Kadenze: Learning About or Learning by Doing?

Kadenze is an online learning platform “developed to benefit students and faculty members of the creative arts“.

A preliminary analysis of the course syllabus for “Introduction to Generative Arts and Computational Creativity“, suggests that learning is framed by structures of learning about, rather than learning through doing or performance, as there is no indication of how Kadenze itself can be used to evince learning by Doing it With Others (DIWO).


There is mention of the course providing “an in-depth introduction and overview of the history and practice of generative arts.”

It “offers an ontology of the various degrees of interactivity and generativity found in current art practices”, and “surveys the current production in the field of generative art across creative practices”, to “introduce the various algorithmic approaches, software, and hardware tools being used in the field”, and finally address “relevant philosophical and societal debates issues associated with the field”.


Projects 60%

Quizzes 30%

Assignments 10%

Quizzes suggest that learning is framed by the acquisition metaphor, where Kadenze’s primary function appears to be facilitating content transmission by the “course instructor” (didactically “instructing” learners, rather than dialogically and reflexively guiding, facilitating and discussing), who aims to test learners’ recall ability of delivered syllabus content.

As if learning in the creative arts can be engendered mechanically transmitted or digitally transferred and hence acquired by learners via the metaphorical Nurnberg funnel, illustrated below.


Delivered content does not engender learning, just as learning about swimming differs from learning swimming. Learning Generative Arts and Computational Creativity by doing, requires learners to generate art and compute creatively, through Kadenze, as the the mediating technology or online medium.

Like OSS, the Kadenze course designer could go beyond learning by doing, by facilitating learning by Doing It With Others (DIWO) as a Computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) technology.

The Course Designer’s Philosophy of Human Learning

It is abundantly clear that like OSS, Kandenze has the potential for CSCL-facilitated learning by DIWO, but this technological affordance, cannot be fully exploited, if the course designer stubbornly clings onto Cartesian and empiricist epistemologies of learning that are oriented towards outcomes (rather than process) and advocate instructing, training and conditioning, for knowledge acquisition, retention and recall (rather than learning by doing).

It is thus imperative that course designers reframe their notions of learning, in order for the full range of potentialities afforded by technologies such as OSS and Kadenze, to be more widely accepted and realized.

Observations: Internet Art & Culture Posts by Learner 1e (L1e)

L1e’s authorial voice is clear in his posts, and his brutally honest approach is irresistibly endearing.

In one post, L1e reveals his personal follies. The raw honesty makes L1e that much more human and relateable. The online discourse reveals a side of him that is rarely evinced onsite, where he strikes the observer as the quintissential or consummate artboy and undergrad.

It was observed that L1e was just as comfortable as L2a and L5j in sharing potentially incriminating information about their youthful exploits.

It would be reasonable to assume that learners who have read the same modules in previous semesters, are less inhibited onsite. I ask this because the trust that such learners have, contrasts with the guardedness evinced by L3e, L4k, and L5k.

Computer supported collaborative learning, is facilitated when learners feel safe within the online and onsite learning environments, undergirded by the affective socio-emotional dimensions of interpersonal engagement.

In L2e’s subsequent post, he pointed out how Torrent provides users with unfettered access at the expense of the artists’ intellectual (or creative) property.

It is imperative that the learners see themselves as contemporary Open Source Studio Netartizens who  “empower the spectator and deepen his or her experience” (Packer and Jordan, 2002, p. 96) as they were taught in the previous session, rather than seek to jealously guard it from potential torrent pirates amongst their passive, disengaged spectators. I argue that artists should conceive their audience as “spectactors” — a term borrowed from Drama-in-Education (DIE) literature.

Ascott (cited in Packer and Jordan, 2002, p. 96) advocated the “spirit of cybernetics” to achieve a dialogue between artwork and audience.

Artists who persist in adopting a “nineteenth-century structure of operations” (Ascott, 2002, p. 98), thus fail to include the viewers as active participants in the creative process, inadvertently encourage their “viewers” to pilfer their work, which they view a commodity that is to be transmitted by the artist and received or downloaded by the audience.

Like L3p, L1e has yet to form the habit of embedding hyperlinks into the text. L1e pasting the entire URL after the quotes. This is odd, given that the tutor emphasized this during the previous onsite session. I ascertain why this was so, when I meet L1e this Thursday.

Ascott, R. (2002). Behaviourist Art and the Cybernetic Vision. In R. Packer & K. Jordan (Eds.), Multimedia : from Wagner to virtual reality (Expanded ed., pp. 333-344). New York: Norton.

Observations Week 3: Why CSCL Implementation Often Fails in the Enacted Curriculum

Lack of time (both curricular and extra-curricular) for learners to sufficient analyze and post feedback to peers

Research advocates ensuring that curricular time onsite be allocated to the CSCL activity, should faculty find that learners are unable or unwilling to collaborate online, especially when extraneous factors, such as subject contestation, compete for learners’ and faculty members’ limited resources.

Personally,  I been finding it increasingly challenging to respond to learners in the FYP and Internet Art & Culture in Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) OSS environment, when I am swamped

I shall have to ascertain from the learners themselves (privately, if necessary), why they are unable (or perhaps unwilling?) to provide more online feedback on the work of their peers.