Online Studio Design Pedagogy: Community, Personality, Graphic Design, Usability

Online Studio Design Pedagogy: Community, Personality, Graphic Design, Usability

Bridget Zalewski Sullivan (Towson University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-782-9.ch017
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Abstract

ART765 Design for the WWW serves as the capstone course in the online post-baccalaureate certificate Interactive Media Design at Towson University. The course and program provide students with the opportunity to advance their web and interactive media design knowledge. The opportunity to design and produce a four course graduate certificate prompted the careful consideration and creation of an online course design system intended to enhance student learning and usability. ART765 Design for the WWW became the design prototype for the IAMD certificate. The pedagogical and design strategies used to create ART765 Design for the WWW include: creating a sense of community and personality, considering the needs of the online learner, graphic design, information architecture, web usability, appropriate multimedia methods, Web 2.0 technology and MUVE’s, and the Quality Matters® peer review. These strategies serve to unify the online teaching and learning environment for all four of the Interactive Media Design courses.
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Introduction

ART765 Design for the WWW serves as the capstone course in the online post-baccalaureate certificate Interactive Media Design at Towson University. The course and program provide professionals, artists, and educators the opportunity to advance their web and interactive media design knowledge by offering coursework via the Internet. Students must complete four graduate-level courses to earn a certificate: Elements of WWW Design, Graduate Typography, Interactive Media Concepts and Theory, and Design for the WWW. The certificate emphasizes visual communication and graphic design theories and practices within the applied context of website and interactive media authoring.

The opportunity to design and produce a four course graduate certificate prompted the careful consideration and creation of an online course design system made up of essential design strategies each intended to enhance student ease of use and improve student learning. ART765 Design for the WWW became the design prototype for the IAMD certificate, and ultimately the course served as the template for subsequently designed IAMD online courses. The pedagogical and design strategies used to create ART765 Design for the WWW include: creating a sense of community and personality, course content that considers the needs of the online learner, graphic design, information architecture, web usability, appropriate multimedia methods, Web 2.0 technology and MUVE’s, and the Quality Matters® peer review. These strategies serve to unify the online teaching and learning environment for all four of the Interactive Media Design courses.

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Art765 Design For The Www Case Study

Overview of the course. Through a series of WWW exercises and projects ART765 Design for the WWW students analyze and apply current aesthetics and methods of World Wide Web design and authoring in order to create comprehensive and effective WWW sites. Students utilize digital imaging methods for image generation, and WWW authoring techniques. Students utilize current industry WWW authoring software including: Adobe Dreamweaver®, and Adobe Photoshop® to engage in the design and production of websites that are published via the Internet. Students also participate in researching various aspects of design for WWW and it’s impact on industry, culture, education, and the visual dissemination of electronic information. Additionally students utilize Web2.0 and MUVE technology as a means of raising their awareness to how these new web technologies expand and alter the expectations of today’s web users.

ART765 Design for the WWW is delivered online through the Blackboard® environment, permitting students from remote locations to complete the course without attending classes at the main campus. Students are expected to have basic to mid-level computer skills. Access to a suitable computer with Internet service is required, and a high-speed Internet connection is recommended.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Face2face, FACE2FACE: traditional face to face teaching in a seminar, studio or lecture format.

Information architecture: Rosenfeld states that, “Information Architecture (often abbreviated I.A.) is the practice of structuring information (knowledge or data) for a purpose. The term is most commonly applied to Web development, but also applies to disciplines outside of a strict Web context, such as programming and technical writing.” (p. 13)

Persistent Navigation: web site navigation that remains persistent in location, and, for the most part, consistently displays the same links.

UI, User Interface: the aggregate of means by which individuals (users) interact with a system

Web Usability: Nielsen (2003) states that, “Usability is a quality attribute that assesses how easy user interfaces are to use.” The word “usability” also refers to methods for improving ease-of-use during the design process. Usability is defined by five quality components 1) learnability- how easy is it for users to accomplish basic tasks the first time they encounter the design? 2) efficiency- once users have learned the design, how quickly can they perform tasks? 3) memorability- when users return to the design after a period of not using it, how easily can they reestablish proficiency? 4) errors- how many errors do users make, how severe are these errors, and how easily can they recover from the errors? 5) satisfaction- how pleasant is it to use the design?”

Brand Identity: a symbolic embodiment of all the images, visual qualities, and ideas connected to a company, product or service.

SOVC, Sense of Virtual Community: Blanchard (2007) states the sense of virtual community is defined as, “members’ feelings of membership, identity, belonging, and attachment to a group that interacts primarily through electronic communication.”

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