Computer Graphics World

July-Aug-Sept 2021

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44 cgw j u ly • a u g u s t • s e p t e m b e r 2 0 2 1 L et's face it, students across the globe had a classroom experience like no other during the past 15 or so months. Remote learning became the norm, and in-person group projects and gatherings were practically non-existent. Indeed, tough times for college students working toward a degree in an area where collaboration is key. However, schools and students did what they could to thrive under such harsh conditions. So, how did these higher education insti- tutions fare since COVID restrictions went into place, and what did they do to alter their curriculums and program/degree structures to accommodate the upheaval caused by the virus? Here, we queried a number of schools focused on art, animation, game development, and filmmaking about these effects on their programs and whether they are expecting a return to normalcy based on current conditions across the country — even whether they plan to institute any of the pivots on a permanent basis. Online Ready Like universities all over the world, the pandemic came on quickly, and closing the on-site campus at the Academy of Art Uni- versity was sudden — hitting mid-semester. As a result, the school had to figure out how to keep things going with little or no inter- ruption. "Fortunately, the Academy was an early pioneer in online learning, so the bulk of the infrastructure and training was already in place and we were able to adapt quickly to the changes," says Catherine Tate, director of 3D Animation and VFX. One important decision that was made in the School of Animation & Visual Effects was to open the lab — which is called rLAB — remotely. "Again, we were used to working with remote students in the past in some of our on-site classes and were comfortable using Zoom before COVID hit," Tate notes. "But, we decided to expand our capabilities CHANGE IN LESSON PLAN HOW COVID FORCED SCHOOLS TO PIVOT AND HOW THEY ARE BOUNCING BACK EVEN STRONGER THAN BEFORE BY KAREN MOLTENBREY Greenscreen stage at Academy of Art University. "Salon" from Academy of Art University student Seoyoung Choi.

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