Design Teaching Resource / Updated Launch October 2018

Due to changes in leadership within AIGA, and some financial decisions made by the national office that are beyond the control of the DEC, the launch of the Design Teaching Resource (DTR) has been delayed until late October. While we are disappointed that the DTR was not available for the start of the academic year, we are looking forward to launching it by the end of 2018.

The Design Teaching Resource, a DEC initiative led by Annabelle Gould at the University of Washington, is a peer-populated online platform where educators can share assignments, outcomes, teaching materials and project reflections.

The DEC encourages all design educators to contribute case studies to this important resource. In doing so you are:
—Building a community by enabling educators to share teaching methods
—Providing inspiration and actionable information to other educators
—Fostering connections and collaborations between educators / programs
—Supporting educators teaching in new areas of the discipline
—Identifying experts teaching in specific areas
—Encouraging critical reflection and discussion

Despite the delay in going live, design educators are welcome to continue submitting case studies here via the Google form. Projects submitted through this form will be included in the beta launch.

In beta form the DTR will be open to everyone to read and post. If the project continues with its current schedule the DTR will eventually become an AIGA member-only resource. Educators who post case studies will have an individual Profile page. The tool also includes a Resources section with information for teaching in the classroom, running critiques, planning syllabi, reading lists, the Designer of 2025 and more. Educators are welcome to contribute to this section.



What kinds of projects will I be able to post?
The DTR welcomes design projects covering all areas of the discipline. We encourage educators to submit assignments from any design class, covering all subject matter. The DTR includes a fixed list of Project Categories (Branding, Graphic Design, Information Design, Environmental Design, UX/UI etc.) and Tags (sophomore, print, social good, diversity etc.) to associate with each case study. It’s likely that in future iterations of the tool, educators will be able to create their own tags.

Will case studies be peer-reviewed or can anyone post?
The projects posted will not be peer-reviewed. With so many diverse design programs and courses, the DEC (a volunteer group) does not feel it is appropriate to vet assignments. The DEC does reserve the right to remove any content deemed offensive. Details will be outlined in the Terms of Use.

Who “owns” the projects and images that I post?
You own the case studies you post (in accordance with any agreement you have with your institution regarding the publication of student work). The assignment write up and accompanying images for each case study can be edited or removed by you at any time. You should credit any student work posted or other assignments that are referenced by your case study (see next question). As noted, the DEC reserves the right to remove inappropriate content and images.

What if I’m using a project that I got from someone else, such as a former teacher?
We are all inspired by something—no project is truly original. Almost all design educators repurpose old assignments in some way or another. In fact, it can be interesting to see how older assignments are adjusted over time to address new issues or changes in technology. If you have a case study based on an older project feel free to give credit (thank a former instructor perhaps?). You can do this in the Project Brief writeup or you can mark the case study as a Legacy project in the Project Categories.

I don’t have any “good” projects to post.
If you’re in a classroom now or have been teaching recently then you have projects to post. If it’s good enough for your students then it is good enough for the DTR! And if a student can show the results of your assignment in his or her portfolio, you ought to be able to share it on the DTR. You are welcome to share assignments that you want to revise too. Most educators update projects from year to year based on the outcomes of the previous class. Each case study includes a required Reflections section where you can note what changed or might change for the next time around.

I worked hard to write my projects, why should I share them with others?
Every educator works hard to develop interesting and relevant projects. Here are some reasons why you might consider posting to the Design Teaching Resource:
—Share your success stories (educators do this all the time at conferences)
—Increase the visibility for you and your program
—Potential recognition as an expert in a certain area
—Case studies posted could lead to collaborations with other educators/designers
—Richer dialogue with peers

And if you find a project on the DTR that you are interested in trying out in your own class, feel free to credit the owner of the case study (on your assignment sheet or perhaps a class lecture). You might even compare notes at the end of the project!

I’m so busy I just don’t have the time to post.
Yes, we’re all busy with a never-ending list of to-dos, especially during the school year. But the information required for each case study is pretty straightforward. Most of it is already on the assignment sheet you give your students: Project Brief, Learning Goals, Deliverables, Timeline. You don’t need to post accompanying lectures (which might alleviate some concerns in the previous question). The only section where you will need to write a few lines is Project Reflections — what went well, what you might change next time. And what better time to reflect on a project than while it’s fresh in your mind? Don’t wait, post while you have momentum and images on hand! And as noted above, there are plenty of reasons why it’s beneficial to post your projects to the DTR.

When can I post?
The Google form is accepting case studies now. After the official launch there will be a form built in to the DTR where you can upload case studies. Post as many as you like! This resource is only as good as the projects educators have shared.

Will the resource allow people to comment on projects?
For financial reasons we are unable to include the ability to comment on projects in the first iteration of the platform. But every educator will have a Profile page with contact information. So if you have comments or questions about a case study, or you wish to contact a specific educator, you can find his or her contact information through the DTR.

By aigaeducators
Published September 9, 2018
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