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Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Teaching Interaction Design
Since I just turned in my students' final grades and my students have already filled out their course evaluation of me, I thought I would jot down a few words about my first time teaching design and about the course in general. Call it a self-evaluation.

Obvious point number one: Teaching is moderately difficult. I'm not used to getting up in front of 20 people twice a week and either tell them what I know or critique their work. I also wasn't prepared for the blank stare that most students (yes, even graduate students, I've looked) have. It's daunting at first, and I was definitely prone to answering the questions I posed myself without allowing enough time for the students to answer the questions themselves. Teaching is actually easy, but getting the students to learn is what is hard.

Which brings me to point two. If I was going to teach this class again, I'd teach it differently. I think I spent too much time on interaction design concepts outside of projects. Although I tried to integrate the topics into the process (talking about visual design before the students did visual design, say), it probably would have been better to just toss the students into the digital pool, then talk about concepts as they arose during projects. I'd probably get rid of the first third of the class and replace it with a longer project. Make the class three big projects instead of two big projects and two small ones.

I would also probably change the nature of at least one of the projects. As I'm constantly being told, there is a big difference between designing a vase and designing something to hold flowers. Both of my big projects this time around were about designing vases. And the students designed really nice vases. And it is important to know how to do that. You do need to walk before you can run. But next time, the last project at least will be more open-ended, more about coming up with a concept and running with it. Maybe something to hold flowers...

posted at 07:25 PM in teaching | comments (0) | trackback (0)


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