Course Title: Develop and extend design skills and practice

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2013

Course Code: VART6284C

Course Title: Develop and extend design skills and practice

School: 320T Architecture & Design

Campus: Brunswick Campus

Program: C5316 - Diploma of Graphic Design

Course Contact : Al Briggs

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 9152

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nicola Hardy

9925 9438

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

None, however this unit will be run in a clustered delivery with BSBCRT501A Originate and develop concepts.

Course Description

While undertaking this unit you will develop and extend skills needed to be a practising graphic designer. Designers may work independently or be employed by an organisation.  Designers must continually refine, develop and evaluate their own conceptual and technical skills. Research, experimentation and collaboration are key factors in this process.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

BSBDES403A Develop and extend design skills and practice


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


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


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 realisation


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

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, you will have developed and applied the skills and knowledge required to demonstrate your competency in the above elements.

Details of Learning Activities

In class activities will include:
•Design games
•Peer teaching and class presentations
•Group discussion
•Online research
•Library research
•Independent project based work
•Teacher directed group activities/projects
•Class exercises to review discussions/lectures
•‘Workshopping’ of student projects
•Analysis/critique of relevant reading material

Out of class activities will include:
•Independent research activity

Teaching Schedule


WeekContentActivityPerformance criteria



Performance criteria




Introduction &
Team Building

Course info
Team building activity
Research requirements

Formative assessment 1 : Marshmallow Challenge
Marshmallow debrief
How to use/set up Pinterest
2.1 - 2.7  3.1 - 3.3

Ways of Thinking

Exploring a variety of ways of thinking.
Six Thinking Hats.

Analysis of previous class
Generating ideas
Explore technological development and changes 
2.1  5.1 -5.3

How the
designer solves a

Discourse on Brian Eno and Brion Gysin
Ideas on simplicity from John Maeda
Introduction to ‘Future Thinking’ assessment

Practice Oblique Strategies - idea response generation
Ted video
Formative assessment 2- solve a problem and document ideas -
group project 
 2.1 - 2.6
Examples of different methods of presenting
research material or supporting documents
Continue to work on Future Thinking assessment by conducting
research and gathering reference materials
3.1 - 3.7
5.1 - 5.3

Future Thinking

In-class presentations

Summative assessment PROJECT 1 DUE TODAY.
Students are given set time to present their problems and process
audience members are encouraged to ask questions and make
comments. Peer assessment will take place. 
4.1 - 4.3 
 2.1 - 2.6
5.1 - 5.3

Wacky inventions

Examine innovative inventions from around
the world from Japan to Africa – commercial
products to inventive recycling.

Formative assessment 3: Make a specified product with limited
materials – mini group (3 people) challenge. 
 1.1 - 1.7 1.1 - 1.5
2.1 - 2.6
3.1 - 3.3
4.1 - 4.4

The Experimental

Examine different booklet (binding and folding)

Formative assessment 4: Make some simple book forms.
Prepare for next week’s class by cutting up text (student are
required to bring text). 
2.21.1 - 1.5

Cut Ups and

Explore the work of William Burroughs and David
Discourse on randomness and freedom in
Continue to experimentation with surface design.
Introduction to assessment task 2.

Surface Design
Experiment with surface design (pictorial and text based). 

2.1 - 2.7 1.1 - 1.5

Today we cut the

Measure and plan the book which will be
presented as the assessment piece

Finalise surface design
Cutting and folding technique of the Boustophedon. 
 3.1,3.3 1.1 -1.5


Finalisation of project and class presentations.

 Summative assessment PROJECT 2 DUE TODAY.
Learners share their work, give critiques etc. share, debrief, discuss
ideas - what worked, what failed, what would you do next time,
what other experiments did you do along the way etc? Presentation
forms part of the assessment.
 3.1-3.74.1 - 4.4 

Focus on

Examining graphic display methods and user
experience in a real-world setting

Class trip to Fed Square.
Formative assessment 5 - questionnaire 
1.1-1.7  2.4
Term break 23 September - 4 October

What’s the
deal with

Introduction to Summative assessment Project
3 – “Customise a design project and implement a
crowdfunding campaign”.

Ice breakers.
Research in groups.
Preparation of research material.
Case studies – groups to research and have something to present
next week. 
 5.1 -5.3

Prepare a design
project for

Students will be given a range of design projects
to choose from, or invent their own. They can
customise them and develop a crowdfunding
campaign to obtain funding for their project.


Formative assessment 6: Group presentations.
Research and develop ideas for individual assessment projects. 

5.1 - 5.3 

of ideas and

How to refine ideas.
Innovative presentation methods.

 Summative assessment part 1 PROJECT 3 DUE TODAY.
Students to individually present their work.
 4.2 5.1 - 5.3
of ideas and

How to refine ideas.
Innovative presentation methods.

Students to individually present their work.(cont.) 4.2 5.1.- 5.3

Questionnaire to be completed and submitted
with finalised evidence component of project 3.

 Summative Assessment - complete -
PROJECT 3 DUE TODAY (finish off presentations and students to
complete self evaluation questions).
Summative assessment: Pinterest boards to be finalised and
submitted today.
4.1 - 4.3
 4.1 - 4.4
5.1 - 5.3

Please note: While your teacher will cover all the material in this schedule, the weekly order is subject to change depending on class needs and availability of speakers and resources.

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

None required


You are advised to look at the course myRMIT site for ongoing updated information.

Other Resources

You will require materials and tools that are listed in the Graphic Design Kit and a personal hard drive to store digital work.
RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems and access to specialised facilities and relevant software. You will also have access of the library resources.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment is on-going throughout the course. Assessment tasks will require you demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills through practical projects and/or written tasks.  Assessment tasks in this course are:

  • Design Task 1 (50% of total grade)
  • Design Task 2 (50% of total grade)

Assessment Tasks

Formative Assessment
1. Work as a team: the Marshmallow Challenge, week 1.
2. Solve a problem and document ideas - group project, week 3.
3. Design challenge, week 6
4. Experiment with materials, week 7
5. Assess design in the environment, week 11
6. Group presentations, week 13

Summative Assessment
Project 1. Future Thinking - documentation of process.
25% DUE DATE Week 5 - assessed in class

Project 2. Produce a finished booklet that demonstrates the progressive development of
experimental skills. (‘As the Ox Ploughs’ booklet – demonstration in class, project to be
completed in own and class time).
30% DUE DATE Week 10

Project 3. Customise a design project and implement a crowdfunding campaign.
35% DUE DATE Week 14 and 15 (presentations and documentation)
Ongoing research

Pinterest journal - online and with boards as specified in class.
10% Assessed during semester, more details will be given during class. 



You will receive feedback with verbal and/or written evaluation of your progress within class time. The submitted projects will be assessed with written feedback as well as a quality indicator that relates to separate components of the project and the overall outcome.

At the completion of the course, grading will be offered in addition to, and after, competency based assessment.

Grades which apply to courses delivered in accordance with competency-based assessment, but which also use graded assessment.

HDCompetent with High Distinction
CDI Competent with Distinction
CC Competent with Credit
CAG Competency Achieved - Graded
NYCNot Yet Competent
DNS Did Not Submit for Assessment

Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency. These are available from the course contact person (stated above).

Other Information

The major learning experience involves studio based exercises, demonstration and production. It is strongly advised that you attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.

Feedback - You will receive verbal and written feedback by teacher on your work. This feedback also includes suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.
Student feedback at RMIT

Student Progress
Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy to assist you to achieve your learning potential. Student progress 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.
Cover Sheet for Submissions
You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work. This signed sheet acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism - RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy go to Academic Integrity

Course Overview: Access Course Overview