Not-so Final Project

Part 1 My Learning Thing

*transcript for this video is below

Part 2 Thinking About My Thinking

Made with Sway – Thanks Sarah for the inspiration!

Part 3 Advice for Future Students


Transcript for My Learning Thing

My Learning Thing

There are three areas from our Digital Citizenship class that I’d like to incorporate into my CIOS F233: Desktop Publishing: Adobe InDesign course that is offered in the coming Spring. The typical student who enrolls in the course is taking the course as an elective and usually fits into two categories. There are those who are interested in supplementing their own love of photography with text to create flyers, music or book covers and/or print material for occasions (invitations, cards, menus, programs, posters etc.). The other group is made up of those who are interested in the longer format capabilities of InDesign and want to create things like annual reports or newsletters. I already include information and activities around Copyright and Creative Commons but haven’t really included much about Intellectual Property. I also have some information and activities around accessibility but more from a readability or best practice for design perspective, not necessarily for a targeted audience. Since the course focus is on print design, I’ve tried to keep within that narrow field, but after taking this class and thinking more about online presence and what that means to a graphic designer, as well as how that fits into being a digital citizen, some of the online ideas we practiced in this class will be good enhancements to my own course.

Online Presence

Typically the students are introduced to a new InDesign feature along with a piece of design theory each week. In the Spring, I’ve already decided to cover Design Theory in the first two weeks before even getting students into the InDesign software in hopes of seeing better designs earlier in the class as well as giving students time to get the software and books ordered. Too often students put this off so there is always a delay anyway. By putting off using the software for a couple of weeks I hope the students will be ready to go.

Since there are so many online options for creating graphical things that are pretty easy to use, I’m contemplating letting students play with some of these applications to practice their design skills during these first two weeks. Applications like Canva, Venngage, Pikotchart and many others can be used to create a simple flyer or poster demonstrating understanding of design principles. I’m still trying to decide if this is a good idea or not. I don’t want students to leave me for these easier online applications! What I hope will happen is after students learn and practice with InDesign they will gain an appreciation for all the design decisions you can not do with these online applications, therefore understanding that they really do need InDesign for their creative output. I also hope that by using some of these applications, they will gain an understanding of templates and how, especially for longer documents, you need to think “template-like” with your design elements and then fill it in with text and graphics. This activity would be the beginning of their Online Presence as they share their work with the class.

I already have students finding and sharing resources and places they look for their inspiration but after a couple failed attempts at getting them to share through something like Pinterest or Diigo, I ended up settling for the sharing to be done in a discussion board. I need to revisit this as part of the student’s online presence. I should not have given in so easily. I was surprised at how many of the student’s kept things only on their computer hard drives. I actually expected students to already be using the cloud or some kind of online resource and didn’t want to force them into one specific place, but If students don’t already have a place where they collecting things then I’ll select a tool for them. I’m leaning towards Pinterest but will have to do some further exploration.

Giving feedback is another important part of the design process and has a direct correlation to being a good digital citizen by participating in your community and providing support and opportunity for improvement. Too bad there isn’t a place like Behance for beginners. I need to check into Dribbble or Desinion as a place for participating in a public discussion about graphic design. Desinion might be a good place to practice giving feedback, even if it is just on products that their cohort submits.

Ideally, students in this class should have their own website for many of the same reasons that we had our own sites in this class, one of which is to showcase work. If students are serious about either selling their services or providing information through long-formatted documents or newsletters they will have to have a place for distribution and a website is a good place for that. One of the newer features of InDesign is the ability to publish to the web but that requires access to a web server (to upload an .html file) and I’m not sure I’m ready to implement that degree of online-ness in this introductory course. I might consider making that optional because I have had some students who have had previous experience who might find setting up their own domain and handling their presence through a hosting company feasible.

The Assessment aspects for the online presence activities will mostly be focused around classroom participation and would be scaffolded as the semester progresses. In the beginning, participate would receive full credit and as the semester progresses I would expect better quality designs as well as more substantial feedback.

ADA and Accessibility


  • Reading of select articles that I will provide
  • Internet searching on own (and sharing resource with the class)


Design an infographic-style document that outlines what a designer should keep in mind when creating documents with accessibility in mind. Export your InDesign document to PDF (and make sure it is accessible!)


I’d be evaluating the quality of the design, the accuracy of the content as well as the participation for the shared resources.

Possible ADA/Readability Resources

Intellectual Property, Copyright, and Creative Commons

Intellectual Property, Copyright, and Creative Commons licensing has double the impact on graphic design and designers. As a designer, you have your own personal stake in protecting your original designs and can apply your own copyright or creative commons licensing to the artifacts that you create. You may be a professional who has made a career from your design work and you need to sell your work in order to make a living. On the other hand, you may need to find images or designs that hold their own copyright or creative commons license that you’re able to incorporate into your own work. You may also take inspiration for other’s designs who may have very strong Intellectual Property feelings about their own creations. Both of these viewpoints are acceptable and established business practices as long as certain guidelines are followed.

I feel I already cover copyright and creative commons pretty well and that students are getting this from the activities I already include. I need to strengthen the Intellectual property aspect of graphic design. What I’d like to do is to find a couple of case studies (or make them up) and have students tell me what their decision would be for a solution. The case studies would have them look at both sides of the issues. I might have them break up into groups of two and do a little role playing with each student taking a different stance. This activity would conclude with some kind of reflection piece that I could have them create either an infographic or a tri-fold brochure with recommendations for new graphic designers picking between the two audiences.

Possible IP Resources

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