Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


5.3 EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES, Media and socio-cultural communication, Arts

Publication Details

Presented at the Teachers Academy Conference of the European League of the Institutes of Art (ELIA) in June 2013.


This paper documents the results of a study of trialing an innovative teaching method to first year students while studying for a BA in Visual Merchandising and Display in an Institute of Technology in Dublin. Due to lower staff levels it was perceived this student cohort were not attaining the practical skills necessary in their future careers therefore it was hoped that an innovative method of delivering practical tuition would be beneficial to students and lecturers from both learning and teaching perspectives. An Action Research approach was taken, which took the form of trialing a digital artefact, compiled by one of the authors, Knott (2013), as a teaching tool. This artefact consisted of an iBook; containing step-by-step interactive instructions on how to complete practical visual merchandising and display tasks. An iPad was made available in the studio for students to access the iBook during practical sessions. Students accessed the iBook during class time to refer to the correct practical steps to take rather than wait for the tutor. Tutoring time was then used to give immediate formative feedback rather. The aim of this project was to research the learning of the students to ascertain the benefit of interactive digital learning for this student cohort. The students were asked to complete a survey on using the iBook and its relevance to their learning. On analysis of the data collected, the students fully endorsed this method of teaching and it is intended to continue with this method and develop it further by introducing the iBook to second year students.