By Haley Hinze ʼ14
Art classes have always meant spending long
hours in front of an easel or table, but
William Woods University professor
of art, noticed the public studio could be a
bit intimidating for a beginning artist.
Martin said he enjoys working in his own
studio and thought students could also set
up a home studio and benefit from the
accessibility of the space at home, much
the same as he does.
This year, with the help of other
faculty members, Martin has created
two online art classes for traditional and
William Woods alumna
Dr. Roger Wen
associate academic dean in charge of
distance education, and
Dr. Susan Jones
assistant professor of education, worked
closely with Martin to develop Internet-based
basic design and art appreciation courses.
Martin felt that the “creative team
approach helped with the quality” of
The online classes are organized similarly
to traditional art courses. Martin uploads
PowerPoint presentations that take the place
of daily lectures. Assignments are posted, and
students are expected to upload digital images
of their work, accompanied by self-critiques.
Students have the opportunity to comment
on each other’s work through forums,
something Martin sees as a major benefit to
the online class.
For some reason, students are reluctant to
critique in the classroom. They feel freer to
type online,” he said.
Even though the classes take place solely
on the Internet, some of the students have
come to Kemper Arts Center to show off
their work, ask for guidance, and tour the
Martin came up with the idea to create
an online art class based on a dream.
I’ve always had a dream to teach students
in a different country,” he said. “The fact that
students come from different backgrounds is
helpful, and it is good to embrace diversity.”
He added, “Art is a universal language, not
limited to a particular area. Creativity creates
a respect for values, beliefs, and cultures of
others. This is enhanced by students seeing
from as many points of view as possible.”
The idea also originated in a basic design
assignment that required students to upload
photos to Facebook.
Both the basic design and art appreciation
classes have received affirmative responses
The students are proactive, uploading
digital images of their final pieces, as well as
pictures of their progression.
I am a creative coach more than a lecturer
and I let students explore art in their own
way,” Martin said.
He believes online classes are important to
the future of higher education, and students
will eventually be able to earn their degrees
by taking courses from various schools to
build the program of study of
Overall, Martin is certain he is headed
in the right direction. Computers are
becoming a major creative tool, and
art is becoming digital as technology
The assumption that the studio is
necessary to create is not the case,”
to create in