschool is leading the way in introducing this to New Zealand. Other institutes from around the country have heard about our approach and want to work out how to do it.

“Recognising that, Ako Aotearoa, National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence in New Zealand’s tertiary sector, has come on board with funding for an in-depth research project aimed at capturing what’s happening.”

Entitled Project- Based Learning in Arts and Design: What makes it Work?, the project is being led by Hawke’s Bay-based consultant Elly Govers.

“The aim is to write a manual on projectbased learning in arts and design to help other institutes seeking guidance on how to introduce their own programmes.”