I will be teaching GD369, History of Graphic Design in the winter term. The course is comprised of 21 Graphic Design majors at the junior level. The course has been taught in the past as a lecture course on campus and also as an ecourse, but never as a hybrid course. This course examines the history of Graphic Design from the turn of the 20th century through today and students are expected to learn and be inspired about the history through a combination of reading, watching films, visiting Websites, working on papers and projects and discussing the material online and in class. I am working on revising what I call the course “Survival Toolkit”. The revisions I am working on are adding the weekly in-class activities that will occur. My students are very visual and writing this out in a Word Document would not have the same impact as creating a quick overview as a PDF. The first day of class I will go over how the image grids work in class (I developed 6 to 8 of these per week) and then I will upload this to Bb in case students have questions. I also plan on bringing up the Bb site week 1 (in class) to navigate through it with the students. I think it is important to insert some humor into courses when we can, as a student’s life is stressful and bringing in a bit of humor when appropriate helps ease the stress. I have also attached one of my weekly feedback PDF’s on the student’s discussion board answers. We will now be able to continue the Bb discussion in class once a week for 20-30 minutes and I still plan on writing up my observations each week and posting it on Bb, so the students can quietly read this and think about it. As many of you may have observed, students really like routines and I found they look forward to a synopsis from me each week on their discussion board. My saying this in class is good, but having it written down so they can read and reflect on it is also something I feel is important.
Week 3_Discussion Board Comments
Will you please design my course? Pretty please? Possibly your students could earn credit by helping to design course content for instructors. Years ago, I designed a Course Manual for a newly designed course that included weekly assignments by utilizing icons to note whether the assignment was video, written, or reading materials. I think that using icons as indicators is a very wise choice and I realize that it’s important to be consistent in their usage.
It’s challenging enough to come up with content, let alone make it look good!
I know how hard it is to come up with content and making it visually engaging is also really challenging (especially if you are not a Graphic Designer). My tip would be to make whatever you present clear and simple and easy enough to navigate. If you use visuals, make sure the resolution is good. Don’t use any strange fonts (like Comic Sans or Brush Script). We do live in a visual culture, so perhaps a good set of templates would be of use for faculty. That would be one way that non-designers could create clear and engaging syllabi and course materials.