Collaborative Approaches to teaching Design History

Lisa Scharoun, Stephen O'Connor, Tat-Ming Yu

    Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contributionpeer-review


    At the undergraduate level, Graphic Design history is essential in understanding the core foundations of our discipline; however, it is often taught in a traditional mode that does not engage and inspire students. As was the case of previous unit offering at the University of Canberra, students spent an inordinate amount of their study memorizing periods and styles and generating essays based on that content. In order to make this unit more engaging, the graphic design teaching team at the University of Canberra set out to create a syllabus that would enhance the learning outcomes by using a collaborative teaching approach. By presented the students with skill based activities based on the application of design principles rather than essays, the students were able to interact with theoretical information in a dynamic way. According to Heller (2003: xii), ‘to [teach design] effectively, a teacher must balance the requisites of the class, needs of the students expectations of the school and still have a fresh result.’ Heller (2003: xii) goes on to explain that the essential ingredient in this process is the charisma of the lecturer in delivering the material, however, ‘the syllabus is her blueprint, roadmap and manifesto rolled into one.’ Through the use of collaborative teaching methods and unique syllabus, the Graphic Design teaching team at the University of Canberra has effectively attempted to provide the best outcome for the delivery of history units. In an attempt to facilitate new teaching directions, this paper will discuss the methods, outcomes and techniques utilized by the staff in creating Design history units.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of 'Creativity: brain, mind, body', the 2011 Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools (ACUADS) Annual Conference
    EditorsElena Papanikolakis
    Place of PublicationCanberra, Australia
    Number of pages9
    ISBN (Print)9780975836071
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    EventAustralian Council of Arts and Design Schools 2011 Conference - Canberra, Australia
    Duration: 21 Sept 201123 Sept 2011


    ConferenceAustralian Council of Arts and Design Schools 2011 Conference


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