Sharing AU expertise in online learning
While the COVID-19 global pandemic has forced educators to adapt to online learning, the RAIC Centre for Architecture at Athabasca University (AU) is way ahead of the curve.
Offering Canada’s only fully online undergraduate degree in architectural studies since 2014, the transition at AU has not been as challenging as for other schools—and program chair Dr. Douglas MacLeod is sharing some key insights into learning online.
“As architecture schools across the country scramble to move courses and studios online, the RAIC Centre for Architecture at Athabasca University is helping their colleagues in the United States and Canada to facilitate this transition,” he said.
In an article published in Canadian Architect, he outlines some key insights into online learning.
You can read an excerpt below, or read the full article on the Canadian Architect website.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused over 100,000 infections in Canada alone. It has also disrupted the country’s education system. According to a recent study by RBC, some two million university and college students—let alone scores of school-aged children—have had their classes moved online.
“While this is a “new normal” for most post-secondary institutions, at the RAIC Centre for Architecture at Athabasca University, we have been running a completely online program in architectural education for the last 10 years. Through its Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Graduate Diploma in Architecture, the Alberta-based (but entirely online) institution offers a full spectrum of virtual courses and studios. The courses, ranging from history to structures, are offered asynchronously, allowing students to work independently and at their own pace. The studios are synchronous, with students meeting via videoconference each week with their instructor and with fellow students.
“What we have learned over the past decade is particularly pertinent to the current situation, in which many architecture classrooms will remain shuttered through the fall. While unfortunate, the widespread closures of physical architecture schools also affords an opportunity to re-examine, through a larger lens, how we are educating the next generation of architects.”
This excerpt is from the September 2020 edition of Canadian Architect. Read the full long-form story on the Canadian Architect website.