So why is design important and how can it transform education?
First off, let’s define what I mean by “design.” Design is, but not limited to, the creation of new artifacts, the remixing of existing things or ideas, aesthetics, the process of planning, the art of creating workflows, projects, systems and solutions and the presentation of information. Design is really about how things work. Design is about creating solutions.
Within the educational environment I have leveraged design in two different facets. I have used design as a tool to convey information and as a way to break down copious about of material into a more digestable fashion. I have also use design to help facilitate the learning environment to promote clarity for students, create more appealing presentation of material, and a provide a structure that would promote a student self-paced workflow.
Take a look below for some examples of design projects I have created and how I have assisted teachers in redesigning their materials.
Educational Design Projects
This project was for the Secondary Humanities Department. They were looking for a way to present the books that were being read in each grade in a way that was both easy to understand and also engaging to present to both internal and external viewers. We collaborated on the idea for a “bookshelf” and this is the project that culminated.
Humanities History Sequence
The Humanities Department was grappling with how to showcase many of the aspects of their classes. This project was designed to illustrate one of the many layers of the curriculum, the historical sequence that was explored in conjunction with thematic and literature.
This poster was created as a way to easily and attractively visually convey the grade levels and their studies as students progress from grades six through twelve. Iconography was also used to help communicate studies.
Google Doc Redesigns
I have also worked with many teachers to assist them with redesigning their project documents in a way to promote clarity for students, a more appealing design, and a structure that would promote a student self-paced workflow.
The newly redesigned documents now:
- Clearly denote project steps
- Use icons to help visually denote which step the student are on (example: research, outline, write)
- Employ design elements such as image and color to help convey visual hierarchy as well as specific information
- Create a more appealing student experience
- Utilize hyperlinks to make the document more interactive
- Some of these original document were separated into multiple documents (example: so students could “choose their own path” depending on their research topic)