Designing a CMD study programme
Students often consider internships to be the best experiences of their higher education. Sometimes they report having learned more during their internship than in the rest of their studies combined. During our field research we looked at the curriculum of Communication & Multimedia Design (CMD) as a design challenge. Could we weave the practice of internships into the other parts of the programme?
The end result was a condensed and ‘situated’ CMD curriculum attempting to incorporate the learning experiences most valued during internships.
The field research had three approaches. First, we took a theoretical glance at the work of Lave and Wenger about the advantages of situated learning. (Lave, Jean, and Etienne Wenger. 1991. Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.) Second, we discussed some recent case studies of the integration of work experience and vocational education as reported by ECBO. Third, the participants shared their own experiences as an intern or employee within the media design industry.
We combined the insights by designing a CMD-programme that:
- Right from the start, brings the workplace into the classroom and, vice versa, students into the workplace. For example, by letting students work at a design agency early in their training and let a ‘resident teacher’ teach/tutor them right there when needed.
- Changes the role of the educator, removing them from the isolation of the classroom and blending them into a professional situation.
- Asks a considerate degree of versatility of the curriculum and its teachers to adapt to the current needs of students and whatever skills or knowledge their assignment requires.
- Requires the close cooperation of the education institute and the (local) design industry to jointly accommodate such a programme, probably involving dozens to hundreds of students.
A sketch of the programme we designed can be found below (in Dutch).
Veldonderzoeksleider Gabri Heinrichs is lid van de docentenwerkgroep Mensgericht Creëren en docent aan de bacheloropleiding van Communication & Multimedia Design AI&I in Den Bosch. Het veldonderzoek CMD.zip behelsde vooronderzoek gericht op het voorstel voor lectoraatsonderzoek waar Heinrichs aan werkt.