Thesis Ownership 101

August 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

This morning was the first thesis seminar for 10 hopeful 2011 Indiana University Herron School of Art + Design MFA Visual Communications graduates. To begin the class, instructor Lee Vanderkooi wrote on the whiteboard: process ≠ outcome. He explained that simply following the given process will not equal a positive outcome.

“I will fail you and not lose sleep over it.” – LVK

As mentioned in another class, it is important for us to take ownership of our experience rather than simply being in attendance. This will lead to the best results for us, both in the work we produce and in what we gain from the experience. The thesis project may be the penultimate example of the need for student ownership.

After being given the particulars for the course we were split into three groups that will meet weekly to discuss our progress and act as a support group sounding board for one another.

Our assignments for this week are to establish a blog (✓), have our first group meeting, and to determine our “content interests,” identify possible “ways of working” on the thesis, and establish our “future goals” for the outcome of this thesis process.

I have a list of content interests established (collected over the last six months or so) to start my thesis journey but still need to flesh out that are and begin exploring the other two; the real work begins now for this thesis owner.


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