Teaching & Learning
GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY, QUEENSLAND COLLEGE OF ART
Rae Cooper has assisted in the development of new undergraduate courses for the Queensland College of Art since 2012. The foundation of her teaching practice is the joining of 'real world' industry skills, design thinking and critical analysis. Her theoretical and practical framework is based on over 10 years of experience as a commercial graphic designer and formal teaching qualifications.
Flipped Learning and Teaching practice support her students to not only learn current software, but to learn how to learn software, in preparation for life beyond university in a perpetually evolving technological environment. Visual communication is a powerful force to drive new ideas, and obtaining access to the tools that 'make media' is an integral part of a perpetually changing world. It has the power to influence society (think: body image, sexualised imagery, consumerism) and environment (think: greenwashing, property development, transport industries) and culture (think: political campaigns, volunteerism, social media).
Student Experience and Retention
In addition to teaching, her position as First Year Coordinator for the Design and Digital Media program at Griffith University allows Rae to work across courses with both students and staff. Leading the orientation program for new students allows Rae to develop understanding of the complexities of university student life and scaffold strategies to increase the retention and satisfaction of students (including mature age students returning to study, students with individual needs, students who are the first in their family to attend university and international students).
moving outside the classroom: Work experience + Study
Employers, students and industry leaders all appreciate the value of real world learning and work place emersion. Common sense, time management and a positive attitude go hand in hand with technical ability and creative talent. Rae's students have secured work placement opportunities with the following industry partners:
- Gold Coast University Hospital
- Half Nine
- Smart Advertising
- Gold Coast Arts Centre
- Jack Picone Photography
- Animal Welfare League
- Bleach Festival
- Glow Festival
- Punch Bowl Design
- Que Models
- Nude Creative
- The ARGUS
- Tim Page Photography
- Zaeya Design Group
- Sculpt Studios
- Gold Coast City Marina
- Heather Faulkner (Photo Journalist)
- InStyle Magazine
- Surf Pacific
- Five Three Designs
- Dreamworld Theme Park
- Gold Coast City Council
- Business News Australia
"Every learner is a unique individual with diverse needs, therefore my teaching is dynamic and resists neat philosophical classification. I act as a guide, providing access to information rather than acting as the primary source of information. The only learning, which influences behaviour, and learning is self‐discovered.
It is a challenging time for the rapidly evolving technological landscape, creating obstacles for today’s design educators and acknowledging this is central to my practice. The technology we teach to first year students is often outdated or redundant by the time they graduate. I strive to adapt to the current and future landscape and design my curriculum with these challenges in mind. My students are empowered with the understanding of design as a catalyst for positive change. The way we communicate with each other, utilise our finite resources, adapt to changing climate (both physical and psychological) all relate to our understanding and practice of design. Design is much more than aesthetics, production for profit and branding.
While embracing online and remote learning, I welcome face to face communication, my door is always (often) open. Students trust that I am accessible and have genuine interest in their success.
Designing curriculum based on intrinsic motivation has never been more imperative. My teaching embraces the idea that “knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.” The theories of Plato tell us that we don’t learn through force. We will grow academically by embracing our passions and understanding of individual interests. Our current global condition renders little more important than strong learning environments, passionate teaching, quality education and critical engagement our past and present, for the future." -Rae Cooper