Bridging Form and Content: Development of a Common “Micro-Portfolio” Assignment for IAT102 and IAT103W

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipient: Andrew Hawryshkewich, School of Interactive Arts & Technology (SIAT)

Project team: Chantal Gibson, SIAT, and Jillian Warren and Paul Brokenshire, research assistants

Timeframe: April 2015 to March 2016

Funding: $5,000

Courses addressed:

  • IAT 102 – Graphic Design
  • IAT 103W – Design Communication & Collaboration

Final report: View Andrew Hawryshkewich's final project report (PDF)

Description: The focus of the Micro-Portfolio project is to develop a single learning activity that bridges the visual design content taught in IAT 102 and the writing design content taught in IAT 103W.  Both courses conclude with a summative learning portfolio project: IAT102 students develop a digital Graphic Design Portfolio; IAT103W students develop a bound paper Critical Writing Portfolio. Both portfolios require students to provide:

  • visual artifacts and images of their SIAT and SFU course work
  • written descriptions and analyses of their work
  • written reflections on their critical/design thinking, problem solving, and learning processes      

Given the commonalities between both first-year assignments, we want to develop a common portfolio activity that engages students in design thinking and reflective practice. This includes the development of shared instructions and grading criteria that explicitly integrate the formal principles and the writing principles taught in both courses.    All SIAT students are required to take IAT 103W and IAT 102.  By “going deep” on one activity, the Micro-Portfolio will stand out from the other 102 & 103W portfolio activities as a core or fundamental first-year learning activity.  If completed twice within the first two years, this learning activity will help students begin to develop a design ethos and prepare them for upper level coursework and employment opportunities.

Questions addressed:

  • Can one “Micro-Portfolio” activity common to both course portfolios bridge both courses?
  • How will this twice-executed learning activity promote deeper learning for students?  
  • Will this activity help students begin to create a credible design ethos?
  • What is the most effective way to assess this activity in both courses?

Knowledge sharing: The final project and the findings from this research process will be presented to the SIAT faculty.