Computer assisted learning & teaching of art: A case study of teacher education in Hong Kong

Lok Wa Vanessa LI

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


Computer technology has become a vital element which takes part in almost every aspect of our lives. In visual art, it acts as media for studio art production, tools for learning instruction, and tools for classroom management. However, the development of computer assisted learning in Hong Kong is still in an initial stage. As an educator of art, it is part of my responsibilities to study on the potential and effectiveness of computer application in the learning and teaching of art. This case study research of a programme of teacher education aims to find out the competency and attitude of prospective art teachers towards computer assisted learning and teaching. Result can pave way for future development of computer application for art teaching and learning in teacher education and in primary schools in Hong Kong. New Technology and Art Education: Computer technologies have enormous potential and advantages in enhancing and expanding the way of teaching and learning art in schools. Pupils can experiment their ideas on the screen without fearing of making mistakes and can easily try out their ideas and visualize their images in mind (Mathieson, 1993). These playful and relaxed working processes are a vital avenue leading to creativity (Greh, 1990). In teaching, on-line computer images provide enormous images through the net with a relatively lower cost (Heise,1996). Manipulating images on the screen allows more flexibility in teaching art appreciation and criticism than using slides for presentation (Greh, 1990). With the use of computer, pupils can 'save' part of the process and teachers are free to involve in the interim of their work (Greh, 1990). Computer application provides alternative ways for learning. For example the extensive use of World Wide Web makes thousands of works from major museums uploaded to the Net and on CD ROM which provides means to ponder, confer, and analyze everything from the most obscure artists; and allows life-long art-based learning (Heise, 1996). The interactive nature of information technology can lead to teamwork and co-operation amongst pupils and teachers (Mathieson, 1993). In short, computer technologies can impact art education in four ways: as media for studio art production, as tools for instruction, as tools for classroom management, as an alternative way of learning. Despite the advantages of computer technologies in education, schools are criticized for underutilized the computers they have (Dunn, 1996). It is even worse that art subject always get the least priority of accessing a computer (Dunn, 1996). Perhaps teachers in this area are too scare to request due to their own deficiency of computer knowledge. In order to implement technology into art education successfully, teachers need to understand and become proficient with this new media (Hesie, 1996). However, the existing courses of primary art teacher education in Hong Kong do not provide future teachers with either sufficient facilities or training for teaching or learning of art with computer, thus it is difficult to determine its education effectiveness. One way to predict the effects of computer assisted teaching and learning of art is to implement it into the curriculum of pre-service teacher education and assess future teachers' attitude towards and competency of applying computer technologies into art teaching and learning. Responses can pave way for the future development of computer application for art teaching and learning in teacher education and in primary schools. Research Problems: The research aims to find out future teachers' competencies and attitude of computer assisted learning and teaching of art after training is provided in the institute of teacher education in Hong Kong. Methodology: Design: Qualitative methods which facilitate the understanding of human behaviour (Marshall & Rossman, 1995) are used in a case study exploring the outcome of and the attitude towards application of computer technologies into teaching and learning of art of prospective art teachers. Since the institute of education in which the case study is carried out is a unique institute of this nature in Hong Kong and it is not the intention of the researcher to generalize any concept in the research, a single case study research will be done. Participants: Participants are a group of year-one pre-service art teachers (n=22) receiving teacher education in the institute of education in Hong Kong seeking certificate of education in primary teaching. Computer Integration: The use of computer technologies is incorporated into the design of learning materials for primary school art classes in the module of art curriculum studies of a pre-service primary certificate teacher education course. The class will be divided into 4 groups with a group leader who has acquired some basic knowledge on computer graphics outside the institute in each group. Each group will design a curriculum for primary level consisting of five art learning activities of a theme related to pupils' daily life in Hong Kong. The conceptual framework of those activities will be based on the approach of Discipline-Based Art Education that art criticism, art making, art history and aesthetics are four disciplines of learning. The perception of formal elements of visual art is the raw materials for creating art and understanding art (Spratt, 1989) and works of art by mature artists are central to the organization of curriculum and to integration of content from the disciplines, thus masterpieces will be selected for the introduction of art knowledge (Dobbs, 1992). In the curriculum, students will design the learning objectives, content and activities, and will be required to make use of computer technology to modify, adjust, where suitable and necessary, and present visual references. Procedures: Data will be collected from participant observation during lectures and computer workshops, interviews, written lesson plans for the module, and computer mediated visual materials presented at the end of the module. Participant observation: Data will be collected mainly by participant observation since the researcher herself will implement some computer technologies into the existing module which is new to the module. Participant observation is basic for data gathering to all qualitative studies that the researcher can perceive and experience reality as the participants do (Marshall & Rossman, 1995) as the researcher will spend plenty of time in the setting, having dialogue with participants inside and outside the specific setting, observing participants' working process and their interaction. Interviews: Three small group interview sessions, some other informal interviews and a tape-recorded interview session with the whole class of participants will be conducted over a ten-week period (excluding 5 weeks' teaching practice in between the ten-week period). Lesson plan and computer mediated visual materials: A unit containing five lesson plans describing the topic and objectives of their lesson written for the module will be collected from each group of pre-service teacher participants and individual participant. Computer mediated visual materials derived from master pieces for the introduction of learning content will be presented. Data analysis: Data analysis will be guided by hypotheses and the related literature developed earlier in the proposal (Marshall & Rossman, 1995) Significance of the Research: Since computer technologies involve in almost every aspect of our daily lives including every field of study in the visual art, so art education can no longer be set apart from the imaging technology (Madeja, 1993). In order to facilitate the effectiveness of art education within the age of advanced technology, computer literacy must be raised to the status of an expected educational outcome (White, 1983). The Report on Review of 9-year Compulsory Education also recommends that the use of computer technologies should be strengthened in initial teacher education (Sub-committee on Review of School Education, Board Education, 1997). Research on how future teachers and students can cope with the challenges is therefore vital for educators and professionals concerned.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1997


Li, L. W. V. (1997, November). Computer assisted learning & teaching of art: A case study of teacher education in Hong Kong. Paper presented at the Hong Kong Educational Research Association (HKERA) 14th Annual Conference: Compulsory Education and Beyond, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China.


Dive into the research topics of 'Computer assisted learning & teaching of art: A case study of teacher education in Hong Kong'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.