On location filming

Jeanette Hoorn’s Sexing the Canvas: Art and Gender was the first University of Melbourne MOOC that didn’t rely on the use of PowerPoint slides.

Sexing the Canvas: Art and Gender MOOC

Due to the subject matter and Jeanette’s desire to transport learners into the world of art, location shoots at the National Gallery of Victoria, Museum of Modern Art and The Huntington galleries took place.

The instructors in Sexing the Canvas were very passionate about the art they were discussing; sharing and capturing their presence and the ambience of the environment was critical to the success of their lessons.

Location shoots allow instructors to contextualise what they are teaching and can add variety as well as aspects of authentic learning to videos. In the case of Sexing the Canvas, a documentary editing approach to post-production enables learners to view close detail in the artworks while the instructor’s voice-over explains the features being highlighted.


  • On location filming needs to be well planned and scripted in order to reduce the production costs both in time and money. If filming in public locations, consider permissions from local government and be aware of members of the public who may be in the shot.
  • Consider creating or sourcing high-resolution photos or illustrations to edit together with location footage in order to create a mini documentary.
  • Capture establishing shots of the location and context for the video can create the sense of a ‘virtual fieldtrip’. Consider including an audience, for instance a small group of students, to pose questions and create dialogue.