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Blended training activities in on-line and on-site exploration of the urban structures

Michał Stangel


Training activities at the Architecture Faculty of Silesian University of Technology have shown the success of extending educational forms beyond traditional classes, and have incorporated interactive and immersive methods, such as workshops, site trips, Project Based Learning, interdisciplinary seminars, etc. Such practices resulted in better engagement from the students and generally improvement of the quality educational experiences. However, the lock-down and imposing of distant learning since March 2020 have largely limited the innovative teaching forms and limited them to online interaction through various communication platforms. While the university seems to have adapted very well to the new situation in terms of lectures, design studios and drawing consultations; it proved quite challenging to realize engaging seminars and vivid discussions. The paper presents authors search and experiments with methods of extending beyond basic content to fruitful discussions and evoking interest and enthusiasm in the students, to find immersive educational methods in the new situation. These included testing various available online tools for communication, teamwork and urban analyses; deliberately blending online communication with traditional paper sketching and note taking; online workshops with invited guest speakers; as well as mixing online classes with real-life on-site activities and analyses performed by the students. An opposite situation was also tested, where the teacher was located in the urban space, lecturing and recording clips for the ArchéA online course. The evaluation of the course has shown that the students have highly appreciated the created training milieu, which resulted in their commitment, activeness, eagerness to both sharing own experiences and teamwork, and generally evoked the desired sensitivity and interest in urbanity and understanding the urban structures.

Parole chiave

ArchéA; blended flexible training; best practices

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