In the Faculty of Arts, a dynamic partnership with Adobe has been reshaping the landscape of digital media education. The pedagogical benefits of media-based assessments for students within the Faculty have been proven to be plentiful and diverse. Over the past several years, this collaboration has not only equipped students with essential digital skills but also addressed communication capabilities vital beyond academia’s confines, evidenced through photo journals, infographics, and short films. Through comprehensive guides produced by the student-led Digital Champions and hosted on the Faculty’s Adobe Support Hub, hands-on support provided by this same team in the Faculty Digilab, and additional information accessible via the Faculty’s Learning and Teaching Hub, the Faculty has fostered an environment of innovation and growth. 

Digital media assessment in “experienced departments”

In digital audio education, Dr Helen Wolfenden’s Media and Communication (MMCC) units have long been pioneers, with Adobe Audition providing a foundation for hands-on learning and skill development. MMCC1008 Introducing to Podcasting, MMCC2070 Radio ‘On Air’, MMCC2160 Radio and Podcast: Creation and MMCC3037 Radio and Podcast: The ‘On Air’ Career students have consistently produced outstanding work, leveraging Audition’s features to craft compelling narratives and engaging content. Students appreciate the chance to use fundamental tools to complete their assessments. Having access off-campus to Creative Cloud applications, as provided by the Adobe partnership, also creates enormous flexibility in their learning because they are not beholden to the teaching labs to do their audio editing. These podcasting units’ students find Adobe to be quite user friendly, relative to other audio editing software on the market, and value being able to apply their learning from units that are using other Adobe tools within their course. This leads to their final project in MMCC3045 Interactive Storytelling where Dr Stephen Collins asks students to create a visual story, blurring the lines between art, novel and game. Here, they can demonstrate their digital competence with industry-relevant tools. 

Digital media assessments in “classic Arts subjects”

In other disciplines, the introduction of digital media assessments has proven equally rewarding but more challenging, with students less familiar with what purpose such assessment serves. Convenors of Ancient History and Archaeology (AHIS) units have found that incorporating digital media assessments across all levels and offering detailed instruction on what the Adobe suite can do and what it is for were critical in helping their students understand the power of these tools for storytelling and public outreach. In AHIS1210 Studying the Past: An Introduction to Ancient History in the 21st Century, Prof Ray Laurence asked students to create a public-facing blog using Adobe Portfolio, challenging them to think beyond the academic audience and reflect on the power of history in the modern day. Some students enjoyed their task so much that their assessment blog became an ongoing project, with entries continuing to be posted years after the actual assessment.  

ARTS3500 Arts Capstone is taking public engagement through digital assessment to the next level. Dr James Mackenzie challenged students to take on the role of a multidisciplinary team of freelancers and develop a video pitch using Adobe Premiere Pro that sought to solve a problem related to sustainability and liveability in the City of Ryde. Those top performing pitches – assessed on the strength of their idea and quality of their video – were screened to members of the City of Ryde Council, in an exciting partnership between local government and Macquarie University. This year, the unit will be partnering with Midtown MacPark, a housing initiative in Macquarie Park. We are looking forward to this round of exciting video presentations. 

Use of Adobe products in the Faculty of Arts

Across the Faculty of Arts, integration of the Adobe suite into digital assessment at multiple levels exemplifies a progressive approach to digital education, fostering a culture of exploration and innovation and preparing our students for success in a dynamic and competitive digital landscape with industry approved tools. Inspired by the potential of digital media education, we welcome you to explore how adopting the Adobe suite can enhance your unit’s learning and teaching and empower your students in new and engaging ways.  

Contact your Faculty Learning Design and Production Team to discuss how you can use these resources to improve learning outcomes and prepare your students for success in the digital landscape. 

Banner image: Adobe stock image

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