2013 AICAD Conference at MICA

Join your AICAD colleagues in a wide ranging discussion of what we are all committed to: teaching and learning in the arts. We will convene at a unique juncture in history. The conditions affecting art and design education today argue for bold new approaches in both form and content.

New Paradigms in Teaching and Learning

November 7-9, 2013

Maryland Institute College of Art
1300 W. Mt. Royal Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21217

The 2013 AICAD Symposium will focus on the premise that the cultural, technological, and economic conditions affecting art and design education today argue for bold new approaches in the form and organizational framework of its delivery as well as its content. It will seek to bring Faculty, Deans, Provosts, and Presidents from AICAD member schools into a joint exploration of this premise that will be centered upon the following sequence of themes and related questions:


  • What is the profile of the art/design student today? 
  • What do our graduates do with their degrees? 
  • What are the changing external environments and changes in the creative industries? 
  • How are economic considerations affecting options within higher education, particularly in our member schools? 
  • What is the impact of actions/positions taken within accrediting bodies and the Department of Education on curriculum development and delivery?


  • How do students learn? 
  • What has changed, what is constant? 
  • What does the latest research in cognitive-neuro science tell us? What are its implications for pedagogy and student learning? 
  • What are the implications of on-line teaching/learning such as MOOCS or social media/social networks for art and design colleges?


  • What do students today need to know? 
  • What do we add? What is new? 
  • What do we keep? Is there content that has been traditionally taught that is no longer necessary or should be renovated? 
  • What is the case for the traditional disciplines? 
  • What is the appropriate relationship between studio, academics, and professional development programming? 
  • What is the appropriate role of interdisciplinarity? Or, where is the intersection between art/design education and other disciplines, e.g., sciences, engineering, business? What new areas of investigation/content do these relationships suggest? 
  • What does research mean for the education of the artist/designer? 
  • What is the role or relative value of external engagement in art/design education? 
  • What is the role/relative value of international engagement? 
  • What are the implications of content changes on desired outcomes?



  • How do changes in content affect approaches to delivery? Within fine arts? Within design? 
  • To what degree do economic considerations affect or drive explorations in new forms of delivery? 
  • How does increased variety in the range of content being taught under the umbrella of art/design education call for greater variation in approach/delivery? 
  • What new pedagogical tools are available to us? How do they inform/effect approach? 
  • What are new pedagogical models? How should we be teaching today? 
  • How should we support student learning today? 
  • What are new or alternative structural models for higher art/design education? Residential model? Online models? Hybrid models?
    Alternatives to degree programs, e.g., shorter intense certificate programs? 
  • How do partnerships with outside entities contribute to the enrichment of student learning?


  • The credit hour: are there alternative means for measuring work/achievement?
  • What are the tools for assessing student learning? 
  • What are effective ways of utilizing the variable resources: 
    • People: faculty, technicians 
    • Time; physical space; equipment
    • Virtual space: e.g., internet, learning management systems, Lynda, etc. 
    • Extra institutional physical resources: study abroad, partnerships, services