The reluctant learner: encouraging engagement with CGI animation tools

Clark, Mat (2018) The reluctant learner: encouraging engagement with CGI animation tools. In: Educating Animators Academic Conference, 16 November 2018, Media City, University of Salford. (Unpublished)

Abstract

Working in higher education is amazing, sharing accumulated knowledge and skills that will help to shape young minds and attitudes, and ensuring that students are prepared to enter their chosen industry or profession upon graduation is a gratifying career. There is always a downside though, I don’t mean the endless administrative tasks which mount up over the course of a semester, in this context I refer to the reluctant learner. The course on which I teach is a broad programme that encourages students to explore their options before committing focus towards the animation medium in which they would prefer to specialise, my area of expertise is 3D modelling and animation. The complexity of most 3D animation software solutions can raise barriers for potential learners and initial enthusiasm for learning often turns to frustration as layers of menus, unfamiliar tools and new terminology is laid before them. It is our responsibility to offer all learners the opportunity to experience a variety of available animation mediums and to facilitate student development so that they can fulfil and hopefully enjoy the tasks that we set them. I would like to talk about my practice, through which I aim to ensure that all of my students appreciate how the tools of 3D modelling and animation can be useful to, and applied across, the gamut of animation mediums, and the methods that can be employed to engage learners with complex software so that they not only understand but enjoy the experience.

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