Designing, Creating, and Realizing

These courses are designed to teach students to design, create, and build. These skills might be honed through a diversity of exercises or projects, including: scientific experimentation

  • performing or directing a dance, music, or theater production
  • creating works such as paintings, films, or musical compositions.

Students will create something from a concept, and their creations will then be analyzed and interpreted. What is built should be physical, e.g., a scientific experiment, a sculpture, or a dance composition. Creations might range from objects that are entirely original with the student to reconstructions of objects previously created; different points along the continuum of originality will emphasize the facets of designing, creating, and realizing to different extents. Each course should provide an historical and theoretical context for determining what is important to design and create in the first place.

There are different approaches to teaching how to design, create, and build, but in all cases the instructor should take care that these capabilities are learned. The designing, creating, and building part of the course could be as laissez-faire as simply assigning a project, provided that the instructor is confident that the students will acquire the skills on their own. In most cases, students will benefit from one-on-one interactions with the instructor, to steer the students' efforts in productive and provocative directions. The skills can also be taught through lectures and notes provided by the instructor. The instructor should offer opportunities for students to learn from one another. For example, students might be given an opportunity to discuss their projects with each other at different stages of the work, or groups of students might work on projects together as creative teams. What is designed and built can be a series of projects, or a single term project. In either case, students should have multiple opportunities to improve their skills.