Doug’s Spring 2018 Update

Spring Term will see me focus on design and its impact on communication. The acts of communication, including writing, speaking, showing slides, etc., force all of us to make choices about what message we want to convey, what words and pictures to use, and how to present those words and pictures. In these ways, we all become “information designers,” at least a little.

I’ll be teaching The Art of the Presentation to SOAN compsing seniors again this spring. I’ve taught a version of this session for a number of years. The students are getting ready to present their research, mostly in a talk with slides. (A few will make a poster.) We’ll be looking at ways for them to effectively convey the results of their research, getting inspiration from events like the Vizzies and 3MT *.

Kathy Evertz, one of her students, a few profs and I have started talking about bringing a version of 3MT to Carleton. The working title is “One-Minute Comps.”

I’m looking forward to working again with River Rossi in her Digital Landscapes class, supplementing the lessons that students glean from the online resources at I’ll be demonstrating a wide range of digital imaging tools, showing how to choose the correct tool and use it with confidence.

In addition to my involvement with classes and individuals on design-related communication activities, I’ll continue to deepen my knowledge of the field with books and articles, including:

Can Design Thinking Redesign Higher Ed?

Using Design Thinking in Higher Education

How to Teach Graphic Design

Principles of Course Design

* From Georgia Tech: The premise of the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition is to develop academic, presentation, and research communication skills. It supports the development of students’ capacities to effectively explain their research in language appropriate to an intelligent but nonspecialist audience. 3MT is not an exercise in “watering down” research but forces students to consolidate their ideas and concisely explain their research discoveries.

New [un]workshop: Promoting Critical Thinking with Design-Rich Assignments


What the unWorkshop is about:

Communicating arguments effectively through a visual medium has its own particular set of opportunities, challenges, and logics–and students often lack exposure and practice in these areas. In this session, we’ll showcase different approaches to design-rich assignments including tips for scaffolding, timing, and assessing student work.

Join Doug and Celeste for a fun hour of talking through visual arguments, possible assignments and assessments!


Tuesday, April 4 in CMC 328

Wednesday, May 24 in the Atheneum

Presentation and Visual Design

Presentation and visual design skills can be developed to help make our communications more effective.  They are fields of study and practice which can take years to master.  Most people do not have the time, drive or interest to delve so deeply into these areas of design.  We all, though, are required to make design decisions whenever we create presentation materials – papers, blog posts, graphs, charts, slides, etc.
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