Teaching: Curriculum Development: Genres


Genres can vary greatly in terms of methods, file management, conceptual development and audience niche, learning about all of these genres independently in my studio has helped me to be be innovative on student project development.

Genres in Curriculum:

  • Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality App Development in Curriculum
  • Table Top Game Development in Curriculum
  • Storyboarding methods earlier in the curriculum
  • Accessibility in Animations
  • Card Game Development in Curriculum
  • Educational Animation Development in the Curriculum
  • Console Game Art in the Curriculum
  • Mobile Game and Edu App Development in the Curriculum
  • Student Course Work on Graphic User Interface in the Curriculum
  • Costumed Models for Character Concept Development

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality App Development in DAD Curriculum

Simuli a project in the Professional Studio Course that I team taught with Chris Brown that was produced by Bill Fischer. I worked with the University of Buffalo to continue the field research collaboration. The investigation that I did at the Game Conference this summer helped influence the development of the new AR app we are working on in Fall of 2018.

Bill Fischer and I visited the Neurocognition Science Laboratory at the University of Buffalo. I worked with them on a collaboration and visited again during the Serious Games Conference. They will:

  • Perform research Utilizing EPIC Media specifically the Simuli VR app
  • Incorporate EPIC Media into the ‘Teaching Students With Disabilities’ curriculum at UB
  • Utilize our EPIC Project design guides for teaching

Their evidence based research will be folded into curriculum of courses I teach.

See the proposal for collaboration with University of Buffalo.

KCAD student explores AR that the Symposium Speaker brought in from NASA.

This was very similar to what we had already created in Bill Fischer’s Interaction Design course that featured a mission to mars.

Simuli - A Pro Studio Course Project led by Chris Brown that I co taught launched this year. Here, 60 Museum School students who experienced the Simuli VR App are seeing their influence on the development of the project.

Simuli gives the viewer empathy through experiencing Autism, Dyslexia, OCD and Anxiety in a middle school classroom.

I worked with the Museum School Curriculum Coordinator, Kim Rowland, to bring 60 students to KCAD for a STEAM event. I collaborated with Chris Brown and Bill Fischer on Pro Studio curriculum for DAD students to implement user testing.

Team Teach Chris Brown at OST a partner organization experiencing VR on the Google Carboard.

Our Pro Practices Course does multiple visitations to Open System Technologies (OST) as we learn from their processes of using VR. Chris Brown made a VR framework to help students place their artwork into this 3d space. This is used in our classes to allow the art to be placed into the framework without having the students focus on coding too much they are able to concentrate on the art and design aspects of the media.

At the end of the semester I coordinated and invited the Musees to experience the projects like Simuli VR that they had impact on. By bringing Middle School students into the creation of projects KCAD students understand their audience and the youth have a voice in the creation of media.

We had Sam Vilardi as a visiting developer to show augmented 3D. VR demos and state of the art technology development for IMMY.

We are implementing this into a course that I team teach with Chris Brown, Professional Studio. Bill Fischer organized this visiting artist.

I continued Research as we took youth students to see Virtual Reality being used by Artist and Designer Zac Kinstner of Aesthetic Interactive. This is a professional Software Developer that we will have in as a visiting artist and met him at JFAX a comic con.

Table Top Game Development in DAD

The KCAD Digital Art and Design Program is new to creating Physical Games as a team. We started with Miner Madness and have now started on the Revolutionary War Card game. This has required our students to do observational training and user testing of this form of entertainment.

I coordinated multiple field trips for KCAD to the Museum School. Digital Collaboration with the Museum School meant a paperless workflow.

User testing of Miner Madness by teams that did not create the game is helpful for our students to understand creating educational and entertainment media.

I collaborated with OST game developers to user testing at Kentwood public schools STEM events. This helped our students understand the audience and iterate accordingly.

See the Kickstarter for Unreal Estate

Unreal Estate Box Art by Corrine Roberts - KCAD alum.

Grand Con - Grand Gamers Gild Lecture

Marc Spector, Guildmaster of Grand Gamers Guild, came to discuss the Indie Game Industry, founding Grand Con and creating and publishing board games. Students understand freelancing methods and how to promote their work to publishers.

Storyboarding methods earlier in the curriculum

I developed a way for KCAD students to analyze media within the project storyboarding for Digital Imaging II Animated Giffs for the EPIC Science Project. Students reverse engineered an existing animation using the Telephone Game with Drawing to show communication errors that happen in Art Studios and how to avoid them. The impact for our students is group collaboration and more effective communication. See the project site.

Accessibility in Animations

Mental Health America Back to School Animations

See the Project Site

This was one of the first onboarding of Accessibility Guidelines written by Bill Fischer to be implemented in our DAD courses.

See the Accessibility Design Guidelines

A team of KCAD Digital Art and Design students as a part of the EPIC project created an animation for Mental Health America. The goal of the animation is to compel people that suspect they have mental illness to take a screening on the MHA site.

What is Anxiety? MHA Screening With Audio Description

1 of 6 animations from my course Pro Practices. Accessibility was designed into the projects integrating captions and audio descriptions from the beginning this one incorporates the audio descriptions into the animation. This method is on the cutting edge of Accessibility Design. It is innovative in that captions are not an after thought added at the end and over the project. Integrating audio and visual captions from the beginning of the design process ensures that the hearing and visually impaired can have the same experience as the abled.

What is Anxiety? MHA Screening

Card Game Development in DAD

Powder Keg – A Revolutionary War Game:

A project started in the summer of 2017 in collaboration with OST, Calvin College, GVSU and the Grand Rapids Public Museum School. I have been producing the project, gathering the team of experts and coordinating the project in the curriculum for the Museum School.

Powder Keg - A Revolutionary War Game

See the Card Game Project Site

Prototype of the Game - Scroll through - Colored images are by KCAD students greyscale images are placeholders.

Powder Keg a Revolutionary War Card Game Presentation SP18

The presentation by KCAD students shows the process, collaboration and status of production. This game production will be continued in courses in Fall of 2018. Diversity and Inclusion has been a key to the project and has helped KCAD and Museum School students reflect on how history has been written and how we can bring light to characters in history that did not previously have a strong voice.

User testing of game play started in 2017 and will continue into 2018. KCAD students learned that creating the images is not enough that it must be tested in the community for how they are perceived.

KCAD visited the Museum School to get feedback 2 times.

The Musees collaborated digitally on content, here we are with on a brainstorming collaboration as musees presented to KCAD students their research.

KCAD students did a final presentation to the Musees and collaborators.

I helped the project be integrated into the Museum School curriculum in Social Studies and Art . Work was displayed at the GRPublic Museum. Museum School students were able to dig into the stories of characters in the American Revolution.

Educational Animation Development in DAD

School Zone Lecture by Keith Himbault and Desiree Bradish about educational animations for children for mobile devices. Several of our DM alum worked on this team. One of our alum that has worked at School Zone is now an adjunct, circling back around on what I taught her when she was a student, bringing it to the industry, being innovative and coming back to teach our students.

Console Game Integration: UnderBite Games and Super Dungeon Tactics

Super Dungeon Tactics – KCAD student, Joseph Jinn, doing a presentation on User Testing

Joseph interned with Underbite Game Studios and I helped him and their team create a user testing process.

2D art in a 3D environment - My students in Pro Studio created 2D assets and 3D concepts for the game.

Later several of my students were hired in as interns at Underbite and then have gone on to work in other Game Companies through the skills they developed first in course work and then in the internship. The partnership that DAD has with Underbite has proven to help students immensely. One student, Kevin White, has even gone on to work at a coveted position for World of Warcraft.

Rocktop Character Concepts by Gab Schwall

Mobile Game and Edu App Development in the Curriculum

Student Course Work on a cohesive Character, Environment, Graphic User Interface. Art by Krista Hill

Moose Finder App Icons for Stores

Moose Finder Start Screen

Moose Finder an App that helps kids with cancer raise funds for camp - All user interface, character design and props for the game developed by students.

Student Course Work on Graphic User Interface

We continue to work on Game Design Concept and Production Art fueled by new knowledge I have gained working on mobile device projects in my own studio.

Sharing with middle school students from Kenowa Hills
KCAD students Partnering with Schools
Student Course Work

Designed by Kendall Digital Media Students with the help of Kenowa Hill's 8th grade science experts.

Students of Kendall College of Art and Design's Digital Media Program are creating a Global Climate Change Interactive Survival Story. These students–part of the Concept and Production Course taught by Susan Bonner–are partnering with Kenowa Hills Public School for curriculum advice and science content, created by Ms. Bush's team of 8th grade science experts.

Kendall Students also worked with the Kenowa Hills students to create assessments and quizzes based on each story, to test students on their comprehension and understanding of the material.

See Survive Global Climate Change on a browser

requires flash player or Photon Browser on ios device

See on Google Play Store

Costumed Models for Character Concept Development

Digital Media purchased a set of costumes with a focus on Entertainment Art. I have started to implement Costumed Life Drawing in my courses including Digital Imaging II and Imaging for Game Animation and Film in 2014 with a continuation in Concept Art and 2D Character Design up till 2018. Industry professionals for years have been asking for more figure drawing in the entertainment side of our program. Digital Media made significant changes to the facilities in 2014 by adding a life drawing stage and lighting to room 709. This then became the Digital Life Drawing Room where we can pose costumed models and work on Character Design for Game and Animation.

KCAD was one of 3 schools in the country that has a Cintiq Life Drawing room in 2014.

Adding a lighting studio helped in this way also, I taught my students how to light the figure and how to use photo references in Imaging for Game Animation and Film. We have created a Google drive archive of models in costumes in poses that are helpful for entertainment.

lighting studio in 703 - also has a green screen

teaching students lighting, directing and costuming for reference.

709 Digital Life Drawing Stage