Constructing Courses to Enhance Learning: Theory of Design

Step 2 Application of components of ADDIE to learning theory and Flexible Learning

Background and Rational

What are you doing now?

Currently some graphic design is embedded within other courses that are delivered in Product and Interior design. Further improvement in the graphic design understanding and skills are apparent in students’ project outcome.

More comprehensive course to teach both theory and practical aspects of graphic design is required. In particular it would be beneficial for students to be taught industry standard language to increase the standard of presentation across the design school.

Who are your learners

Previous VARK tests carried out by students indicated that most students prefer visual, kinaesthetic and multi modal styles while many students struggle with aural and reader writer styles.

Felder and Soloman’s learning styles and strategies are useful tool to analyse students’ learning style preferences. Unlike the VARK test which gives a seemingly clear differentiations between the learning styles, Felder and Soloman offers more nuanced strategies and styles required for learning that is applicable also to design process. These strategies can be used to identify ideal ways that design students carry out their projects. Further, the course can be developed to navigate students to use helpful learning strategies as applicable throughout the course.

For further analysis on characteristics of students learning styles, please refer to Felder and Solomon’s learning styles

What is not working?

Currently class modules on visualisation put emphasis on computer software skills. However, software skill needs to be supported by fundamental graphic design theories, rules, and examples so that they can apply this knowledge to the software use.

Aims and Objectives:

To construct a new course on introduction to graphic design

This course will enable students to present their work in formats and visual language that are compatible with the current industry standard.


What does the project look like?

Course Structure and Assessment

Weekly project

Students may be inclined to prioritise their core design studio projects with larger design outcomes and put this graphic design course to the side. Offering weekly self-directed projects may allow them to stay on task and gain good understanding of the course topics.

Final Project

Similarly helping students understand the importance of this course in practical way would be important. Students could be asked to create a poster and presentation for projects carried out in another course.

Student Engagement and communication

Face to Face Support, and Facebook Page

The self-directed projects will be supported with online materials. Students will be able to work at their own pace during the week and submit weekly. The submission may be posted on class Facebook group page or other online media. This helps self govern deadlines while making projects public encourages students to polish their outcomes. Showing design outcomes and learning to receive and give feedback is important aspect of studying design. Encouraging online feedbacks on projects would be one of the ways students can learn to do this. Students will also have some face to face feedback from a lecturer at the studio workshop to encourage them to feel confident about their projects they pos.

Blended learning

Short Lecture, Studio Class, and Online Tutorial

Blended learning is an important part of teaching this practical course. Short presentation/lecture on theory of graphic design is important to frame the design theory. This will be followed up by face to face studio class to carry out their weekly project. In their self directed time, online resources including the lecture and examples can be used to improve their understanding in the subject area.

An important aspect of this course is for students to learn to use graphic design computer software. Online software tutorial will be provided for students to use and they are also able to ask lecturers for software skill advice during their studio class time.

Students also often learn software skills through working with each other. Organising specific times when computer suit is available for students to come and use the software may give students an opportunity to interact and work together on the studio projects.

Learning Theory

This course will be taught using practical project based learning which would require careful reflective and iterative process for designing. Projects can be carried out in self-paced way with online resources to guide students.

Resources and Content

Fundamental Rules and guidelines

Exemplar examples of practical application of the design theory

Software tutorial

Links to relevant websites

Link to Class Facebook Page

Online Video Lecture:  Weekly lectures will be made available Online. In time, online video lectures could replace conventional lectures. However, Video lectures that are films of lecturers standing and talking can be dull and unattractive to students. In order to design a highly competitive course that students will enjoy, short, up to date and informative forms of video is required.


One thought on “Constructing Courses to Enhance Learning: Theory of Design

  1. Machiko your plan is looking really good. Perhaps too much detail for the components of the learning strategies. I have sent an email with more in-depth feedback and suggestions.

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