Teaching Effectiveness: Integration of Creative: Educational and Informational Media

Periodic revision of course materials and integration of current creative activity research into subject matter of courses:


Integrating educational and informational subjects into courses means understanding the industry practices but also leading the way when industry stays stagnant like in accessibility design.

Educational and Informational Media

  • Educational Board Game Design Integration: Miner Madness
  • Film and Animation Integration: Mental Health America: Accessibility
  • Art Prize + EPIC – Reports on User Testing and collaboration with Planet 3
  • Educational Media Integration: Battling Extinction App
  • Educational Media Integration: Survive Global Climate Change App

Educational Board Game Integration : Miner Madness Game

KCAD students gathering feedback on Code Theory knowledge gained from playing Miner Madness with Museum School students during a STEAM event I organized.


click arrow to view student presentation

I formed a collaborative partnership with OST, then guided the Professional Studio students through the game development process using what I learned in my own studio in the Power Towers Game. The game is now available on GameCrafter.com and is being used in classrooms everywhere. OST will be donating games throughout the Grand Rapids Public School systems.

Film and Animation Integration: Mental Health America

My students created 3 videos in the Spring of 2017 for Mental Health America for their Social Media Campaign.

See the project site.

A team of KCAD Professional Studio students, as part of the EPIC Project, created three animations for the Mental Health America Website: Life On Campus campaign. They aim to compel people that suspect they have mental illness to take a screening on the MHA website. Mental Health Screenings are MHA's most successful program and have compelled many people that suspect they may be suffering from a mental illness to seek treatment.

I taught our DAD students about accessibility and empathy through these 3 projects. I was able to bring in cross disciplinary methods of film and animation into After Effects for the BiPolar animation. Students were introduced to a scientific understanding of the human brain and where mental health effects the brain with Dr. Ellie Caruthers leading a lesson. We worked with Fable the Poet, Grand Rapids Poet Laureate, who is an advocate for mental health so our students could hear directly from someone who lives with anxiety and depression. Students learned about collaborating with a company via video conferencing and digital communication as we collaborated with the Marketing team from Mental Health America.

KCAD's student work will be seen by thousands of people on social media platforms and help many people to seek professional mental health help.

click to see presentation of process and animationsexpand to full screen
I attended Grand Rapids Poet Laureate celebration honoring Fable the Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids who collaborates with my D.A.D. Professional Studio Courses.
MHA Depression screening animation
click to see presentation of process and animationsexpand to full screen
MHA Bipolar Screening
click to see presentation of process and animationsexpand to full screen

Art Prize + EPIC – Reports on User Testing and collaboration with Planet 3

The work that I do with EPIC on my own time is also brought into the classroom as a way to teach User Testing and creating media for education.

User Testing Report Example

Guide by Bill Fischer in Collaboration with Susan Bonner and Chris Brown and KCAD student team.

Educational Science App Integration: Battling Extinction App

Page Designed by Kendall Digital Media Students, Science Content by Kenowa Hills Middle School Students

Character-driven storytelling covers a wide range of animal extinction caused by human-driven, environmental change. Includes a complete digital curriculum with review questions, practice quizzes, additional resources and assessment. Grades 5-9

  • Students incorporated the Next Generation Science Standards and entertainment methods of learning including animation and interactivity.
  • KCAD artists, designers created the app in Professional Studio and middle school scientists from Kenowa Hills Public School were involved in making this app.
  • I did much of the behind the scenes app development to make the project work as an interactive app, reducing the size of files and curating locations.

Educational Media Integration: Survive Global Climate Change App

A Partnership was created for Educational Multimedia Curriculum Tools with Kenowa Hills Public Schools

I worked with Mike Burde, the Curriculum Developer for the Kenowa Hills School District and have developed a partnership with the school district, where our DM students are developing an Educational App with Science Experts from the Middle School. This initiative started in Fall of 2013, but the partnership started during the summer while I did the curriculum development with the science and admin team at Kenowa.

We researched the new national standards for learning Science and Social Studies. We also looked at the needs of the 8 middle school science faculty that would become advisors for the scientific content for our educational epic story app with Assessment that we are creating in Fall 2013. We did product testing and collaborating with 150 middle school students in the Fall of 2013.

I have partnered with their Middle School Science Curriculum Coordinator, Katie Bush to develop appropriate assessment methods for the app we are making in Concept and Production Design that can be used as a learning tool in the classroom.

Inspires Kendall Students to create Engaging Productions Informing Classrooms

Epic Stories have Epic Impact through Imaging, Animation, Interactivity and Sound.

In Spring 2013, 11 students of Kendall College of Art and Design in the Digital Media Program created a Global Climate Change Interactive Survival Story in the Concept and Production course taught by Susan Bonner and mentored by Kendall Alum and Play-station Game Concept Artist Darren Geers currently working for Studiovania.

See Survive Global Climate Change on a browser

At the end of the semester the project was presented for feedback to the following faculty:

Gayle DeBruyn, Chief Sustainability Officer, Brad Yarhouse, Bill Fischer, Kasey McKargar and our Professional Mentor Darren Geers.

We received feedback especially form Gayle in the form of wanting the app to be useful not just as a supplemental educational material but to be an intact unit that could be used by teachers in the classroom to include assessment. That has spurred on changes that started a partnership with a school district for it to be a better educational tool.

KCAD and Kenowa Hill Public Schools Partner to create Multimedia Content for the Next Generation Science Standards that will be delivered through Digital Media. - started in the summer 2012 and continued into Fall 2014 and on into 2018 with further science collaborations.

New connections have happened there as Katie Bush has been promoted to Dean of Students at Kenowa Hills Central Elementary School. We continued to work with Kenowa in both the Middle school and the Elementary school to help develop curriculum apps that can go beyond their classroom into the world.