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Mark
Designing for Change 
VISC 520 Junior & Studio CourseProject 1 | Project 2 | Resources

ESSENTIAL COMPETENCIES
as defined by AIGA and NASAD (National Association of Schools of Art and Design)

Graphic designers ready to work as professionals have mastered a broad range of conceptual, formal, and technological skills. Whatever educational or career paths they have taken, certain fundamental competencies have been acquired.

The ability to solve communication problems, including the skills of problem identification, research and information gathering, analysis, generation of alternative solutions, prototyping and user testing, and evaluation of outcomes.

The ability to describe and respond to the audiences and contexts which communication solutions must address, including recognition of the physical, cognitive, cultural, and social human factors that shape design decisions.

The ability to create and develop visual form in response to communication problems, including an understanding of principles of visual organization/ composition, information hierarchy, symbolic representation, typography, aesthetics, and the construction of meaningful messages.

An understanding of tools and technology, including their roles in the creation, reproduction, and distribution of visual messages. Relevant tools and technologies include, but are not limited to, drawing, offset printing, photography, and time-based and interactive media (film, video, computer multimedia).

An understanding of basic business practices, including the ability to organize design projects and to work productively as a member of teams.

In specialized programs, there are additional competencies.

For graphic design programs with a special emphasis in advertising, design experiences should include the application of communication theory, planning of campaigns, audience/user evaluation, market testing, branding, art direction, and copyrighting, as well as the formal and technical aspects of design and production.

For graphic design programs with a special emphasis in design planning and strategy, design experiences should include working in interdisciplinary teams, systems-level analysis and problem solving, writing for business, and the application of management, communication, and information theories.

For graphic design programs with a special emphasis in time-based or interactive media, design experiences should include storyboarding, computer scripting, sound-editing, and issues related to interface design, as well as the formal and technical aspects of design and production for digital media.

The Six Major Levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy:

There is more than one type of learning. A committee of colleges, led by Benjamin Bloom, identified different levels of educational activities. There are six major categories, which are listed in order below, starting from the simplest behavior to the most complex. The categories can be thought of as degrees of difficulties. That is, the first one must be mastered before the next one can take place.

Knowledge.
- Remembering information
- Define, identify, label, state, list, match
• Identify the standard peripheral components of a computer
• Quote prices to a customer from memory
• Identify the five major prophets of the Old Testament

Comprehension.
- Explaining the meaning of information
- Describe, generalize, paraphrase, summarize, estimate
• In one sentence explain the main idea of a written passage
• Describe in prose what is shown in graph form
• Explain in one’s own words the steps for performing a complex task

Application.
- Using abstractions in concrete situations
- Determine, chart, implement, prepare, solve, use, develop
• Apply previously learned information to new and unfamiliar situations.
• Apply shading to produce depth in drawing
• Use a manual to put a piece of furniture together

Analysis.
- Breaking down a whole into component parts, examining (and trying to understand the organizational structure of) information.
- Points out, differentiate, distinguish, discriminate, compare
• Compare and contrast the major assumptions underlying psychoanalytic and humanistic approaches to psychology
• Identify supporting evidence to support the interpretation of a literary passage
• Troubleshoot a piece of equipment by using logical deduction

Synthesis.
- Putting parts together to form a new and integrated whole
- Create, design, plan, organize, generate, write
• Integrate training from several sources to solve a problem.
• Revises and process to improve the outcome.
• Develop an individualized nutrition program for a diabetic patient
• Compose a choral work using four-part harmony for men’s and women’s voices

Evaluation.
- Making judgments about the merits of ideas, materials, or phenomena
- Appraise, critique, judge, weigh, evaluate, select
• Select the best proposal for a proposed water treatment plant
• Evaluate a work of art using appropriate terminology
• Explain and justify a new budget.