Sunday, 22 April 2012

Task 23, Games Education

Teaching specific skills technical skills or developing learning attributes and 'soft skills'?

What do I think? I dont even know what Developing learning attributes and soft skills are. Maybe its free to my own interpretation, in that case, lets say developing learning attributes is motivational self teaching. As that's what we receive. However I wont go into babble. I can only describe the thoughts and opinions I have gained through learning on this course so far coming to the end of my second year.

What would one imagine from games education? Well, thats what one would consider the same as waht you would exspect from higher education. What I was hoping was from turning from a mediocre artist to a professional. The thought in mind that I would not only learn from industry professionals who would pass down their skills in an easy to understand mannor, and give you those £9000 (or however much money I am now in debt to student finance) secretes that only the highest order of elite artists knew. Wishful thinking.
Obviously its not like that at all. Infact, you learn the basics, and that thousand pound  secrete is that you need to draw caws in able to be able to draw cars. The more cars you draw, the better the cars will look in the end. The learning stops shortly after, about the middle of 1st year, when youve learnt your first 3D program and perspective. The rest is hinted at through outdated tutorials or by asking others how you do X-Y-Z.

What does that bullshit have to do with anything you ask? Developing learning attributes. The tutors will ofcourse no longer say " To be able to do X you must do Y like so. ", and thus you, the student must venture of to figure out how to do X, along with Z and the rest of the alphabet. How do I do this? You figure it out. This may be a horrible and rotten way of developing someone to self teach, but only those that want to learn, will venture of and find their own education. Those that do, will more than likely succeed or at least improve. While growing ever spiteful knowing that what they learnt on their own, could easily be told in a 5 minute video, or 2-3 pages of text.
They will remember that tutorial, not just beacuse it accomplished the task at hand, but because they found it on their own, after spending time and resources to find what they need.
So in a sence, what sound and looks like bad teaching, is good, as it forces the student and only the determined students, to succeed.
The less determined, lazy students, will be stuck learning outdated techniques, basic skills, be generalised, get many things wrong , making them a week student. But they will still pass, as they did the things they thought they should do as layed out in the out dated guide books, following outdated advice from last generations tech. They will fall out of the pipeline of university thinking they deserve a job, when they wont have the portfolio for it, or the skills.

What about that Teaching specific technical skills?! Well, those skills get updated all the time. What we get taught is the basic, which is good. But no more advanced skills are taught. And just like the week student, if you taught every student the same thing, they would all produce the same shit.
Which will create a large pool of unemployable clones, with similar portfolios, maybe one or two differences in texturing or something. (Unless your tutors are all star professionals, there are some marvellous teachers out there who still work along side teaching. Somehow.)

So this whole teaching business. How it worked for me? Get taught the basics for a month or two, than run off and do your own thing.
From what I've done and what I've been told is the only way to get anywhere is to want to go somewhere.

Education is just another business, laughing away as you give them your cash for 3 years of "do whatever man I dont care."
"Than we said; £15 per guest, £40 rental on a graduation gown and a £125 photo frame! " - DeMontfort University.