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"Extending opportunities for peer interaction in a distance education subject about music and visual arts for primary teachers"


Design Team
  Team: Frances Alter and Terrence Hays


  Focus: Collaborative
  Discipline: Education & Educational Technology
  Target: Undergraduate (early)
  ICT used: Web plus LMS (Learning Management System)
  Scope: Entire length of subject/unit/course

Designer's Summary


As students in this learning design have had little or no prior background in music or visual arts, the reading and reference material as well as the learning tasks are designed to help them gain an understanding of the general theory and practice involved in both disciplines. The content of the learning design is structured around both making and appraising music and visual arts. Therefore, students are able to compose and perform music and create visual art works while also analysing and appreciating the work of other artists (in both a past and present social and cultural context).

The challenge has been to support students in their development of artistic knowledge and skills without the aid of continual direct face-to-face teaching. This is largely because there is a strong performative aspect to both of these art forms.

Students enrolled in past years have said that keeping regular communication with others in the class group assisted them in their studies and gave them a collective identity as well as important moral support. Another important aspect of the online experience was that students were able to share and critique their own and each others performances or artworks. It was also an opportunity for students to begin to discuss issues related to teaching the creative arts in a primary school setting.

Comment from the Project Team...

The evaluators of this exemplar experienced difficulty in identifying what constituted the "learning design" - whether it encompassed the entire subject/unit or referred only to the online discussions. For the purposes of the evaluation, the evaluators examined the online discussion component of the subject/unit and their summary of the learning design was:

"An online shared space to facilitate communication between distance learners and exchange of resources."

Upon closer examination of this exemplar by the Project Team, it was concluded that the learning design is implemented at the subject/unit level and its focus is to extend opportunities for peer interaction amongst students.

Rationale for Inclusion


This exemplar has been selected for inclusion for the following reason:

  • It represents a learning design that utilises ICT to foster peer interaction amongst distance education students learning how to teach visual arts and music.

Please Cite As:

  Alter, F. & Hays, T. (2002). Description of Extending opportunities for peer interaction in a distance education subject about music and visual arts for primary teachers. Retrieved , from Learning Designs Web site:
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