Maudoodi takes the helm of Arts Online

New Arts Online director Ruqqayya Maudoodi is an instructional technologist, educator, and researcher specializing in designing curriculum for online and hybrid delivery, but she still relies on pencil and paper to organize her thoughts. Maudoodi comes to Mason Gross from the University of Houston, where, most recently, she served as a research fellow designing curriculum for online delivery and taught courses in educational technology. She also has a background in studio art and arts education with a concentration in printmaking. Here, Maudoodi talks tech. Her answers may surprise you.

People have such strong feelings about technology—either they fear it or seem to be addicted. What do you love/loathe?

What I love about technology is also what I hate. Technology is always changing, and that is exciting, but it can also be challenging to keep up. Staying flexible and adapting is the key.

Why online learning?

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are really pushing boundaries and creating a more open world. At a previous institution, I participated in the development of a MOOC on technology tools for teachers. The course was free and open to students globally. The enrollment was in the thousands, and the discussion forums were an exciting place to share ideas with educators from all over the world.

What piece of technology would you never be able to live without?

My “low-tech” devices. Pencil and paper are still the best tools to hash out ideas. I don’t think in a linear fashion, so pencil and paper are the easiest way to organize my thoughts before transferring over to a more sophisticated technology.

Tell us how art and technology can complement one another.

Art and technology work well together, and I have always relied on my background in art when it comes to instructional design. Simplicity is key to designing efficient and appealing courses. It is such a critical concept, because you don’t want students to get lost in the technology.

Posted September 2015