COVID-19 put a halt to IGNITE’s face-to-face final project events organised for Spring 2020. Given that Spring 2020 was to be the dissemination phase of the project, IGNITE was lucky enough to receive a no-cost extension from the European Commission which allowed us to create an event not envisioned in the original grant proposal: an online Autumn School.
The goal of the autumn school was to teach with the content developed by the IGNITE project to a multidisciplinary, international, and intercultural audience of our peers, colleagues from the creative and cultural industries, as well as students in MA and Ph.D. programmes. This autumn school provided the IGNITE team with the opportunity of realising and testing many of the assumptions behind our course development: that the content was designed and delivered to meet a wide variety of uses and student needs across disciplines.
Courses and workshops were based on IGNITE’s open access course material delivered through the #dariahTeach platform. Between 26 October and 4 December, 75 participants from over 25 countries, from Nepal to Argentina, from Spain to Greece, took part in the multi-week courses instructed by members of the IGNITE Team which included:
- Introduction to Design Thinking and Maker Culture – by Susan Schreibman & Marianne Huang
- How to Practice Design Thinking – by Guido Stompff
- Remaking Material Culture in 3D – by Costas Papadopoulos
- Storytelling for Digital Narratives and Blended Spaces – by Marianne Huang & Susan Schreibman
- Phygital Heritage: Design, Interaction and Evaluation- by Eslam Nofal
Our aim was to fully utilise the IGNITE content to provide a wholly virtual educational experience with asynchronous and synchronous elements, along with an ongoing channel for class chat. Students were given a week to do the asynchronous pre-reading through the IGNITE course content, followed by a weekly synchronous online Zoom tutorial in which participants had the opportunity to present their assignments, share interesting findings, engage in design thinking activities, and connect with fellow students. Feedback from the event was overwhelmingly positive:
“I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of the program.”
“Loved the Autumn School. Wondering if we could have a collaboration for research in these domains.”
“I’d like to thank Costas for this great opportunity. I hope we meet again in the future.”
The pedagogic model proved to be a great success. Given that we are coming to the end of IGNITE funding, we will no doubt look for other opportunities to use it again.