Abstract

Graphic Design is increasingly becoming an interdisciplinary practice where designers in the industry can expect to work on a variety of projects, some of which may require an array of disparate skill sets and tools. Given the difficulty of making fundamental changes to existing design curriculums, and the fact that programs cannot educate students to be ‘experts’ in every discipline they will encounter in professional practice, what changes can individual instructors make within their courses to address this situation? In response to this challenge the authors of this paper implemented a number of structural changes to two distinct courses in their graphic design curriculum in an attempt to decrease the ‘siloeffect’ between subjects and to provide students with situated learning experiences in a simulated interdisciplinary setting. These structural changes include creating conduits between courses as a way to decrease the ‘silo-effect’, implementing a ‘soft-structured’ group dynamic within one of the courses, and utilizing a generationally tiered project progression as a way to diffuse and share large amount of knowledge from multiple branches of study simultaneously. In this article the authors explain the models they implemented, examine those models based on existing theoretical frameworks, and review the effects these models had on the student experience, cooperation, and knowledge retention in relation to previous courses.

Keywords

graphic design pedagogy, multidisciplinary design, collaborative teaching, decentralized classroom, interactive design, interface design, systems design, dynamic critique models, cross-course registration

COinS
 
Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

Decentralizing the Classroom: Utilizing network theory, collaborative teaching, and agile development to create a softstructured learning environment

Graphic Design is increasingly becoming an interdisciplinary practice where designers in the industry can expect to work on a variety of projects, some of which may require an array of disparate skill sets and tools. Given the difficulty of making fundamental changes to existing design curriculums, and the fact that programs cannot educate students to be ‘experts’ in every discipline they will encounter in professional practice, what changes can individual instructors make within their courses to address this situation? In response to this challenge the authors of this paper implemented a number of structural changes to two distinct courses in their graphic design curriculum in an attempt to decrease the ‘siloeffect’ between subjects and to provide students with situated learning experiences in a simulated interdisciplinary setting. These structural changes include creating conduits between courses as a way to decrease the ‘silo-effect’, implementing a ‘soft-structured’ group dynamic within one of the courses, and utilizing a generationally tiered project progression as a way to diffuse and share large amount of knowledge from multiple branches of study simultaneously. In this article the authors explain the models they implemented, examine those models based on existing theoretical frameworks, and review the effects these models had on the student experience, cooperation, and knowledge retention in relation to previous courses.

 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.