Students during a visual art short course from Lasalle College. PHOTO: LASALLE COLLEGE OF THE ARTS

SINGAPORE – Local fine arts institutions are jumping on the home-based learning bandwagon by offering short online courses during the current Covid-19 outbreak.

Tertiary institutions Lasalle College of the Arts and the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Nafa) are putting up a total of nearly 40 courses online, including travel sketching, animation and acting.

Lasalle’s Continuing Education Programme team is introducing 11 new short courses designed for beginners planning to take up a new hobby and learn more about art and design topics.

The short courses, which are all live and interactive, will be conducted via video conferencing app Zoom.

Sessions will be helmed by faculty members from Lasalle as well as industry experts and alumni members engaged by the school.

The online medium of teaching has also enabled the institution to reach out to instructors overseas.

The creative writing classes, for example, will be taught by an instructor based in Canada.

Lasalle’s president, Professor Steve Dixon, said that while the college had already been considering taking its short courses such as Asian Art Histories and Creative Writing to a digital platform, the coronavirus pandemic has hastened its plans to adopt technology for its courses.

“The online platform makes our short courses more accessible to a wider audience who may not be able to make it down to Lasalle.

Students during a course on Interior Design from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. PHOTO: NANYANG ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS

“We are also thinking of blended courses in the future. It is possible that some courses may take place partly online, and partly in person, to give students the best of both worlds. Students can listen to a lecture online, do the coursework at home then gather in class to mingle and discuss their work,” he said.

Prof Dixon added that this period has also made people receptive towards online delivery of classes, and the school will consider running online short courses alongside their physical ones in the future.

Some of the short courses offered by the school online include Watercolour Painting, Creative Design and Fashion Portraits, which span eight weeks beginning in June.

Other short courses are available between June and September and span anywhere between four and 14 sessions.

Readers can find out more about the courses at this website.

Similar to Lasalle, Nafa’s Centre for Lifelong Education (CLE) is introducing a certificate course in Design Experience and Interface as well as eight new short courses including Proposal Writing and Fundraising & Arts Policy.

The academy is also moving two existing short courses and five certificate courses online in lieu of the circuit breaker.

Ms Sabrina Long, dean of CLE and Nafa’s School of Art & Design, said the academy was introducing online courses as they were beneficial for both arts practitioners wishing to develop professionally and arts enthusiasts looking to enrich themselves.

Lecturers from Nafa’s diploma and degree programmes will be conducting the classes, which are open to those above 17.

Online registration for the classes runs until May 29, with a corresponding study period from June 29 to Sept 6.

Readers can find out more information about the classes at this website and sign up here.

Readers above 25 can tap their $500 SkillsFuture credit for most of these courses at Lasalle and Nafa.

Students can also tap the National Silver Academy Funding (for those aged 50 and above) and the Union Training Assistance Programme (for NTUC members) for the courses at Nafa.

This article was originally published on The Straits Times.