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08 July 2019
Translating a studio-based Communication Design program to an online environment reveals important learnings that are transferable back to on campus and other disciplines.
Experiential or hands-on programs can be delivered successfully online if the social context is understood, highlights a new paper ‘Unpacking the principles of Communication Design for online delivery,’ authored by Associate Professor Nicki Wragg, Chair of Communication Design and Digital Media Design at Swinburne University of Technology, in collaboration with OES.
The studio is a creative hub where students, educators, audience, experts, projects, concepts, materials and media intersect in a vibrant social environment.
Understanding the core attributes of the studio as an active environment enabled Associate Professfor Wragg and OES’s learning designers to distil its best aspects for Swinburne Online’s Bachelor of Design with a Major in Communication Design. They reimaged and prioritised the social context to create trust conducive to developing shared meaning through learning by doing.
“We observed that the social environment that we created for students accelerated their design literacy through interactions with peers and staff, iterative development and ongoing feedback.
“Since its launch in 2014 the degree program has enabled students across Australia to study design, regardless of time or space,” Associate Professor Wragg said.
The online design studio has many benefits, supporting free formal experimentation and the articulation of craft, celebrating ideas and practice, as was done at the Bauhaus in the early 20th century. What was learnt through its creation has wide applications across both online and on-campus programs.
A research paper on this subject ‘Online Communication design education: the importance of social design’, authored by Associate Professor Wragg, was also published in Studies in Higher Education.
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