About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2048-2057
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1402

Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain

A CREATIVE APPROACH IN ASSIGNMENTS DESIGN, OR HOW THE “NEMOALA” WAS BORN

T. Zafirova-Malcheva

Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" (BULGARIA)
The paper describes the process of design and development of assignments in the elective course "Digital design and multimedia – Graphic design" conducted at Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics (FMI), Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”.
The target audience of the course are students in Computer science programmes at FMI. The main goals are to give basic theoretical knowledge and practical skills in graphic design. The course content includes materials and assignments related to Design elements and principles, Composition, Colour theory, Graphic file formats etc. Practical exercises develop skills to create and edit digital bitmap and vector images, and desktop publishing skills. These knowledge and skills are important and applicable in other courses at FMI related to web design and software design and development, where the final software products require effective and appealing visual presentation.
Typically students at FMI have a logical, systematic and sustainable thinking, therefore the other main goal of this course is to change the manner of their thinking, to make it more creative and ideate, which is of particular importance in the design process. Therefore we need to provoke students’ creativity, motivation and personal involvement.
To achieve the course objectives we follow five-step design methodology, which include Define the Visual Problem, Research, Ideate, Visualize and Implement. First step of this methodology is related with design of assignments that students have to perform. To create assignments, that evoke students’ creativity, motivation and personal involvement, we use different techniques and active instructional methods such as brainstorming, discussions, role playing, different icebreakers etc. These methods are used in the process of assignments preparation and presentation. For example, when students acquire basic skills for edit bitmap images (such as selecting, cropping, resizing), first they create a handmade collage, that later have to recreate using the tools of the specific computer program.
Other assignment, which aims to provoke students creativity and in the same time to be personalized, starts with a discussion on “What is my favorite animal?”, and continued with “What animal am I?” where each student have to choose two animals through which would describe himself, both appearance and character. The discussion ends with the definition of the assignment, which is to create an image of a chimera animal that combines the two chosen animals. In order to perform this assignment students should be able to use basic techniques for processing bitmap images. Besides these technical skills assignment requires serious creative approach related to determining how exactly the chimera will look, the qualities and characteristics of which of the two animals would dominate etc. The implementation of the final idea required the selection of suitable initial images. This assignment born quite creative ideas, one of which is the chimera "Nemoala", which combines koala and clown fish (associated with popular Disney character - Nemo).
As a result of using this methods in the preparation and presentation of course assignments students become more engaged, their motivation and interest in the course increase. The variety in types of assignments and activities, represented in an atypical (for students at FMI) learning manner, achieve one of the important course goals – to evolve students’ creative thinking.
@InProceedings{ZAFIROVAMALCHEVA2016ACR,
author = {Zafirova-Malcheva, T.},
title = {A CREATIVE APPROACH IN ASSIGNMENTS DESIGN, OR HOW THE “NEMOALA” WAS BORN},
series = {8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN16 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-8860-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2016.1402},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2016.1402},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {2048-2057}}
TY - CONF
AU - T. Zafirova-Malcheva
TI - A CREATIVE APPROACH IN ASSIGNMENTS DESIGN, OR HOW THE “NEMOALA” WAS BORN
SN - 978-84-608-8860-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1402
PY - 2016
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2016
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN16 Proceedings
SP - 2048
EP - 2057
ER -
T. Zafirova-Malcheva (2016) A CREATIVE APPROACH IN ASSIGNMENTS DESIGN, OR HOW THE “NEMOALA” WAS BORN, EDULEARN16 Proceedings, pp. 2048-2057.
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