35 MICA students in Baltimore, MD / 22 Miami students in Oxford, Ohio—our project began with this question: How can 57 students in three sections from two very different institutions collaborate across time and space? How can they co-create? With this query in mind, we began an educational experiment.
To structure this project, we created a framework populated by a diverse set of students. The word LINKED emerged as our topic, our theme, and as our project structure. We asked our students to think about ways in which they saw themselves as members of their social groups and citizens in a connected society. Each student was assigned one a letter, and asked to create a module, a two-second animation of it. The workflow used existing online platforms—Googledocs, Flickr, and Vimeo—and required little technical expertise. A good portion of our students were not art or design students, so we could rely on no prior experience with creative platforms or access to proprietary software.
The result was LINKED, a 17 second animation (http://vimeo.com/11199276). This project inspired our students to think beyond their own classroom to evolving forms of co-creation and encouraged them to celebrate individual perspectives and voices.
(Linked was developed by Helen Armstrong, Miami University, and Zvezdana Stojmirovic, The Maryland Institute College of Art.)