The Rhetoric of Multi-Display Learning Spaces: exploratory experiences in visual art disciplines
Multi-Display Learning Spaces (MD-LS) comprise technologies to allow the viewing of multiple simultaneous visual materials, modes of learning which encourage critical reflection upon these materials, and spatial configurations which afford interaction between learners and the materials in orchestrated ways. In this paper we provide an argument for the benefits of Multi-Display Learning Spaces in supporting complex, disciplinary reasoning within learning, focussing upon our experiences within postgraduate visual arts education. The importance of considering the affordances of the physical environment within education has been acknowledged by the recent attention given to Learning Spaces, yet within visual art disciplines the perception of visual material within a given space has long been seen as a key methodological consideration with implications for the identity of the discipline itself. We analyse the methodological, technological and spatial affordances of MD-LS to support learning, and discuss comparative viewing as a disciplinary method to structure visual analysis within the space which benefits from the simultaneous display of multiple partitions of visual evidence. We offer an analysis of the role of the teacher in authoring and orchestration and conclude by proposing a more general structure for what we term ‘multiple perspective learning’, in which the presentation of multiple pieces of visual evidence creates the conditions for complex argumentation within Higher Education.
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