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How hybrid teaching could help reinvent architectural education – ArchPaper

Responding to our post-pandemic potentials prompt, Bika Sibila Rebek explains how a hybrid online-irl model could mutually benefit students and teachers.


When university classes moved online in March, I felt apprehensive about teaching remotely. Six months later, it turns out that teaching architecture online is not only possible but even offers some advantages. Pleasantly surprised as I was, I don’t wish to reify the dichotomy between remote and in-person learning, as the recent debates around the efficacy of web-based education have. Rather, I am arguing for a hybrid of both models.

Hybrid forms of learning have been around for years, often relegated to skill-building or as a last resort for traveling professors. The pandemic, however, forced their adoption by administrators and educators. For instance, the schools where I teach, Columbia GSAPP and the Yale School of Architecture, have adopted a hybrid approach for the fall semester. Over the summer, GSAPP also launched the web-based Skills Trails platform that builds on the precepts of the “flipped classroom,” whereby pre-recorded, freely accessible tutorial videos open up class time for discussion. Skills Trails and other public platforms like it allow students to learn at their own pace, on campus or off.

The potential for change is huge, up to and including that bedrock of architectural education: the studio. The object of countless memes and inside jokes, studio culture is known to be a relentless slog, involving high rates of production on unreasonable schedules. Space is tight, and physical attendance an unquestioned norm. If the studio environment cultivates camaraderie and mutual inspiration, it also breeds distraction, reinforces elitist attitudes of privilege and exclusion, and, in the time of COVID-19, spreads infection. The opportunities opened to us in recent months posit an alternative, open-door studio, where students have the option to choose their work setting, depending on their needs.

Read on >>>> Source: ArchPaper How hybrid teaching could help reinvent architectural education

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