Course Title: Develop and extend design skills and practice

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2012

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. 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:

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


4. Evaluate own work

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


5. Research work opportunities

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


2. Develop conceptual skills and ideas

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

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
2Elements and Principals of Design – Photoshop - Basic selections – A011,2,3
3Subject, content, form – 24 Exposures – Photoshop - Contact sheet - A021,2,3
4Photoshop - Quick masks, channels & layer masks – A031,2,3,4,5
5Photoshop - Clone stamp, retouch & heal - Concept presentations – A04
6Photoshop - Levels and curves colour adjustments – A05
7Studio Class1,2,3,4,5
8Summative A06 - Micro Macro World
9Photoshop – Non destructive workspaces and workflow – A07
10Photoshop – Paths, masks and blend modes – A081,2,3,4,5
11Photoshop – Perspective editing, gradients and vignettes – A091,2,3,4,5
12Summative assessment concept presentations – Old Man image repair – A101,2,3,4,5
13Photoshop – Advanced colour & tone edit – Studio/location composite – A11
14Studio Class1,2,3,4,5
15Studio Class1,2,3,4,5
16Summative A012 – The Revolution Will Be Posterised1,2,3,4,5

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 Assessments

1. Basic Selections
    Demonstrate your ability to make basic selections in Photoshop. Due in class week 2

2. Contact Sheet/24 Exposures
    Demonstrate your ability to illustrate subject, content and form via a 24 exposure contact sheet in Photoshop. Due in class week 3

3. Quick Mask
    Demonstrate your ability to make accurate selections with Quick Mask and layer masks in Photoshop. Due in class week 4

4. Concept presentations & retouching exercise
    Present initial concepts for the Micro Macro World assessment. Complete the image retouching exercise. Due in class week 5

5. Levels & curves adjustments
    Demonstrate your ability to adjust tone and correct colour casts in Photoshop. Due in class week 6

7. Non-destructive workflow
    Demonstrate your ability to apply non-destructive editing techniques in Photoshop. Due in class week 9

8. Paths, masks and layer blends
    Demonstrate your ability to edit paths and apply layer blend techniques in Photoshop. Due in class week 10

9. Perspective editing, gradients and vignettes
    Demonstrate your ability to work with perspective, gradients and vignette techniques in Photoshop. Due in class week 11

10. Concept presentations & Old Man image repair
    Present initial concepts for the Revolution Will Be Posterised assessment. Complete the image retouching exercise. Due in class week 12

11. Advanced colour, tone and composite
    Demonstrate your ability to apply advanced colour, tone and compositing techniques in Photoshop. Due in class week 13

Summative Assessments 

6. Micro Macro World
    Produce a high-resolution printed image, illustrating a surreal world formed from microscopically tiny or monstrously large     elements. Due week 8

12. The Revolution Will Be Posterised
    Produce a high-resolution printed image, illustrating a revolutionary     concept or ideal. The image will emulate the revolutionary propaganda style of any 20th century socialist society. Due week 16

Grades used in this unit are as follows:

CHD   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