Printmaking is always a challenge to teach and include the level of student choice I like to. It takes a while for even high school students to understand the process, plus the whole image reversal thing complicates it all. Taking the time to teach one printmaking process is a commitment, but I wanted to teach three without spending weeks.
The answer was flipping.
I linked videos and a slide show about block printing, screen printing and monoprinting on my website (I'm still building this, so excuse the mess!). Next, I made some short quizzes with Google Forms about key concepts essential to each process. These quizzes were not for a grade - instead they served as a check and balance. Kids could take them as many times as they wanted but they had to pass before they printed.
This worked wonderfully. Students really payed attention to the steps in the videos, talking notes or watching them multiple times. Taking the quiz let them see what they still needed to know and review at the same time.
I wondered - would the video/ quiz combo prepare them to follow multi-step processes correctly? Yes, it did, and better than my traditional lessons. I had far less questions about what to do next and, if I was working with another student, I could easily direct anyone who needed help back to to video. Instead of spending days teaching processes it was done in under a class period. True, each kid didn't learn every type of printmaking, but they were exposed to each one and they can easily access the steps when they're ready to try it.
I'm an high school art teacher who's really interested in student choice and creating opportunities for self expression. I'm also a writer for The Art of Education and co-author of The Open Art Room.