Center for Distance Learning Arts Mentor Alice Lai Presents Scholarly Work at Conferences; Publishes Paper
By John Eisler, associate dean, Center for Distance Learning
May 14, 2015
Alice Lai, Center for Distance Learning mentor and associate professor for The Arts, presented her peer-reviewed scholarly work at major international conferences in Las Vegas and New Orleans.
She gave a presentation titled, "Inequalities in Online Education," at the 26th Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference in Las Vegas and subsequently published a paper in the proceedings with the same title. In the paper, Lai analyzes cases of social inequalities, the digital divide and digital natives versus digital immigrants; reviews feminist theories; and discusses underprivileged social groups (e.g., low or unstable income families, non-Asian minorities, senior citizens, rural households and the disabled) in relation to challenges they experienced in online education. Drawing from a case study conducted in an undergraduate online art course, she examines inequalities in relation to difficulties students encounter in online learning. Lai has presented at this conference several times, and in 2010 was awarded one of five "Best Paper" awards.
She also gave two presentations and one co-presentation at the 55th National Art Education Association annual conference in New Orleans, which had only a 41 percent acceptance rate for proposals this year. Two presentations, "The 'Art' of Online Course Design" and "Aesthetics and Functional Considerations in Designing an Online Art Course," addressed course design in the arts. The audience was especially interested in hearing/seeing more examples of online arts courses, faculty training for developing and teaching online arts courses and design elements that make an arts course both visually and cognitively engaging, while improving the course navigation experience.
Her presentation, "Rainbow Looms and Girly Design: Liberation or Exploitation of Femininity?" received enthusiastic responses from the audience, many of whom expressed that they had been thirsting to learn more as art educators about this kind of topic. Immediately after the presentation, a teacher-resources developer, Dr. Jennifer Combe, from The Caucus of Social Theory in Art Education, invited Lai and her co-presenter, Yichien Cooper, from Washington State University, Tri-Cities, to publish their "flipping gender curriculum" on the CSTAE digication portfolio website.
Lai has presented annually at NAEA, the flagship conference for art education, since 1999. Her artwork was previously displayed at the conference. Her three NAEA presentations this year also germinated new scholarly projects, including an international cross-cultural online teaching project that will have Lai collaborating with Dr. Eliza Pitri of University of Nicosia, Cyprus. Lai also was invited to co-author a book on gender and art education to be published by Southwest Normal University Press for the academic market in the People's Republic of China.
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