Course Title: Develop and extend design skills and practice

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2011

Course Code: VART5936C

Course Title: Develop and extend design skills and practice

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5218 - Diploma of Interactive Digital Media

Course Contact : Program Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4815

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Teacher: Kieran Doolan
Phone: 9925 4110

Nominal Hours: 30

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This course looks at the skills and knowledge required by a practising interactive digital media designer. Through the exploration of photography, image editing tools and graphic design techniques, you develop your skills and complete a series of printed and screen based projects.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

BSBDES403A Develop and extend design skills and practice


1. Acquire and develop technical skills

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Plan strategies to ensure the development of appropriate technical skills in design practice
1.2 Plan and use opportunities to develop and assess technical skills
1.3 Identify and use practice, feedback, discussion and evaluation opportunities to continuously improve technical skills
1.4 Develop and extend technical skills through testing capabilities of materials, tools and equipment
1.5 Identify and use relevant media to stimulate technical and professional development


3. Develop own voice

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Engage in ongoing experimentation and exploration of different ideas and techniques
2.2 Discuss ideas with others and apply knowledge gained to inform own work
2.3 Use work practice to gain experience in a range of genres and interpretations
2.4 Study the work of others to stimulate conceptual and technical skills development
2.5 Research and share ideas across a range of design disciplines
2.6 Identify and use a range of opportunities to develop own skills and keep informed about current design practice


4. Evaluate own work

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Explore and experiment with new ideas in making and/or interpreting design work
3.2 Explore and use technology, where appropriate, to develop own voice and expand practice
3.3 Demonstrate own voice through design project realization


5. Research work opportunities

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Seek and apply constructive criticism from others to improve own work
4.2 Evaluate own work against planned strategy for own practice
4.3 Evaluate own work in the context of work by others in order to extend own practice
4.4 Adjust work processes and practice as necessary to improve technical, conceptual and commercial outcomes


2. Develop conceptual skills and ideas

Performance Criteria:

5.1 Correctly identify sources of information relating to work opportunities for designers
5.2 Identify networks and promotional opportunities for designers which may be helpful in developing career opportunities
5.3 Incorporate research results and information into own work and career planning

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will have developed design skills appropriate for interactive digital media design.

Details of Learning Activities

In-class learning activities include, but are not limited to:
• lectures
• lab work
• peer teaching and class presentations
• group discussion
• online research
• independent project based work
• teacher directed group activities/projects
• workshopping of students’ own projects

Out-of-class activities include, but are not limited to,
• research
• work shopping
• independent project based work

Teaching Schedule

WeekClass ContentElements
1Intro to Develop and Extend Design Skills – Passport Photos1,2,3
2Subject, content, form – 24 Exposures/Contact Sheet1,2,3
3Elements and Principals of design – Basic Selections1,2,3
4Masks, channels & layer comps – Quick Mask Assessment 11,2,3,4,5
5Image composition – Rule of Thirds Assessment 21,2,3,4,5
6Studio Class1,2,3,4,5
7Compositional Study - Elements & Principles of Design Assessment 31,2,3,4,5
8Custom brushes and digital painting1,2,3,4,5
9Composite images - Red/Photomontage – Assessment 41,2,3,4,5
10Image retouching and repair techniques1,2,3,4,5
11Summative assessment concept presentations – Assessment 51,2,3,4,5
12Review retouch and repair techniques – Old Man image – Assessment 61,2,3,4,5
13Photoshop vector graphics and vector masks1,2,3,4,5
14Colour correcting digital photographs – Assessment 71,2,3,4,5
15Studio Class1,2,3,4,5
16Summative Assessment - Photo Montage/Collage presentations1,2,3,4,5

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Galer & Andrews, 2010, Photoshop CS5 Essential Skills, Focal Press

Dabner et. al., 2010, Graphic Design School, Thames and Hudson


You are expected to make full use of University library facilities, in researching and developing photographic, digital imaging and graphic design techniques.
You are also advised to look at the course Blackboard site for ongoing updated information.

Other Resources

Other required resources include suitable digital media storage such as a portable hard drive or USB flash drive, with at least 4Gb capacity.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course is ongoing throughout the semester. Your knowledge course content is assessed through ongoing class exercises and construction of a high-resolution photographic document.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment tasks in this course are either formative or summative. Formative tasks provide the basis for ongoing feedback and can be considered as essential building blocks for the more substantial summative assessment tasks.
To demonstrate competency in this course, you will need to complete each one of the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback on all assessments and a grade for the summative assessments.

Formative Assessment

1. Quick Mask
Demonstrate your ability to make selections with the Quick Mask tool in Photoshop. Due in class.
2. Rule of Thirds
Compose a photographic image, which clearly demonstrates your understanding of The Rule of Thirds. Due in class.
3. Compositional Study - Elements & Principles of Design
Produce a high resolution, printed image which clearly demonstrates your understanding of the Elements and Principals of Design. Due in class week 7.
4. Red/Photomontage
Assemble a composite photographic image, using the colour red as the dominant design element. Due in class.
5. Summative assessment concept presentations
Present initial concepts for the Photo Montage/Collage assessment. Due in class.
6. Old Man image
Demonstrate your ability to use the retouch and repair tools in Photoshop. Due in class.
7. Colour correction
Demonstrate your ability to apply colour correction techniques in Photoshop. Due in class.

Summative Assessment

8. Photo Montage/Collage
Produce a high resolution A3 printed image, which clearly demonstrates your understanding of the Elements and Principals of Design, and their application to a Photographic Montage/Collage. Due in class week 16.

Grades used in this unit are as follows:

Competent with High Distinction
CDI Competent with Distinction
CC Competent with Credit
CAG Competency Achieved - Graded
NYC Not yet Competent
DNS Did Not Submit for Assessment

For further information on the grading system and criteria used, please refer to the course blackboard site.

Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrated alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency. These are available through the course contact in Program administration

Other Information

You will receive feedback from your teacher on your work. This feedback also includes suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.

Late Submissions
Please refer to the course blackboard site for policy information including information on late submissions and plagiarism

RMIT has a strict policy on plagiarism. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy.

Special consideration Policy (Late Submission)
All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level. If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension.
Please refer to the following URL for extensions and special consideration:;ID=qkssnx1c5r0y;STATUS=A;PAGE_AUTHOR=Andrea%20Syers;SECTION=1;

Course Overview: Access Course Overview