Foundation ePortfolios: In collaboration with fellow first-year faculty, I’m working on a COMD initiative to integrate student ePortfolios into our two-year Foundation Program. We are currently developing an OpenLab portfolio theme, COMD-specific portfolio architecture, and corresponding curriculum to help with integration into the Foundation courses.

Student Learning Outcomes include:

  • Link academic learning with future career goals
  • Cultivate and document their “creative design process.”
  • Practice thoughtful written self reflection and peer critique
  • Examine and evaluate their academic work collected over time
  • Analyze, assess and take ownership of their academic progress
  • Integrate experiences in and out of the classroom
  • Make decisions about future goals based on evidence

Department Benefits Include:

  • Student Advisement Tool: Advising faculty may review a student’s ePortfolio to assess overall strengths/weaknesses and make recommendations.
  • Senior Portfolio Preparation: Students document their best work from each course in preparation for developing a Career Portfolio for their senior Portfolio Review.
  • Curriculum Assessment: The Department may review student work to determine strengths/weaknesses in curriculum

Department-wide Design Process: An idea that has evolved out of curriculum discussions is the need to unify the Department’s method and approach to design thinking and process. Part of my approach to teaching first year students has been to instill an understanding and appreciation for a clear Design Process. I have been and will continue to work toward developing a department-wide creative design process to provide faculty and students with a defined and consistent framework that all students can follow throughout their academic career at City Tech. My aim is to find ways to integrate a shared Design Process into each class, allowing students in all concentration areas to graduate with the ability to develop innovative and professional solutions to visual communication problems. Using ePortfolios to support the practice of Design Process, especially in First Year Foundation Courses, is another way I am exploring this important creative experience in my own teaching with the hope of integrating it into the fabric of the Department in the future.

Ecological Design Systems: I am currently focusing on ways to integrate my interests in ecological design, permaculture science, and biomimicry into my pedagogical pursuits. I am specifically interested in technologies where design innovation is inspired by natural systems.

While developing a new Bachelor’s degree program in Emerging Media, I wrote the first Introduction to Ecological Design course offered at CUNY and formulated a concentration in EcoMedia, which addresses the development of interactive media, products, and systems using ecological design considerations and theories, such as the cradle-to-cradle design process.

I would like to explore ways in which Communication Design students can strengthen their position in emerging media fields through the study of these important and timely design principles and processes.