Design Pedagogy

Assistant Professors Christensen and Hussaini presented about integrating social justice into visual communication design curriculum at the 2023 AIGA DEC Symposium

Assistant Professors Christensen and Hussaini presented together at the AIGA DEC Lens 2023 Symposium in New York City, as part of the AIGA National Design Conference. The AIGA DEC hosted Lens as a one-day symposium featuring peer-reviewed papers, panels, posters, and other work from educators, graduate students, and industry professionals that address ideas and topics connected to the theme LENS. Christensen and Hussaini introduced their work integrating a social justice lens into curricular development for visual communication design courses, specifically in relation to multimodal storytelling for two courses: the experimental Visual Storytelling elective class Christensen has introduced, and Research and Writing in Design, the core major requirement course Hussaini has re-envisioned. The presentation shared best practices formulated from these two case studies for pedagogical approaches to create politically engaged, community-focused classroom learning communities. 

Banner of the AIGA DEC Lens Symposium 2023
Example of slide in the professors' presentation
Another example of slide in the professors' presentation

Prof. Chu teaches Design and Society at Sichuan University UIP Summer Program

Prof. Hsiao-Yun Chu has taught a short course on Design and Society as part of Sichuan University's University Immersion Program, which brings together students with faculty from around the world, encouraging global awareness and intercultural communication. "I'm extremely grateful to Sichuan University, to Prof. Dr. Zhao Chengqing for his warm invitation as well as to Dr. Gao Ran and the rest of the faculty for welcoming me," says Prof. Chu. "Although I was invited to teach the students about design, I myself learned so much about the Chinese language and the rich cultural history of Chengdu during my stay." Sichuan University is one of China's most prestigious universities, serving about 50,000 students across many disciplines. Prof. Chu has been teaching at the Arts College of Sichuan University.

Assist. Profs. Christensen and Sosa-Tzec to introduce a design communication rubric at Surface, the 2022 AIGA Design Educators Community Conference

Ellen Christensen and Omar Sosa-Tzec, Assistant Professors of Visual Communication Design, have developed a rubric to evaluate the presentation and communication of design projects by undergraduate design students. The two professors will present this rubric at the Surface, the 2022 AIGA Design Educators Community Mini-Conference, which takes place as one of the events within the National AIGA Design Conference of this year.

Christensen and Sosa-Tzec developed this rubric by assessing work from students of the School of Design and using experiential knowledge, design pedagogy scholarship, and the communication rubric elaborated by the American Association of Colleges and Universities. They engaged in this project as part of the Core Competency and GE Assessment Program of the SFSU Undergraduate Education and Academic Planning division, intending to help students become more articulate in their project presentations and strategic regarding the use of writing, imagery, and even non-verbal communication or any possible mode of communication to stand out and be persuasive.

  • Christensen and Sosa-Tzec invite everyone in the School of Design to utilize this rubric.
Rubric to evaluate design communication in the classroom by Ellen Christensen and Omar Sosa-Tzec

    This rubric comprises six communication design dimensions

    • Design Situation - the student's ability to describe the problem to address through design
    • Design Process - the student's ability to describe the different phases and iterations that led to the design solution
    • Design Rationale - the student's ability to describe the effectiveness of the design outcome
    • Design Language and Vocabulary - the student's ability to describe discipline-specific concepts that informed the design process
    • Design Evidence - the student's ability to provide significant visual or multimodal content that shows design work and process
    • Design Writing - the student's ability to provide written content that explains design work and process
    • Design Competency and Knowledge - the student's ability to describe the learning and takeaways from carrying out the design process

    Each dimension is scored as follows:

    • Beginning - 1 point
    • Developing - 2 points
    • Competent - 3 points
    • Accomplished - 4 points
    Ellen Christensen and Omar Sosa-Tzec