20% – Participation
Active Class Participation – 10%
This class requires your active participation. Each member of our learning community needs to be actively engaged in the learning process. Each student is here to contribute to the exchange of ideas. Ask questions. Be curious. As a student in this course you will create your own communal context for learning by engaging in conversations with others. As such, being prepared to participate in discussions and activities is paramount. This entails having read, annotated, and thought about the required materials carefully before class starts.
100-90% Exceptional. The student is consistently actively engaged in the course and leads discussion of the exchange of ideas. Exceptional contributions may also include leading discussion voluntarily, making connections between the weekly readings, referencing the readings in an analytical manner, considering multiple perspectives, encouraging the contributions of others, validating other’s ideas and other’s work, bringing in outside materials that are of interest to the collective whole, and habitually engaging in reflexive dialogue with peers in the course.
89-80% Proficient. The student is engaged in the course and regularly participates in the exchange of ideas. Satisfactory contributions may also include frequent, voluntary contributions to class discussion, valuing other’s viewpoints, asking questions, collaboration, offering reasoned arguments, new insight and demonstrating engagement with the course and its content.
79-70% Underdeveloped. The student indicates comprehension of course material in class discussion. Contributions consist of description, summary, or personal anecdote. Participation indicates little substantive engagement with the course materials, consideration of alternative perspectives, and/or connections between larger ideas in the course.
69-0% Limited engagement. Participation is limited. Student repeats other’s responses and displays little evidence of engagement with the day’s material. The completion of the reading assignment is questionable. When a student indicates a lack of interest in the learning community by tardiness, distracting others or not bringing necessary materials to class, they will receive a low participation grade that day, guaranteed.
Reading Presentation – 10%
Once during the semester you and a partner will lead a thorough discussion of the day’s reading material (approximately 15-20 minutes). Employ the following tips to create a useful and engaging presentation for your peers. If you use slides, bring a flash drive or upload them to your blog before class using Slideshare. *Warning: If you do not use one of these two methods, your grade will be adversely affected, as logging into various accounts wastes everyone’s time. We thank you in advance. Presentation Schedule
- Do the readings ahead of time
- Think about what kind of presentation would engage you/your peers
- Incorporate relevant examples/cases “in the wild” to illustrate points
- Include images, short video, slides (please upload to your blog before presentation)
- Create an aesthetically pleasing design (slides or handout) for your presentation
- Examine the major points or problems you think are worth discussing
- Discuss the major points or problems you think people ought to know, learn about, or have thought about by the end of the discussion
- Link concepts to the week’s additional readings when appropriate
- Ask intellectual questions of the class that would be interesting/engaging to discuss
20% – Quizzes
Quizzes – 10 at 2%
On Tuesdays there may be a brief, in-class quiz-spotcheck-information-retreival-eXperience which covers the week’s assigned reading material (including Ellen Lupton’s Graphic Design the New Basics). There will be a total of 10 quizzes throughout the course of the semester, each clearly indicated on the syllabus.
Absence on a Tuesday
If you miss a quiz, it is your responsibility to arrange to take an alternate written quiz that same week, otherwise you will receive a zero for the assignment. Email me to arrange the alternate quiz. Please be proactive, as there are no exceptions for late requests.
20% – Design Activities
Blog Posts 10 @ 2%
To promote a design thinking ethos in this class — a blog post or video post will be due after each Thursday design activity (10 total). In your post include 1) 5+ clear and engaging photographs or a video of your work from the day’s design related activities and 2) a 100+ word write-up, video, screen recording, or sound file (think short podcast or video blog) of what you achieved (or what you were working toward) from a design thinking perspective. Use vocabulary, concepts and ideas from the week’s material and any additional course material (if you see connections). Make it a habit of thoroughly documenting your design work and your creative process from the beginning of the semester. This includes material from your journal. The more you engage in this documentation throughout the semester, the easier it will be to create your final video essay, which tells the story of your journey in the course as a designer/design-thinker. Assessment of your blogging activity is ongoing throughout the semester. Late work is not accepted.
*Please post your weekly blog link to the Blackboard Discussion Forum by Sunday at midnight.
You are required to comment on the work of at least two students each week in Blackboard. Comments should be thoughtful and substantive with an aim toward constructive critique and becoming better at solving design-related problems.
*2 peer comments are due Tuesday morning, before class begins.
Absence on a Thursday
If you miss a Thursday activity class, be proactive. It is your responsibility to complete the work, or a modified/alternate version of the work. Your completed work should be posted to your blog by Sunday at midnight, otherwise you will receive a zero for that assignment. You are still required to critique two of your peer’s work by Tuesday morning in Blackboard.
20% – Midterm
This midterm is a two part examination of your critical thinking about themes in the course. Part 1 will ask you to engage in a design problem. Part 2 will ask you to write an argumentative essay. In this essay include a clear, compelling thesis statement and strong supporting evidence to support your argument. Essays should be between 300-500 words. Design work and essay will be uploaded to Blackboard/Week 6/Midterm.
Midterm Part 1: Design Activity will be evaluated using the following production rubric:
- 100 – 90 Connects ideas and synthesizes diverse perspectives to create something new
- 89 – 80 Analyzes and applies learning; critically examines ideas, concepts from course
- 79- 70 Comprehends and applies learning from course (uses ideas to convey, express)
- 69 – 0 Comprehension of course material is not demonstrated
- 100 – 90 Planning and intention behind the creation is purposeful and clear
- 89- 80 Planning and intention behind the creation is understandable
- 79 – 70 Planning and intention behind the creation is vague
- 69 – 0 Planning and intention behind the creation questionable/not demonstrated
- 100 – 90 Project creates a new idea (or method) that proves useful, timely, and engaging
- 89- 80 Project re-.‐‑conceptualizes; devises a new observation about a larger concept or idea
- 79- – 70 Project modifies or relates or extends a concept for a new situation
- 69 – 0 Project summarizes or routinely deploys tropes and stereotypes
- 100 – 90 Multimedia elements of the project come together to exhibit skillful technique
- 89 – 80 Multimedia elements of the project come together to exhibit proficiency of technique
- 79 – 70 Multimedia elements of the project exhibit limited technique
- 69 – 0 Multimedia elements of the project exhibit questionable technique
Part 2: Essays will be evaluated according to this Argumentative Writing Evaluation Rubric:
Response to Topic 25%
100-90% Sets up and responds fully to topic. Develops argument that takes account of complexities within and/or multiple perspectives on the problem, issue or question. Conveys sense of significance regarding issue—why it matters, for whom.
89-80% Responds fully to the topic. Uses specifics to develop an argument that takes into account complexities and/or perspectives on the topic. Provides a broad sense of the significance regarding the issue.
79-70% Responds generally to the topic. Demonstrates only minor development of argument that takes into account few complexities and/or perspectives on the issue. Sense of significance is trite or simplistic.
69-0% Responds generally to the topic with little context or set up. Demonstrates limited development of argument, which does not take into account perspectives other than the author’s. Sense of significance is trivial or missing.
Knowledge of Subject 25%
100-90% Demonstrates a detailed knowledge of course materials. Draws on variety of relevant texts (readings, videos,etc). Brings support from these materials to develop arguments or illustrate points. Use of materials demonstrates writer has read carefully, thoughtfully, and with attention to interconnections.
89-80% Demonstrates knowledge of course materials. Draws on relevant materials to adequately support/develop points. Use of materials demonstrates writer has engaged documents but connections between documents are not fully articulated or explored.
79-70% Demonstrates a general knowledge of the course materials. Relies almost exclusively on one, possibly two, textual supports. Use of materials demonstrates only a cursory reading of texts, making few connections between relevant ideas, events and documents.
69-0% Demonstrates little knowledge of course materials. Makes generalizations that have minimal support within the texts, suggesting a superficial reading and providing limited development of connections.
Analysis and Interpretation 25%
100-90% Analyzes, interprets and draws conclusions from course materials. Writer demonstrates critical engagement in the analysis as s/he considers implications, speculates, poses questions, examines assumptions, etc.. Well-selected quotations (and other uses of course materials) are explained and analyzed to show how these support the point the author is making.
89-80% Analyzes, interprets and draws conclusions from course materials. Writer demonstrates critical engagement in the analysis in which s/he considers implications, poses questions. Attempts to examine assumptions. Relevant quotations are not always explained fully, forcing the reader to fill in gaps.
79-70% Analysis and interpretation are limited. Essay supplies minimal and/or sporadic critical engagement with course materials. Limited examination of assumptions and consideration of broader implications. Related quotations are dropped into essay, with little explanation and/or connection to points.
69-0% Contains more summary than analysis. Conclusions may not be related to course materials. Avoids addressing broader implications. Quotations are dropped into essay with little or no explanation of relation to points. Or, much of the writing consists of quotations (excessive quotes).
Clarity, Organization, Language, Style, Conventions 25%
100-90% Thesis argues a specific position. Argument develops logically from point to point (flows). Language conveys meaning with precision and clarity. Observes conventions of standard edited English in spelling grammar, and punctuation. Provides appropriate documentation for sources.
89-80% Thesis argues a clear position. Essay maintains focus and points flow logically from one to the next. Language may lapse, providing occasionally vague or imprecise meanings. Contains few errors in conventions of standard edited English and appropriate documentation.
79-70% Thesis argues a general position. Essay shifts focus and may contain gaps between points (awkward flow), assuming the reader will fill in any blanks. Language provides only a general sense of meaning. Contains some errors in conventions of standard edited English and partially complete documentation.
69-0% Thesis is either confusing or weak. Essay lacks clear focus and makes few points plainly. It contains few connections between points. Contains many errors in employing conventions of standard edited English and incomplete or inaccurate documentation.
20% – Final
Video Essay on Design Thinking
Link due in Blackboard at 5:30 PM on Monday December 19th.
How would you describe your growth in design thinking throughout the course of the semester? Create a reflective documentary video essay in which you tell the story about your growth as a designer/design-thinker. Show your own design work from this class and how that work solves/or attempts to solve design related problems. In your narrative, discuss what contributed to your development as a designer/design thinker. What is the value of design thinking? Upload your 3-5 minute video to Vimeo and Youtube (mark the video as public) and post the url to your blog by the Exam Date. Double-check to make sure the link works.
Questions to consider
- Look at your portfolio of work from the course. Think about your goals for each project. What, specifically, were you trying to accomplish–above and beyond satisfying the minimum requirements outlined in the task description? In other words, what communicative work does this piece do? Does it solve a problem? For whom? In what contexts? What is its meaning? What is its value?
- What specific rhetorical, material, methodological, and technological choices did you make in service of accomplishing the goal(s) articulated above? Catalog, as well, choices that you might not have consciously made, and those that were made for you when you opted to work with certain genres, materials, and technologies. Why did you end up pursuing this plan as opposed to the others you came up with?
- How did the various choices listed above allow you to accomplish things that other sets or combinations of choices would not have?
- What skills and techniques did you use during the course of these projects? What can you do better now than you could do before the class? How has your thinking about design and aesthetics changed or grown during the course? How can this be useful beyond the course?
- What is visual rhetorics?
- What is design thinking?
- What does this statement mean to you? What we do not notice, we do not see.
Think about your story arc, your overall design, your message/tone, your visuals and your sound before filming anything. If not, you’ll end up filming it again when you do have an idea. Take some time to really think about who you are, and how you can communicate that visually.
Show Your Personality…Don’t Tell Who Are You? What have you learned? Are you weird, quirky, offbeat, colorful, vengeful, artistic, cool, smooth, lewd, crude…Show it off.
“Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Taken.” Oscar Wilde has a good point here. There is nothing more boring to an audience than a) you trying to be a reporter, or b) someone trying to be who they’re not. It comes across as disingenuous and just plain wrong. Have fun. Relax. Remember you can use the sound booth on the second floor of Bronstein for voiceovers.
Show, Don’t Tell
This is one of those hackneyed lines repeated ad nauseum by professors. Video is a visual medium. Don’t have “just you” talking on camera in your office for any more than 5-10 seconds. Cover it up with some b-roll and quick cuts—visually represent yourself and your experience in the course.
Video essays will be evaluated according to the following guidelines:
- 100-90 Connects ideas and synthesizes diverse perspectives to create something new
- 89-80 Analyzes and applies learning; critically examines ideas, concepts from course
- 79-70 Comprehends and applies learning from course (uses ideas to convey, express)
- 69-0 Comprehension of course material is not demonstrated
- 100-90 Project employs narrative elements to communicate a powerful sense of significance
- 89-80 Project employs narrative elements to communicate a sense of significance
- 79-70 Project employs narrative elements to communicate a vague sense of significance
- 69-0 Project unsuccessfully employs narrative elements
- 100-90 Multimedia elements of the project come together to exhibit mastery of technique
- 89-80 Multimedia elements of the project come together to exhibit proficiency of technique
- 79-70 Multimedia elements of the project exhibit limited technique
- 69-0 Multimedia elements of the project exhibit questionable technique
- 100-90 Project creates a new idea (or method) that proves useful, timely, and engaging
- 89-80 Project re-conceptualizes; devises a new observation about a larger concept or idea
- 79-70 Project modifies or relates or extends a concept for a new situation
- 69-0 Project summarizes or routinely deploys tropes