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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.