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Emergency Remote Teaching Resource

Adapting Studio Courses for Emergency Remote Learning

This resource has been created to share resources, links and information on how to pivot, change and adapt studio courses to an remote/online format. While the focus is on studio courses, we have also included general resources that would benefit other modes including lectures, seminars, graduate teaching, and so forth. 

This resource has been compiled, in part, with reference from a survey that was distributed to instructors in The Creative School. The resource acts as a toolkit to workshop creative studio courses into inclusive, diverse and sustainable models for remote access learning and teaching.

Please note that some of the tools listed in this resource have varied costs. The resources below are not recommendations but rather a listing of common or potentially useful tools. Instructors are responsible for their use of non-TMU supported tools and communicating any potential privacy/security issues. 

This resource is developed by Joseph Medaglia, Associate Professor, School of Fashion and Alysia Myette, Research Assistant and Contract Lecturer. 

Pivoting, Changing and Adapting

Instructors indicated key factors to success in online teaching including a) time to prepare their courses to be offered remotely b) flexibility in delivery and c) regular communication with students. Although classes may be offered at a physical distance, multiple forms of software are available to offer both audio and video course delivery. While the resources are plentiful, it is advised that departments try to develop some common tools which will alleviate stress for instructors and students alike. In addition, understanding the privacy and security of this software is integral when adapting courses for online delivery. 

Teaching remotely, even with accessible software and tools, can present many challenges. Many problem areas and common issues with adapting studio courses to an online format include a) not having access to physical space and materials b) a lack of in-person communication with colleagues and students and c) student’s inability to self-direct in studies. 

Common issues faced by students

  • Lack of physical or private space
  • Access to equipment
  • Financial insecurity
  • Disruption in lifestyle faced during COVID-19
  • Access to a steady and reliable internet connection
  • Difficulty in being self-sufficient

Common issues for instructors

  • Lack of physical or private space
  • Access to equipment (both studio equipment and audio/video recording devices)
  • Difficulty tracking individual project progress and maintaining engagement with their online delivery of courses
  • Handing in physical projects and assignments

Benefits to Online Courses (written by Alysia Myette)

Although hands-on learning can be one of the most effective teaching and learning styles for creative studio courses, there are also many benefits to learning remotely as well. Offering studio courses digitally disrupts the ideas of what a classroom looks like. This disruption is not only physical (where the classroom is located) but temporal (when the class takes place). A benefit of this disruption is that it can transform your studio classroom into a diverse and inclusive learning environment.

This disruption can also be an act of disability justice when a class is held on “crip time” and is grounded in human needs. "Crip time" is defined as ‘a reorientation to time’ that requires reimagining our notions of what can and should happen in time, or recognizing how expectations of ‘how long things take’ are based on very particular minds and bodies (Katzman, Kinsella and Polzer 521,532). By offering classes online and on crip time, we are allowing for all bodies to access the class on their own time. This also allows for flexibility and autonomy for students.

Incorporating a “crip time” learning strategy into a studio course may look like posting a series of accessible video tutorials for students to watch on their own time or audio recorded lectures with a corresponding PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation that students can listen to.

Additionally, offering online formats to studio courses can offer an aspect of sustainability. Without the need to commute or travel between home and the university, both instructors and students are reducing and even eliminating the amount of vehicular transit to classes. By removing travel time from the commute to and from an institution, this maximizes the time you have to both interact with students and other faculty as well as your free time.


AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act)

“Based off the 2001 Ontarians with Disabilities Act, the Ontario government decided to further elaborate on this Act. In 2005, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) came into effect, making Ontario the first province to enact such ground-breaking legislation. This new Act’s purpose is to create accessibility standards that organizations from public, private, and non-profit sectors must follow and to make an accessible province for all Ontarians.” For more information, please visit (external link) .

LMS (Learning Management System) 

Toronto Met uses D2L Brightspace as their chosen Learning Management System (LMS). Other institutions may use programs such as Blackboard, Canvas, EduMe, etc. 

MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses)

A massive open online course (MOOC) is a Web-based distance learning program that is designed for the participation of large numbers of geographically dispersed students.  

The Digital Media Projects (DMP) Toolbox 
TMU supported tools, including GSuite, Zoom, D2L Brightspace, are listed on the website above. There is technical support available at TMU for these tools, and they have been vetted for privacy and security. 

Toronto Met Library & Archives Resources

Fashion and Design Databases

This resource is an active document. Please forward any additional recommendations for resources to Joseph Medaglia.