Infusing Innovation in the Curriculum…. a follow up

As I was reviewing the proposals for Imagine RIT last year I noticed a number of really innovative and creative new media proposals with catchy names. It wasn’t until after the Festival that I learned the proposals came out of Adam Smith and Michelle Harris’ New Media Team Project course.

I recently sat down with Adam to learn about how they set up the course to culminate with a project for Imagine RIT. Here are ten key points I took away from our conversation:
1. Collaboration begins in the first two years of study at RIT when students from New Media Design and Imaging (CIAS) and New Media Interactive Development (GCCIS) take up to five cross registered classes.

2. By the time the students are seniors they have established a common dialogue.

3. Approximately 60 seniors (30 from each program) enroll in a two quarter course called New Media Team Project.

4. Adam and Michelle define topic areas, but make the assignment broad enough so the students are motivated to be innovative.

5. Students rank their interest in topic areas (i.e. installation, mobile, game, non-mouse, web application, etc.).

6. Adam and Michelle form seven teams based on interest and ability. Adam points out, “Collaboration is fostered by putting students together that have the same passion.”

7. Both professors serve as advisors throughout the process and focus their efforts on promoting teamwork and collaboration.

8. During the winter quarter each team researches their topical area and prepares a document that outlines their project.

9. The spring quarter is about production and dissemination. All teams are required to submit a proposal for Imagine RIT.

10. Adam admits it has taken years of fine tuning to get to where they are today and they are still making adjustments to how this course is offered.

I look forward to seeing what the New Media Team Project course comes up with in 2010. Visit the New Media Team Project 2009 site to learn more about the projects showcased during Imagine RIT in 2009.

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