Each week the Virtual Learning Environment (which in UoE is called 'LEARN') will release resources for you to engage with.

Resources are 'drip-fed' using LEARN's "adaptive release" function: generally speaking, this means that resources are released one week at a time. So, while this course has its own Resource List that you can consult at any time, the e-tivities specific required reading will only be released when required.

Why are the resources 'drip-fed'?

This is how Blackboard (who design the LEARN VLE) rationalise this:


This means that you/your group learn at the same pace. This is important in this course because you all need to work in sync with each other in order to be able to learn together.

There are a number of different types of learning resource for each week of this course; many of these resources do not exist on the Resource List (namely because they are not books!)

Here is a quick glossary:

Media presentation

You will sometimes be given a few short media presentations to view. A media presentation might be video, audio, Slides, a mind-map, etc. Because websites enable multimedia, we will use this symbol to designate a media presentation.

You can review these as often as you like. Media presentations also like outwards to a range of resources that are external to the course materials generated by your tutors: including reading, fieldwork, and forms 'experiential' learning.

It's very important to realise that these 'external' resources are more important than the media provided by the course tutors: they are 'live' examples of open artistic learning in practice. As open learners, we all need to learn how to curate content that already exists in the world. In doing so, we each will create a Personal Learning Environment (PLE).


Reading signifies Academic journals, books, art magazines, websites. There are two types of reading:

  1. Resource Lists: You will find your general reading in Resource Lists; an online bibliography linked to the Edinburgh University Library. The Full Resource List for this course is available online.
  2. Weekly Reading: You can use, and share, this list as you wish. However, you should be careful to follow the specific resources that are set in the Course VLE. You will find bespoke reading embeded within Media presentations and e-tivities

Experiential learning

Experiential learning is learning by 'doing'. Some of the things that you are asked to do are called 'experiential' forms of learning. This means that you need to actively do something in order to learn. In such cases, your learning resource is 'experiential'; this means that you learn from what you experience. Course media and e-tivities can signpost how you might initiate a learning experience, but it is you that has to act in order to have the experience.


Fieldwork involves you investigating a particular field; it means leaving the studio/study to engage with a non-artistic/non-scholarly space. When you conduct Fieldwork, you need to make some Fieldnotes so that you can later report on what you found out. Fieldnotes are placed in a Fieldnotebook. This is similar to a sketchbook or regular notebook. Your notes can take whatever form works for you.

This is a good introduction to fieldwork:

Christopher Pole; Sam Hillyard. What is Fieldwork? Doing Fieldwork, ISBN: 9780761959649 https://dx-doi-org.ezproxy.is.ed.ac.uk/10.4135/9781473966383

You might also want to read this to place it in an artistic context:

Marcus, G. E. (2010). "Contemporary Fieldwork Aesthetics in Art and Anthropology: Experiments in Collaboration and Intervention." Visual Anthropology 23(4): 263-277.


Media presentations normally scaffolded within a 'learning module'. This is a sequential pathway that you follow and complete. Media are therefore often proceeded by a diagnostic (most commonly a short quiz or Q&A) to determine what you understood and what you still need help with. This diagnostic enables the course tutors to engage and support you with anything that's not clear, or that you are struggling with.