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September 14, 2011

A good start

Student with signI was happy to see what Dan wrote in the thought balloon before I took his picture at the start of the semester in Visual Communication Foundation class. A surprising number of others couldn't think of anything to say, not a terribly promising start to a class about communication. But we'll work with that.

On the other hand, someone who starts with a positive attitude like this is probably going to do well.

There's a trend in this class that I haven't seen before, and can't explain. Quite a few students are actually interested in learning about visual communication! Strange as it may seem, most often when I ask students why they are taking the class they say "because I have to."

List of student majors on whiteboardThis time I was pleasantly surprised when quite a few raised their hands when I asked the opposite question: "Who's taking this class because they want to learn about visual communication?"

Later, the list of student majors we wrote on the board as part of a "social networking" game was another surprise.

"Philosophy," "Firefighter," and "Career Enhancement" are all unexpected—and very welcome additions to the usual "Graphic Design" and "Interactive Media".

While I love Graphic Design students—after all, I was one myself at the University of Dayton many years ago—sad to say they often are a little too practical, a little too restrained. Maybe not so much fun.

I'm hoping that rubbing elbows with non-GD students will create sparks that will make it fun and interesting and valuable for everyone involved. I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.

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