Month: February 2019

Incorporating UX Design and prototypes into your classroom

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On 2/24/19 at 9:30am, I attended the North Carolina Community College Fine Arts Conference Session Incorporating UX Design and prototypes into your classroom at the Meroney Theater in Salisbury, NC presented by Jennifer Cobb of Catawba Valley Community College

Enhancing Graphic Design Education

Introducing students to larger, more complex design problems including larger interconnected systerms thinking. Incorporating a human-centric approach to design, including research, prototyping, testing and refinement

At CPCC, these larger design parameters have allowed students to have a greater sophisticated approach to problem solving. Students and hiring companies are very pleased.

How to make toast ( )

This really helps students to understand the design process. Illustrate a simple process like how to make toast. It may seem simple because we’ve all got different ways of visualizing experiences. Different drawings showcase what are important experiences. What if you don’t use a toaster? Are the toast really about the taste? Is it really about the machine? Is it about the actions or interactions? The experiences we design for others are part of the experiences we build for others. In the class, all ideas from groups of 3+ have to be combined without talking.

As more people get involved, the ideas and solutions soon become more complex.

Human Centered Approach to Design

Its a framework. The framework users a set of practices to understand the wants and needs of the end user. It considers perspectives at every step. It an active process that engages in communication. The ultimate goal is to understand the end user.

IDEO Fieldguide when you understand the people you’re trying to reach…

two models of the process: In the outdated method, a design decision is made, and the revisions take place based on the client. The end user gets the final product without feedback. In a human-centered approach its more fluid. First you empathise, define, and ideate (several ways of doing this from groups, discussions with end users, etc.). Then you prototype and then test.

UX and Design Thinking are the focus of most Humand Centered Design (HCD). Design thinking is a multi-step iterative process that helps designers solve complex creative problems thorougho a hce approach. UX design is an HCD appraoch focused on creating products that provide” meaningful and relevant experieces to users”. Its not just tech and seeks to enhance user satisfaction by improving areas like usability, accessibility and interactions. It seeks to create meaningful expereiences for people.

“Does it better will always beat did it first” Aaron Levie

They use a 12-step process. This is taken in steps to move them through the process. It might be nice to cover this approach, and reach out to this presenter 🙂

 5 Step Process


Personas are used to include multiple end users. These are printed and added to computer screens if possible. Storyboards are used to walk through a process. Some find steps are missed


Define the problem. Use this step to prepare what the use is (end user) needs a way to (action) because (user insite)


Research, empathise with the user, the problems you’re solving, interview. Paper prototype, createe physical artifacts for testing.


Keeping the end user at the forefront of the entire process. User testing at this stage will look back to this


Use QUAL and QUANT methods to garner data. We test throughout the process, using interviews to understand user behaviors, use paper models for observation testing, and using digital protoyping to understand the UX which happens. User testing can be done to get feedback with surveys and observation. Usually this is through Adobe XD or ENVISION. Based on the data from testing, they need to go back and rework the piece.

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. Steve Jobs

Design XD Prototyping App. The tools are familiar and intuitive. You can use this for mobile and web. It is helpful and beneficial.

How can you incorporate UX Design and Prototypes in the classroom? There is value added to the student after graduation to allow them to become part of the 27% of web and digital


Q&A Session

Why switch to XD from ENVISION?

Its free, works with programs, its easier to use than envision, interactions are easier to work with, and its a quick learn. Sketch and XD are the new industry standard.


Who Uses SKETCH?

Sketch is simplified and specifically made for prototyping. PSD to envision is complex.


Does XD allow storyboarding and prototyping?

We have not utilized that process. No others had considered it. This would be worth looking into. There seems to be a potential for that, and that would be very helpful. Many students do not want to do the storyboarding step, but many see the benefit after it.


What classes do you do this in?

GRD180, but that class is being phased out. It will move into another class moving forward. Likely, there wil lbe some new classes added at the state level which could assist with this.

Great for portfolio because you can use research, personas, and showcase a larger development cycle.

The writing is not always on the wall- teaching typography and technology

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On 2/23/19 at 3:15pm, I attended the North Carolina Community College Fine Arts Conference Session Bridging the gap between graphic design educatino and professional practice at the Meroney Theater in Salisbury, NC presented by Melissa Gamez, New Media Design, Queens University

Typography has a long-standing history and yet a solid, irreplaceable part of our modern era. How we frame this will affect how we teach this in the classroom. How the student learns and how the audience engages with that. In this class, we like to talk about embracing analog technology.

We have been trying to communicate for a very long time through as many different ways as possible. They are trying to do the same things- express ideas with the tools that we have at hand.

The goal of typography is to teach through hand skills, digital and motion design to create a social approach, and projects. While some are better than others, the approach can teach us.

All children now have never had a time when the internet or mobile never existed. This frames how we approach modern typography. We are interested in craft beyond digital tools. Students need to know thumbnails, how to cut, how to glue, etc. Students do not know how to move beyond the comfort of the digital device to know the history and ease of what design came from.

Digital tech is important, but its really on ly one way in which you can work.  As tech gets sophisticated, the computer seems to be let do the dirty work for leading and kerning, and students are not putting in the time and effort. When confronted with a good solution, students are often found to say that the computer did it for me. They often fail to make backups because their idea that the situation would always be available doesn’t fit their ideas.

Our students have access to computers, printers, 3d printers, can communicate across multiple media types at once. If possible, I encourage my students to leave the digital world behind, and the work of Stefan Sagmeister comes up often in the classroom. As our digital skills are given all our attention, our hand skills decrease.



12 hours of Design

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On 2/24/19 at 2:15pm, I attended the North Carolina Community College Fine Arts Conference Session Bridging the gap between graphic design educatino and professional practice at the Meroney Theater in Salisbury, NC presented by Brittany Holleran of Central Piedmont Community College

An Event at CPCC is “12 Hours of Design”. So,we ask ourselves: What it is and why they do it? 12HD is a design challenge to solve wicked problems! Originally created by Ken Holland. All students would be placed in a design space and asked to create a working solution in 12 hours. The problems must be big enough that it could not be solved during any one person.

Friday, March 31, noon to midnight. Its campus-wide, and while its open to graphic design, its also opened to other programs like interior design, welding, engineering, etc. have been involved and worked together to solve these problems.

The first was 8a to 8p. It was taxing because being creative for all that time. For some its tough to be awake during all this time.

Why do this?

We want to challenge the students with projects and problems which might not be found in the classroom. We want to foster collaboration between students in and out of the program. Most students only stay with their cohort and working together with people at different skill levels didn’t often happen. This fosters community and make friends outside of the classroom environment. Also, this encourages creativity. The client comes in. presents the work, and then leaves. There is no “NO” in this process. One of the greatest thing to come out of the project was having a professional tell them that its so fantastic to take part and not hear “NO”

Students sign a contract to appear. They cannot leave in the middle of the event, unless its an emergency. There will be 7-10 teams working at once.

Support and location is provided: administration, student life, program faculty, alumni, advisory board, theCurious (student club) and industry partners. A non-school place is provided. Faculty cannot assist, but part-time faculty do come in and advise and feed into the item from time to time to avoid students getting stuck on a problem. Social media is also used to record the event.

Industry partners provide offsite locations, some of these larger problems, and their expertise.


How do we do this? Tools.

Because we’re working offsite, we have to provide snacks and coffee. Students bring their own items- pens, pencils, cutting mattes, etc. We provide wifi, printer access. We provide prizes. What’s the benefit other than working on a team? Year-long student AIGA membership ($50 per), prismacolor markers, personal gifts. There needs to be a detailed organizational event schedule. Meals, and breaks scheduled, team building exercises, and as challenging a detail as possible. There will also be curveballs which redirect the project.


What are the outcomes?

Presentation skills, real world experience, prizes & Recognition, opportunities to continue working on the project.


Who are we working for?

Our own campus: Designing a student-focused space such as interactive features, and learning environment using donated materials. This is because we’re building a new building and we can have a piece of that courtyard.

Knight Foundation: Products to make a city better for upward mobility. Charlotte was 50/50 for upward mobility

City of Charlotte: designing a stretch of highway

We want to continue to work with non-profits, problems brought to us from our advisory boards, social issues and community challenges.


Q&A Session

How is this presented to students?

Originally, it was only for fun. Sometimes extra credit is offered In some classes, but it is not required. It cannot be just work and no fun. Otherwise, people won’t take part in the next year


Could you partner this with Hackathon?

We would be open to that, but you’d need to find a project that would really be right for that. There’s always an opportunity to work with other groups if there’s a way to fit this in.


Is there a place on the resume for this?

We have suggested cover letter or the conversation. Typically we suggest that you put in that you worked with the Knight Foundation or are actively working with the City of Charlotte.


How do you get resources?

We bring in a speaker who’s available for the first few hours to explain the situation and be a resource. The goal is to begin thinking critically. What does “solve upward mobility” mean? Once you find what it can mean, then you can really begin working on deliverables.


How are students kept on track?

We move through from time to time telling them how much time is left and asking if they need assistance… without offering advice


How big are the teams?

3-4 people per team, and no real set amount of teams. We set highly skilled teams with low-level designers to keep everyone on a nice playing field


How can you even the teams?

We ask this as part of the process, and we know their personalities. We have rules too, you cannot switch or combine teams. You cannot leave your team and you cannot leave the event. That is their challenge




NCCCFA Opening Keynote

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On 2/23/19 at 9:30am, I attended the North Carolina Community College Fine Arts Conference Session Opening Keynote at the Norvell Theater in Salisbury, NC presented by Jenn Selby of Rowan Cabarrus Community College


Jenn Selby 9:30am Norvell Theater.

This is the 6th year of the conference that started with 20 people. In last year, 120 faculty and opened up to graphic design, and now we’re rolling with 210+ people. 5 independent college, 7 unc, 25+ Community colleges. We also have 2 art museums, and 2 art guilds present at the conference.

About this year, several new members involved, almost 50%. This year its also the biggest number of sessions, 2 locations are required, 4 spaces for the 2 days and they are filled. The keynote speaker came from California (speaking at 11) and he bought his own ticket to be here. This is our first set of sponsors area.

They pointed out the board, pointing out the board members and acknowledged their volunteer efforts. They also pointed out the student volunteers and students who bent over backwards to make this event happen. Each event takes about a year to plan and activate, so the foundation at RCCC (rowan Cabarrus community college) are a critical portion of the puzzle. Security, IT, graphic Design, all came from the college and the visitors bureau has also been supportive I the process of completing this festival.

Jenn Selby then recognized 2 individuals essential to the cause: Carter Wingfield, Graphic Design professional at the college who creates the materials for this year in and out. Carter received a Certificate of Appreciation for his time and efforts. Jillian Sturdivant. She is an administrative assistant who is behind the actions and availability of the tasks required for this event. She also received a Certification of Appreciation.


Ground Rules

Phones on silent

Secret passageways to the other theatre. Don’t touch. We all want to touch the props and wear  the crown. Be mindful of your voices so you don’t interrupt any actors.

Lunch Groups. It is raining. Lunch groups are a great way to visit topics. There are way too many graphic design people as 10 is the max. They’ll work to find solutions.

System updates will be covered by Jenn Selby.

Poster sessions will be covered by Lyndsay. Please see her if you have questions

Grievous Gallery will be open this evening. Take the trolley and be prepped to leave and arrive on time. Ride the trolley, its fun. There will be pretty heavy food and beverages. We will be smashing and breaking things. The red ticket gives you a free smash

We also received an invitation from Methodist- a spiritual organ recital this evening. It will be 5 steps from the grievous gallery. It is an open and collaborative space, so please come!

Closing session will be about next year and you don’t want to miss it.


The system office needs them to reinforce that the permanent collection needs to be increased. Jenn Urged us to participate and provide materials to be on display for the NC System Office

Mr. Burger, the marketing and gallery director of the Craven Art Gallery in New Bern, NC. The creative work force exhibit centered on 8 schools and student programs. He was approached at the event, and he thought how he could highlight the role of CC in the art community. In school you may not know that your math teacher was a mathematician, but your art and music teachers were always active artists. Mr. Burger will have a poster session for 2020 artistic even and he’d like as many people to participate as possible. He is also accepting 2020 proposals for art shows and will be reviewing that in summer 2019.

John Williams works in the Fine arts department and he’d like to see us enjoy ourselves.


How To Teach Graphic Design Online 2019

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On 2/23/19 at 10:15am, I attended the North Carolina Community College Fine Arts Conference Session How To Teach Graphic Design Online at the Meroney Theater in Salisbury, NC presented by Alison Consol and Julie Evans of Wake Technical Community College

Online teaching requires a different approach to bring in students and create the kind of t=virtual communities to help create a strong cornerstone of community and a presence which could be maintained in the course. You will have to anticipat the questions before they happen, because “writing is the new coding”. YOu need to have as much instruction and examples that you can to inspire but not allow materials to be copied. Students and millenials want the immediate feedback, timely materials in the gradebook, and discussions should be meaningful and relevant. Attendance can be difficult, so setting attendance to project deadlines is the easiestt way to accomplish this.

There are 452 active students at WTCC in the GRD program. Students take online and seated classes, although some are wholly online. How can we create a class which guarantees as similar or analog class online.


Graduates in the program at WTCC earn 5 certifications as they complete the degree. These certificates allow students to be motivated to continue in the classes, and be used as an advising tool These certifications are a nice way to keep students moving forward, but it also allows students from different degrees and those working in the field to step forward and take part. Over time, we see the rates of graduation and completions rates getting higher. Depending on the amount of time it takes a student to move forward, these certifications allow student numbers to maintain a level of completions which is asy to push forward to the next certification and stay motivates.


As part of our QEP program, all students have a mandatory E Learning Intro course. A student must complete this class before they can register for online courses. Students come to class with LMS learning, assignment materials standards, etc. so this is very helpful. EPIC removes barriers where every course maintains a similar look and feel, and EPIC allows teachers to get up to date.

The Human Element

We include welcome and weekly videos. We use ZOOM to assist with the idea of the teachers presence. The need to know who their teacher is and how to contact them. It seems like an increased distance in the online classes. We have a youtube channel for the department. These weekly videos are all conglomorated in the same place. Having this repository is easy to use, and can be pulled as needed from their classes.

Required Supplies

Checklist Documentation is added to classes to keep information on the forefront. Art supplies, software, digital cameras, hardware, reliable high speed internet, etc. Having those supplies in the bookstore allows students with financial aid to get it day one. We keep 2 chapters in PDF form in each class, so that students without books can get up to speed. Hardware is a student priority and concern. We have opportunities on campus. If the student isn’t prepared, we have to have a meeting.


Structure is important, and offers consistency. Assignments are presented in a linear fashion. Failing to complete all tasks result in a tardy. Completing everything by deadline is full attendance. Missing the assignment results in an absence.


Welcome in week 1, tasks for the week, lecture materials, discussions, and finally assignments with examples. People cannot follow long pages of text, so including materials in a consistent fashion makes it easy for people to know where to go and what to do. We use icons and avatars to chunk materials and keep the visual presence for students.

Student Collaboration Online

WIkis, journals, google docs, forms and surveys, flipgrid, voicethread. There are lots of different ways to create the community and allow students to introduce and respond to one another. We use peer review such as behance, flickr, wordpress blogs and personal websites. Students need constructive criticism and they need to develop the thick skins which can easily allows students to improve and be ready for the workforce. Discussion topics are great for shared experiences and group projects. Use testing like DISC assessments or Myers-Briggs testing to find out their types.

Web-Based Tools

Starfish is a nice way to alert students if they are in danger of failing. An ILC on your campus is a great resource. Compututor is a fantastic resource for our online students with texting, screensharing, and email.

REMIND.COM is a great resource. Social media is also a fine way to keep everyone on track, allows people to interact and network. We encourage them to use the student social media for professional purposes only. We use ZOOM to interact with students, and adobe SPARK is making a great deal of use.

How about the design process?

Original work only, plagiarism agreements, sketching, and feedback are part of every procject process. We have an assignment area and discussion board. This allows students to show to the instructor as well as the class. Finalization in situ is part of each process.

Portfolio online

Its a beast. As the culmination of their work, students have to begin with a single idea. and think about how the end user will interact with thier materials.


Grades are based on PERFORMANCE. WIP, reflection and peer review in discussion boards allow students to get feedback. Inline commenting in blackboard with rubrics allow for stronger content. BLogs and reflective journals for self-assessments.

Good Rubrics

Begin with a set of best choices. Drill down from there to create a general rubric for creative projects that you can use as a go-to. Showcase this early and allow the students to see this rubric. THey’ll know what theyll be graded on and how.

Portfolio is a high-touch environment. Allowing online students to attend seated courses is a fine method for assisting students. Online meetings are great, and full size print.


An online class should be enjoyed. Its a journey, and we have to show that we are there and we can assist them become successful. We give visual attention via video and video meetings, but its a constant improvement model. Having a set of standards are especially helpful to us.


Q&A Session

How do you handle group video meetings? It creates community, but what about those who do not wish to meet.

Zoom is used, and it records the session. If you don’t want in, no harm no foul. Its recorded and you can watch it the next day. Pop it on your account and its ready.


Do students know they might have to have the meeting?

The ELI course says that you may have to attend on-campus testing or use recording to meet the needs of the class.


What about students who cannot visit?

We work with them to mail materials.


Has online impacted seated?

Some classes have removed entirely to online. Online students are a different population. It impacts enrollment, but it is really about convenience. Some population will only work partly with online classes. Online students also come from out of city and out of state. Completion has actually increased because they have time management issues, and having access to one online class allows them to continue on their course.


NCCCS A+GD Program Next Steps

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On 2/24/19, I attended the North Carolina Community College Fine Arts Conference Session NCCCS A+GD Program Next Steps at the Meroney Theater in Salisbury, NC moderated by Dr. Brian Morris of Catawba Valley Community College

Rather than a Professional development session, this was more of an Informal conversation. What do we want to capitalize on before we leave? Contact information will be a great step. Brian Morris will moderate and we can formalize and capitalize on resources.

We would like to bring the AFA back and increase the number of articulation agreements. We are tangentially related by adopting the ART track and GRD/GRA track. Where are these going to go? DME digital media technology program. Pasteup, Stat Camera are gone. Design thinking and UX is important now. Is it research, data analysis, storytelling? Is it software only? Managing this for articulation is important. AFA in visual art transfers, but our materials do not.

What should we discuss? Formalization requires contact and available people. We can decree today by consensus to be a group with standard boilerplate bylaws. Many people are on board. We want to talk about officers and facing the magnitude of challenges that the AFA faced. Creating the articulation agreements with universities may be difficult. CCP is difficult. We have a draft of the bylaws, and we’d like to get people together.

Does the A+GD degree name need to change? Does it mean what it used to mean? Are we media directors now? Is it digital Media. Having 15hrs of DME entitles you to a Digital Media Technology degree, and the other 50+ hours can be anything! To keep a healthy A+GD program means the needs must continue to move forward. We are working under old descriptions, but we are teaching the skills and methods we wish to teach. Do we want to push that? We find that there are formally 6 GRD Programs in the UNC System.

Articulation may be an issues if faculty do not have masters degrees in Graphic Design. There are some classes with UI/UX which need to be built and added. Some classes are still tlaking about pagemaker and/or coreldraw. These are topics to keep in mind moving forward.

Are masters degrees required? There are multiple degrees with BS, BFA, BA in Graphic Design, or Specialization in Graphic Design. Is business and marketing a good degree to complement the design backgroun? What ideas do we have to address this as a body? Graphic Design degrees are hard to transfer. Portfolios may not be good enough, or 4-year schools don’t want 2-year students. One problem is that the number of contact hours don’t transfer or run into the credit surcharge because they have the wrong credits. A 2-hour class cannot work, but it counts against the number of hours a student has taken which runs afoul of the credit max allowed for the “graduate in 4” system item for colleges.

Is articulation really important? The majority of some populations in some schools are returning 4-year students. The trouble is really the stigma of a 2-year degree holder. Keyword sniffers  block AAS in terms of employment. We are looking for 1-2 students a year. Maybe this is important and maybe its not as important.

What about private college relationships? some have made good deals by speaking with private schools in general? should we work to increase the deals we can make with other schools and examine those?

The idea of “stackable credentials” will be pushed in the future. Its really about the skillpath and job path that students can follow. Industry-specific credentials may be used in the future to out maneuver courses where they already have skills. How can we maintain the go-to credentials? A 4-yr school student who starts at a 2-yr school has a different track in mind. Where are our students going to go? We should focus our core strengths, and determine where we want our students to go and alter our classes based on that pathway.

We don’t want advisors to say “graphic design goes nowhere”. We want them to say “UNC-Charlotte will accept the GRD degree and here’s what credits you’ll get…”

What does this mean? We’ll need to meet once a year or so. WAKE TECH is close to the system office, and can make a nice meeting place which is centralized. The RTP campus outside of Durham is adequate.

Ms. Cobb of CVCC was then voted in as president. Mr. Compton of CPCC was voted in as Vice President. Ms. Holleran of CPCC was voted in as secretary. Ms. Cousar of CPCC was voted in as treasurer. These were all voted in for a 2-year term. At-Large members will need to be chosen. We’ll need representatives for at-large reps from 4-year schools and community colleges. We can continue this conversation during the wrap-up and also set some goals for ourselves and the conference next year.

We were then all invited to CVCC to visit the department and spaces. The meeting was then turned over to the new president, Ms Cobb.


Bridging the gap between graphic design education and professional practice

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On 2/23/19 at 10am, I attended the North Carolina Community College Fine Arts Conference Session Bridging the gap between graphic design education and professional practice at the Meroney Theater in Salisbury, NC presented by Jenn Cobb of Catawba Valley Community College

Mrs. Cobb Introduced herself and pointed out Hickory, NC and how nice it is to connect to colleagues. Its nice not to feel like an island but in fact a community and population.

Time gets faster as you get older. How much difference in a single decade- for most of us its glasses J.

2009 – ten years back.

Technology gives us the image, the iphone 3, jimmy fallon on tonight show and parks and rec debuts. Black eyed peas: Boom Boom Boom.

1999 – twenty years back

G3 bondi blue tower. Nokia cell phone 100m a month, free nights and weekends. Sopranos, and Spongebob. TLC: Don’t want no scrubs

1989-thirty years back

Apple 2E, Motorola cell phone, Seinfeld debuts, saved by the bell. Chicago: If you see me walking by


What a difference 1-3 decades make. We are training students to enter a field wherestudents can stay in the field for 2-3 decades. As we as teachers keep moving, how can we as educator stay relevant and keep those students prepped for their fields?

We are at a a crossroads in design education. 1) methods to educate the emerging designer overlap with shifts in industry demands and rapidly emerging technology. Like any crossroads, you can choose to change directions at any time. How might we make a change in design education. How can we turn this into an opportunity? We have to provide relevant knowledge to allow students to enter the job market and be prepared for the workplace. Calls for Graphic Design Education realignment come from multiple directions, but change remains slow because of program differences in school, lack of standards between 2 and 4 year school, and changes and inconsistencies within industry itself. Necessary changes must be made at the core level.

Change is accelerating, and design education is stuck: Hugh Dubberly.

What does the future look like for employment? The designer of 2016 was put out in 2007. The designer of 2025 was put out in 2017. The results are sobering. 7% is the average growth. Desktop publishing was said to lose 21% (-21% esmiation). 0-1% growth in graphic design (print based and corporate identity, 4-year ddegree- 20% self employed). Web Design 27% increase for networked communications. 1 in 5 graphic designers are expected to be self-employed.

Slower than average growth will be seen in graphic design, large growth in web design. Our goals should be to increase the 27% growth in networked communication.

How can we educate the graphic designer?

Meredith Davis adhere to an outdated educational model that relies on apprenticeship methods- here are the pieces, make this final item. This is a fallacy. Instead, we should focus on open-ended, critical thinking models. Creating items in which students are choosing to create the artifacts which are passionate ideas for them are going to be the best solution.



(Is this relevant? Are clients arriving with ideas (I need a poster) or are they trusting the designers (we need a marketing solution). How can we fill that gap.)


Do we as teachers ignore the critical step of asking “is this solution right for the client?”

Are we teaching them t be form manipulators are we teaching them to be message makers? Are we running a proper blend of critical thinking and apprenticeship



How are the opportunities for the students in your area? Industry demands shift. UI/UX Design, social media manager, exp design, app design, web design are all increasing. Get to know the service area and how can we make shifts or changes to produce the innovative ideas that can work for each industry. At some point, students will need to flexibly move to message makers

We are changing from industrial to knowledge economy. Its not the form of the message, it’s the message itself. Its not apprenticeship, but critical thinking. In the past, viewers were passive and messages were linear. Now, participants are active in receiving and sending and internectted to the systems involved. Instead of to an audience we are now moving by and with the people. Its not products, its people and human focused materials. Design used to be cosmetic and top down design. Tomorrow it will be bottom up and integrated, developing organically in the message.

Are we still meeting the service needs of our area?

How does industry hire talent from our institution?

What if we included a virtual portfolio day for a week? Let’s discuss how we would implement this.



Students have to be ready to work with print, interactive, digital and web program. As technology and social media changes this landscape, we’re juggling all these methods and preparations for our students. Can we teach our students to be agile? How can they be continual learners? If they are tech savvy today, can we teach them to be current and tech savvy in the future? It is difficult to hire adjunct faculty with skills and ability. Technology is bringing us opportunities but it’s a double edged sword, needing students to be ready to pivot and learn.

So how can we bridge this gap?

Education: Consider program revisions at a local level. Re-evaluate your discipline to include soft skills and larger, systems-based projects. Consider revisions at the state level. Use the resource we have in AGD colleagues.

One of us is an island, but together we are a community, a force to be reckoned with

Industry: Students must be adaptable. Get to know industry in your service area such as printers and design agencies. Use surveys to get specific answers and answers to open-ended questions. Encourage development of personal work values.

Many students feel that software skills are the top item for hiring. Its 7 of 10 for employers, with information of team-levels and building larger items, especially soft skills.

Technology: Students must be human-centered by software savvy and technologically fluent. Students should be exposed to more network communication design. Encourage faculty to increase Prof Dev. Increase tech-based representation of our advisory boards. Incorporate formal technology plans. Use the power of tech to our advantage and add new learning opportunities.


We know there are challenges, but how do we make this opportunities for growth? We need to keep focusing on the future.