Measuring the Efficacy of Reusable Learning Objects used in Fashion Design Technical Skills Teaching

By Andrew Saxon and Sheila Griffiths.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

At Birmingham City University Institute of Art and Design, UK, we have begun to use digital media in the teaching of pattern cutting skills to students on our BA(Hons) Fashion programme.

Currently, we teach pattern cutting using traditional workshop demonstration methods, where a tutor cuts demonstration pattern adaptations whilst being observed by a group of up to 30 students. This can be hard for students to see properly, complex to grasp and difficult to remember. The use of digital media was initially intended to extend students’ access to around 100 such pattern cutting adaptations beyond the end of the demonstration by publishing easy to follow video and animated clips on our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

We conducted a study to measure the efficacy of this new approach compared with our traditional practice. We considered the extent to which the digital media method can replace traditional face-to-face teaching. We used two groups of students, each following a different method of delivery of the same curriculum content: workshop demonstration and digital media through the VLE. We were then able to compare and contrast their experiences in order to draw conclusions.

We present our study into the effectiveness of using digital media reusable learning objects to teach practical/technical skills in pattern cutting for undergraduate fashion students. We discuss our research methodology and our experimental design. We also share our findings, and outline how we propose to take the digital media based teaching method further.

Keywords: e-learning, Art and Design, Fashion Design, Pattern Cutting, Digital Media, Reusable Learning Object, Practical Demonstration, Garment Process, IT Self Efficacy, Digital Video Clip, Virtual Learning Environment, Comparative Study, Learning and Teaching, Teaching Skills To Large Numbers, Video in Pattern Cutting

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 4, Issue 6, pp.53-66. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.228MB).

Dr. Andrew Saxon

Head of e-Learning, BIAD, Institute of Art and Design, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, West Midlands, UK

Dr. Andrew Saxon is Director of e-learning at Birmingham City University’s Institute of Art and Design, and a University Senior Learning and Teaching Fellow. His research interests lie in the application of arts-based models of designing to software user interface development, the evaluation of the software user interface and user experience design for software. The main focus of this work has been toward web and multimedia software. He is also involved in the development of e-learning initiatives within the Institute’s Learning and Teaching Centre, which he leads. These include the design and evaluation of reusable learning objects, and research into e-pedagogies for art and design. He supervises Doctoral and Masters’ students in the School of Visual Communication.

Sheila Griffiths

Senior Lecturer in Fashion Design, Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, School of Fashion, Textiles and Three Dimensional Design, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, West Midlands, UK

Sheila Griffiths MA, is a Senior Lecturer and Pathway Leader at Birmingham City University’s Institute of Art and Design,where she teaches Pattern Cutting to undergraduate students on all three levels of the BA (Hons) Fashion Design programme and is Garment Technology pathway leader to the final year undergraduates within the School of Fashion,Textiles and Three Dimensional Design. Sheila is also seconded to the Faculty Learning and Teaching Development Centre, where she promotes the use of e-learning to staff within her school. Her research interests include e-learning and the development of on-line learning assets.


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