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Creative Tools for Creative Classrooms

Creative Tools for Creative Classrooms

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Using Adobe Creative Cloud Express and other tools to help create engaging course materials and assignments

 

by Cedar Leithead, Instructional Designer in the Teaching & Learning Centre

Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite has become industry standard for creative professionals across a broad variety of disciplines – however, we rarely see it applied in the classroom outside of classes dedicated to its programs, which is a shame because versions of these tools have fantastic applications in both creating classroom materials and as a tool for students to create assignments.

This is where Adobe Creative Cloud Express comes in.

Adobe Creative Cloud Express (CC Express) is a browser-based set of tools that let you use some of the most commonly used features of programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, and even Adobe's video editing software – it is a powerful and easy-to-use tool that you already have access to as part of your Seneca account! (When signing in, simply choose the “log in with school account” option.)

 

Creating memorable and effective course materials

Multimodal course materials such as narrated slideshows, short videos, and infographics can help build engagement and understanding in students. These sorts of materials are a natural fit for asynchronous, online, or hybrid courses – but they can also be fantastic supporting materials for in person-classes as well.

Infographics in particular are a great way to convey complex information to students in a way that is both simple and memorable, whereas narrated videos can serve as a fantastic resource that students can return to for short reminders on specific course topics when it's time for them to complete an assignment or study for a test.

One of the easiest ways to incorporate CC Express into your course design is to use it to create course materials. CC Express has many streamlined tools and thousands of templates make it easy to create engaging documents for students – everything from graphics, to videos, to audio.

Adobe Creative Cloud Express templates

Note: While Adobe CC Express has many tools that help you streamline the creation of these tools, it is still important to have a good understanding of the basics of effective multi-media design for learning. Waterbear Learning has a fantastic breakdown of Mayers 12 Principles of Effective Design which you can use to help guide your creation.

 

Having students complete multimedia assignments

One other fantastic way that you can use CC Express in your classroom is to have it as an option for students to complete certain assignments with it. As Seneca students, they already have full access to it in the same way that you as an instructor do, plus the built-in collaboration tools make it easy for group work.

The streamlined tools and built-in tutorials mean that it should be a viable option for students to use.

When given the opinion to submit an assignment in a more creative medium, students have been shown to have better knowledge retention, higher engagement, and an overall more positive feeling toward the course.

Regardless of if you are using it to create your own materials or as a tool for students to complete assignments, Adobe Creative Cloud Express is a powerful option that can see good use in your classroom.

 

Image credit: Adobe Stock

 


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