Teaching Effectiveness: Reflection and Responsiveness to Student Concerns


Being open to student feedback is a key to my teaching. In Digital Art and Design I have had the opportunity to do a lot of adjustments to the curriculum based on student feedback and needs. I have worked with students individually to ensure that they are learning at their own pace and learning style. There are instances when my course calendar was too full and after talking with the students in the course it was adjusted to fit their needs.

  • Example Student Concern and ways I addressed it
  • Student Encouragement
  • Enthusiastic Student Teacher Interaction

Example Student Concern:

Lindsay's struggle with a course assignment posted to youtube. Student was concerned that the animation rig broke when she moved the rig.

Teacher Addressing Student Concern:

Course site addressed visually, orally and in written format:

  • Solve by creating columns for between character key poses

Ideation For Character Rig

by Danielle Cowell with Hair Whip pose

Video Tutorials to address student concern:

This is a 2 part video tutorial I made in response to Lindsay's course work struggle. This helped her as well as all future 2D Character Design students. See the Character Rigging project site.


Animate : Rotation Issues and InBetweens Part 1

continued below in Part 2


Animate : Rotation Issues and InBetweens Part 2

Recognizing student concerns in learning is important to confront and meet them directly with what ever issue they have with the course content. In this example I responded the next day with a video tutorial to help the student solve the problem. This methods ensures that I am not just helping one student but the learning expands to all students with the issue.

Student Encouragement:

I encourage students in several ways: through classroom consultations and through career support on the LinkedIn Digital Media Group. I also encourage mentorship with professionals in the field so that students understand what will be expected of them beyond the classroom. I bring in experts from their fields to encourage this interaction, this year that included game designer Mark Paulik, Corey McGill and Colin Chan, Game Concept Artists and John Giang, Film Concept Artists. See more on this in the Course Integration Section.

Comic Podcasting - Audrey and Kaitlynne

See the Going Overboard! Comic

I helped these students with Character Development for their Comic which is now published online. Showing examples of professionals in the industry empowers students to pursue their own entrepreneurial path.

Enthusiastic teacher/student interaction:

This is evident by the filled class sections for my courses and the growth within the Imaging focus of the Digital Media program. Students seek me out to serve on their Thesis committee. It is also evident from the enrollment growth in the Digital Art and Design Program, there are enthusiastic students that help to attract incoming students.

Supporting students who created the Planetarium Show - Subatomic- Detecting the Unseen for the Grand Rapids Public Museum Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium

Bill Fischer was the mentor on this project. I went to the show and connected with Museum School People on future science project collaborations for KCAD.

Brian - Scientist that worked with the Higgs Bosan at the CERN Haldron Colider talks at the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium.

KCAD grad Cory Excited to enter the Concept Art Industry - he took advantage of mentorship with me and connections in the industry.

KCAD Grad Shawna Riser - a student I mentored through transferring to KCAD and throughout her time as a student.

Digital Art and Design Wait Lists

I manage the wait lists for the progam, helping individual students get into the courses that they need. By gathering the list of students needing courses we are able to help through individual advising to ensure students are getting courses they need towards graduation.