Report on CAA 2015, New York

AHPT hosted two sessions. The first paper explored the value in applying the Scientific Method to the creation of Knowledge in Art through re-imagining connoisseurship and provenance documentation in a traditional art curriculum. The second paper investigated trends in transforming the traditional first-year art history survey into a World Art History course by re-imagining the curriculum through re-design and on-line resources.

Please contact the presenters directly.

Scientific Method and Knowledge in Art
Dr. Jeffrey Taylor, Assistant Professor of Arts Management
Purchase College, State University of New York

This practical teaching session addressed the intellectual processes of Scientific Method and the creation of Knowledge in Art. The presentation simulated the suggested curriculum, beginning with a lecture that explained the tenets of Scientific Method, and then described the foundations of connoisseurship as well the other essential underpinnings of knowledge in art: provenance documentation and scientific materials analysis.

Teaching Transculturally: Online Resources that Support a World Art History Approach
Nathalie N. Hager, Ph. D. Candidate
The University of British Columbia

This presentation reported on and evaluated the strengths and limitations of current and emerging online resources that can be used in the first-year undergraduate survey classroom to teach art history transculturally. A number of options were explored, with focus on three in particular: MIT’s Visualizing Cultures; the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History; and a new project under development at the UBC Okanagan campus entitled WHAM_World History of Art Mashup.

CAA’s 103rd Annual Conference Reflection
Josh Yavelberg, University of Maryland University College

The questions of outcomes, pedagogical trends, and the future of the survey are currently in question in light of these mounting concerns. The development of communities of practice such as Art History Teacher Resources,, Computers and the History of Art, and Art Historians Interested in Pedagogy and Technology further demonstrate the growing desire for the scholarship of teaching and learning in art history for consideration as an important and necessary issue within the discipline. Finally, the latest CAA annual meeting directly discussed such issues and the desires for developing and recognizing such scholarship moving forward (CAA Education Committee, 2015).

The art history survey course currently stands at a precarious point in the face of mounting pressures from trends and policies in higher education and culture. The survey may regain its importance in helping students develop skills in history, visual literacy, research, writing, and other cross disciplinary outcomes that are required, if not essential, as a twenty-first century learner. In progressing the pedagogy of the art history survey, the survey can meet the challenges of the 21st century (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2002) and further the scholarship of teaching and learning beyond its discipline. The discipline calls for a common set of objectives are set before the art historical community for a more focused direction for leadership of future research and pedagogical practice.

CAA conferences demonstrate a trend toward discussions of technology and pedagogical practice in the art history survey. A review of sessions describing topics related to art history pedagogy since 2003 demonstrates a marked increase in 2006 as described by Wheeler (2006), and the trend fluctuates between three and fifteen papers delivered annually at the conference. Within the association, committees such as Art Historians Interested in Pedagogy and Technology (Formerly the Art history Technology Consortium), the CAA Education Committee, CAA Student and Emerging Professionals Committee, CAA Museum Committee, Pedagogy Issues Forum, Advanced Placement (AP) Program in Art History, the Visual Resources Association, and the Community College Professors of Art and Art History have all chaired sessions with topics covering art history pedagogy since 2003 (College Art Association, 2015). The list of sessions also often describes poster sessions regarding the topic of the study of teaching and learning delivered by such recent organizations as Art History Teaching Resources (AHTR) and a rotation by the CAA Education Committee between topics related to art and art historical instruction.

Often the CAA only holds one or two panels discussing the topics of the study of teaching and learning. This constitutes a small proportion in relation to the entire conference, but the sessions are well attended as noted in the recent panel by the CAA Education Committee, “Learning to Teach and Teaching to Learn: Developing a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning for Art History” delivered at the 2015 conference in New York (College Art Association Education Committee, 2015). The topics questioned the direction of scholarship in the study of teaching and learning and made calls for a journal to legitimize research in the field and aid professors interested in such topics with their tenure process (D’Alleva, 2015). Beyond the CAA, several communities of practice (Wenger, 1998) are continuing to deliver content in the study of teaching and learning. These include Art History Teaching Resources (AHTR) and, which are both growing communities of practice that rely on contributions and review of material by a growing body of experts in the field. These trends describe a growing population of art historians interested in the study of teaching and learning that are growing more connected through the benefits of the digital age, thus organizing toward scholarship in the area; however, all of the research currently remains disjointed, without formal direction, or established support from the leading scholarly organization, CAA.

As I attended the latest CAA conference with an eye toward my dissertation research attempting to better understand the state of SoTL within the discipline, a discipline that is in great need of progress in this area to maintain relevant with the current generation of students and trends within higher education. The Education Committee’s session was highly attended as the panel included well known figures such as Beth Harris and Steven Zucker from Khan Academy. I regret that my own research was not further along as I was also approached to speak with this panel. The main conclusion was a need for a supported venue of scholarship related directly to SoTL in Art History. I quickly rose to the challenge and found several others with interest, even installing an Open Journal System on to begin a venue that may house such scholarship.

The concern over the direction of this scholarship became more evident to me as I attended the business meeting and panel for Art Historians Interested in Pedagogy and Technology (AHPT). My concern was due to the lack of involvement by attendees with this organization that was clearly dedicated to the pursuit of SoTL specifically related to Art History, whereas the Education Committee rotates their panel across artistic disciplines. Unfortunately, when inquiring at the Education Committee about who would be attending the AHPT meeting and panel, many claimed no knowledge or interest. The result was as I had witnessed in the past in attending the business meeting for AHPT, lacking.

AHPT has a focused mission and the advantage of an annual panel at the CAA conference. Their session described transcultural approaches and the use of scientific method to guide art historical practice. As in the past, I came away from the session with a strong energy to engage my own courses and to continue to believe that there is a future for meeting the educational needs of art history, as scholars are rethinking the discipline and its place within the academy. Sadly, this session was not as strongly attended as the earlier Education Committee session which may be due to lack of publicity, a poplar scholar, or even the timing of these sessions. Despite these issues, it would behoove CAA to place more direct support in the area of education and innovation if the discipline wishes to remain relevant within higher education.

I look forward to the future CAA conference where AHPT plans a session, “A Signature Pedagogy for Art History in the Twenty First Century.” This session will undoubtedly strike at many of the issues that I currently find within art historical education and the importance of the CAA to place more emphasis on such issues while the Education Committee will most likely continue their disciplinary rotation and perhaps abandon the momentum produced by their session this past year. With better publicity, AHPT may find a resurgence within CAA, and gain the support it needs to move forward with scholarly production.

Contact Josh Yavelberg to learn more about, a community of practice regarding art historical pedagogy.


College Art Association Education Committee (2015). Learning to teach and teaching to learn: Developing a scholarship of teaching and learning for art history. Cempellin, L. & Sienkewicz, J. Chairs, Paper session presented at the meeting of the College Art Association, New York.

Partnership for 21st Century Skills. (2002). Learning for the 21st century. Tucson, AZ: Partnership for 21st Century Skills. Retrieved from

Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge, U.K. ; New York, N.Y: Cambridge University Press.

Wheeler, D. L. (2006). The arts & academe. Chronicle of Higher Education, 52(27), A10-A11.

College Art Association. (2015). College Art Association annual conference: History of annual meetings and conferences. New York: College Art Association. Retrieved from

Report on SECAC 2014

Bringing Art Conservation and the Sciences into the Art History Classroom
This session aims to bring together art historians, art conservators, and scientists to discuss incorporating art conservation into the art history classroom. Classroom encounters with original works of art are, perhaps, rare and might require on-campus permanent art collections dedicated to students. How might we use these on-campus collections to inspire interest in the physical work of art and the processes of production? What tools and technologies are already available to us for exploring art conservation? How might we collaborate with colleagues in studio art and the sciences? Absent actual works of art, what are the best means for introducing what art historians and art conservators learn from one another? Are new tools and new technologies redefining connoisseurship?
One goal of this session is to integrate STEM into art history through an examination of new and old technologies that focus on the work of art. Contributions to this session might include case studies by faculty who have team-taught interdisciplinary courses, as well as faculty teaching solo who have identified ways to integrate these disciplines. Presentations on technology as well as studio and lab equipment for use in art history classes are especially welcome.
Session Chair: Marjorie Och, University Of Mary Washington.

Report on CAA 2013, New York

AHPT’s ‘content’ session in New York City entitled ‘Rock the Pedagogical Boat: Open Mic + Tweet #caa2013rock,’ was very successful; many thanks to Dr. Janice Robertson (Pratt Institute), Dr. Gale Justin (Pratt Institute), and Janhavi Pakrashi (Pratt Institute)! Over 50 participants talking, tweeting, and listening in the room, were joined by participants tweeting from other parts of the conference! Everyone in the session had a chance to participate and received a ‘speaker’ ribbon. It was an engaging venue resulting in a treasure-trove of ideas about pedagogy and technology, two topics that were sometimes discussed in relation to each other and other times independently. Participants shared tools and methodologies around teaching, including innovative ways to generate class discussion, problem-based learning strategies for research papers and exhibit projects (role-playing!), interactive lecture formats, and non-traditional classroom learning environments (How can images outside the traditional realm of Art History serve as learning tools?). There was much discussion of student-centered learning strategies and ‘flipped’ classrooms – how do we get students to think?! How do we give them ownership? How do we structure the classroom with continual activity and focus that is goal-oriented? There was discussion about how which pedagogical and technological approaches are helpful for intro-level classes and upper-level courses. Complementary and critical analysis of technological tools included discussions about Powerpoint, Prezi, Omeka, and Voicethread, to name a few, and examples were offered to make these tools better and more interactive. Participants expressed their desires for more time to become comfortable using new tools, and questioned how important they were. Assessment has never been more important! A great many participants discussed concerns about the trajectory Higher Education is taking, as related to on-line learning, blended learning, and MOOCs. We were all interested in finding out more about THAT CAMP (more to come about THATCAMP and upcoming CAA conference in our next newsletter). New resources were brought to our attention, including the Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy (, online writing tools (, and a possible new web resource

Check out the new site Janice has put together with a plethora of information about the session! Tweet it!

Report on CAA 2012

Report on CAA 2012, Los Angeles Art Historians Interested in Pedagogy and Technology, with a grant from Wagner College, sponsored a hands-on learning workshop in LA on Thursday, 2/23/12. Entitled ‘Constructive Use of Technology in the Art History Classroom: A Hands-on Learning Workshop,’it offered audience members more opportunity to learn Art History teaching and learning technologies.

Dr. Kelly Donahue-Wallace conducted her workshop on Teaching Art History Online. Dr. Janice Robertson conducted her workshop on Voicethread. Susan Healy conducted her workshop on Prezi. Stephanie L. Thornton-Grant conducted her workshop on OMEKA. Participants spent a solid hour working with one of the workshop facilitators to engage directly with the technology of their choice. Further information and details about each of these workshops and technologies can be found on our website at: Each of these workshops was received with great enthusiasm; many participants left with ideas they want to implement at their home institutions. Through the post-session survey, other ideas were suggested for future sessions, which AHPT will be considering for the 2014 CAA Conference.

Report on SECAC 2012

Report on SECAC Southeastern College Art Conference 2012: “Reflections on Where We Are and Where We Are Going with Technology in the Art History Classroom,” chaired by Marjorie Och, University of Mary Washington.

AHPT sponsored a demonstration-workshop at the annual meeting of the Southeastern College Art Conference in Savannah in November 2011. SCAD hosted the event, and we were particularly grateful to Sandra J. Reed (professor of painting at SCAD) and her colleagues for offering AHPT a classroom at SCAD’s Jen Library that accommodated our session’s need for computer work-stations and internet accessibility. The session, “Reflections on Where We Are and Where We Are Going with Technology in the Art History Classroom,” introduced SECAC members to some new technologies and tools, offered opportunities to try these out with the presenters, and established AHPT in SECAC as a vital group for discussion, networking, and sharing pedagogical insights. The presenters were Fran Altvater (Hillyer College, University of Hartford) on Wikis, Podcasts, and Blogs; Oh, My! Technology and Pedagogy in Parallel in the Art History Classroom, Janice Robertson (Pratt Institute) with VoiceThread Class Projects Turn Text-Based Teaching Practices On Their Head, and Saul Zalesch (Louisiana Tech University) on and Bringing Original Art Ephemera into the Classroom.

Fran talked about ways we might use technology to address “real deficiencies our students have in fundamental academic skills, time management, and academic culture” so our students might achieve greater success in degree programs. She showed us how wikis can be used for group note-taking, and audio casting of her lectures can help her work with a variety of student learning styles. Janice, art history’s VoiceThread guru, walked us through the steps of developing a VoiceThread and demonstrated her students’ academic revelations in their study of sculptural details on the façade of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC. Janice also discussed how she uses VoiceThread to present works to students in a survey-level class that they probably don’t know, and then challenges them to figure out what they are looking at based on her lectures, their readings, and their pursuit of knowledge as they work to identify objects in small VoiceThread groups. Saul presented his website,, dedicated to his personal collection of American ephemera (destined for the Winterthur Museum) that he uses in his art history classes to teach, among other things, how “high style” is echoed in a variety of popular media, and how we can study art and history in such objects as late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century posters, advertisements, and music sheets; as an added treat he brought objects from his collection to show the group.

This was AHPT’s first session as an affiliate of SECAC, and we’re looking forward to a long and mutually rewarding relationship in the coming years. AHPT will sponsor a session at SECAC in 2012…so be looking for this! If any members wish to chair a session at SECAC or CAA in the future, please contact me at or Sarah Scott at

Report on CAA 2011

CAA 2011, New York
Business Meeting, Wednesday, February 9, 7:30-9am

Session: Technology and Collaboration in the Art History Classroom
Wednesday, February 9, 9:30-12pm
Chair: Marjorie Och, University of Mary Washington

Team-Based Wiki Building
Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse, University of Washington

Step Away from the Podium! Adjusting Our Teaching Style to Accommodate Interactive Classroom Learning
Susan Healy, Metropolitan Community College, Omaha

The Sound of Art: Audio-Casting and Student Engagement
Frances Altvater, University of Hartford Hillyer College

Look, Listen, Speak, Text, Draw: VoiceThread TM Changes the Balance of Power
Janice Lynn Robertson, Fashion Institute of Technology

Collaboration in the Virtual Classroom: A Few Strategies that Work
Eva J. Allen, independent art historian

Report on CAA 2009

CAA 2009 Los Angeles
Session 1. Dr. Stephen Carroll, “Pedagogy of Assessment: Assessment of Pedagogy (Taking the Sting out of Assessment).” A 1.5-hour lecture and workshop.

Session 2. Web 2.0 and Art History
Chairs: Kelly Donahue-Wallace, University of North Texas; Eva Allen, University of Maryland University College

Whose Textbook is it Anyway? SmARThistory and Web 2.0
Beth Harris, Fashion Institute of Technology
Steven Zucker, Fashion Institute of Technology

Off With Their Heads: Using Digital Learning Objects to Teach the French Revolution
Andrea Fredericksen, University College London

Case Study: Using Collaborative Technologies to Develop an Online Exhibit in an Art History Seminar
Marjorie Och, University of Mary Washington

The Wagnerpedia “Survey”: A Wiki-Based Study of the Introduction to Art History
Sarah Scott, Wagner College

Visualizing the Maternal Form: Using Wikis for Collaboration in a Graduate Seminar
Denise Baxter, University of North Texas

Toward a Global Local Art History: Wiki to the Rescue
Alan Moore, independent scholar, Staten Island

Report on CAA 2007

CAA 2007 New York
Innovative Course Design Competition

Winner: John Garton, Cleveland Institute of Art, Course: “Curatorial Studies: The Art of Dreams, Escape, and Reverie”

Martha Scotford, NC State University

Marcia Salo, Parsons, The New School, NYC

Sherry C.M. Lindquist, Knox College

Mary Quinlan-McGrath, Northern Illinois University

Report on CAA 2006

2006 Boston
Teaching Art History Online

Chair: Kelly Donahue-Wallace, University of North Texas

Tradition and Innovation: Using New Technologies in Art History Surveys: A Case Study
Eva Allen, University of Maryland

An Orchid in the Land of Art History
Robert Sweeney, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

The Digital Image Library as Social Learning Environment
Beth Harris, Fashion Institute of Technology
Steven Zucker, Fashion Institute of Technology

If You Build It, The Might Not Come: Remarks on Motivating Participation in Online Art History Courses
Geoffrey Simmins, University of Calgary

Pedagogy and Technology (AHPT) 2014 session at CAA in Chicago

Visual Histories in Virtual Spaces: Engaging Students Through Technology

Chair: Judy Bullington, PhD, Chair of the Department of Art and Professor of Art History, Belmont University in Nashville, TN

New technologies and online learning environments create an opportunity for a conceptual rethinking of the way that students learn the histories of art. In a series of ten-minute presentations, participants will demonstrate one innovative way they use technology in their classrooms to enhance student learning and the overall effectiveness of teaching of art history whether the classroom is flipped, traditional, or online. Examples include pedagogical approaches to object-based learning in an environment that simulates actual viewing experiences such as curating for a virtual gallery, or the development of learning activities that engage students through online game-like platforms. Best practices, especially those that transition students from being passive ‘consumers’ of digital media to ‘producers’ of content, are highlighted as is the use of technology to enable student-centered discoveries as a means of illuminating dynamic relationships between historical knowledge and the visual arts. Inherent in this producer-based model is the need to address strategies for gaining a functional understanding of new media, interface design, and digital information fluency that make studies in art history relevant in, and responsive to, the changing landscape of higher education. While the presentations focus upon a series of specific and successful student projects, it is anticipated that this will lead to a broader set of discussions between the panelists and the audience around topics of mutual interest and concern, not the least of which is the implementation, assessment, and sustainability of technology-enhanced learning environments.