My objectives as an instructor are to practice design pedagogy that prioritizes communication skills and multi-disciplinary collaboration. The two work in tandem because a skill set including writing, presentation, research, and project management facilitates collaboration across disciplines. Through my career as a student and professional, I’ve come to value these skills over mastery of the latest tools because they have honed my abilities to think and engage problems like a designer.
Additionally, the aforementioned skills can be observed and assessed through presentations with an audience from inside and outside the discipline that require students to demonstrate their knowledge and its application. Students become prepared to speak about their work to an audience that may or may not understand the design process. Also, students develop their analysis and evaluative skills through providing feedback to their classmates in critiques, which require the students to engage in critical discussions in small or large groups. I have found these methods effective as a student and instructor.
Through various opportunities, I have taught and mentored students from Pre-K to college sophomores. I challenge them to think critically and expansively, as well as exploring craft. This is imperative for design students, considering our rapidly changing field and the widespread availability of design software. If a student is investing in a design degree, then it is my responsibility as an instructor to teach an enduring skill set aimed at real world situations.
Designers do not work or create in a vacuum and I want my students to be conscious of this fact. Presenting students with realistic concerns, like socioeconomic constraints, for their final product helps keep them grounded as well as providing another metric for evaluation. I will not discourage conceptual work in my courses, but I will provoke the students to push themselves toward concrete and actionable solutions. Students must be able to adapt to the needs and concerns of their future clients, colleagues, and audiences in order to be successful post graduation — and equipping them to do so is my ultimate goal.
Work sample from my graduate teaching assisstantship Design, Culture, and Context I/II with Professor Kathleen Rieder
Courses and Workshops
Design Pedagogy with Professors Meredith Davis and Martha Scotford
Certificate of Achievement in Teaching Workshops
– Intro to Teaching
– Writing Learning Outcomes
– Creating Tests that Assess Higher Order Thinking Skills
– Classroom Assessment Techniques