The virtual gallery
An online gallery of eighteen bespoke artworks, created and embedded into the distance-learning MSc Psychology and Neuroscience of Mental Health, to prompt student discussion and creative responses to course content.
The MSc in Psychology and Neuroscience of Mental Health is a fast-paced course taught through a series of six-week modules that occur back to back throughout the year. Mastery of the material is prioritised over time for reflection, which is problematic for consolidation of information and developing students’ ability for critical appraisal. Another major issue facing distance learning programmes is perceived isolation among students.
Students were invited to evaluate artworks in the virtual gallery and express their thoughts on the programme content. This pilot programme aimed to deepen the quality of their critical and reflective responses, and offered students a meaningful opportunity to interact with one another beyond the course, helping them to feel part of a large and vibrant community of learners.
Each artwork in the online gallery corresponded to an aspect of the programme. Students were invited to react to the works of art and their accompanying texts via the bespoke ‘Arts in Mind’ discussion board. The gallery and discussion board were also incorporated into the accompanying online site for the King’s Experience module A Beautiful Mind: Art, Science, and Mental Health, a co-curricular module which explores mental illness through diverse perspectives from the social sciences and the humanities.
‘The Virtual Gallery’ enabled students to link artistic pieces to the topics they were studying in multi-layered, metaphorical ways which opened up riuch new perspectives. Students reported that they felt the programme added to their learning, providing an enjoyable and thought-provoking experience.
As a future autism researcher and student of psychology and neuroscience, I often think of the conceptualisation and public perception of autism...what I see in this picture is just different developmental trajectories without any conflict, misunderstanding or stigma. There is harmony. Different individuals embark on different developmental journeys which presents them with unique sets of problems as well as unique advantages.
Looking at Duende, ... a few ideas came to my mind in the light of psychosis teachings in this module so far... Thank you for the inspiration and the invitation to use new eyes.
Dr Dawn Albertson, Principle Teaching Fellow, IoPPN,in collaboration with Catherine Lamont-Robinson, Artist.