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How online students collaborate in a Bachelor of Design

Swinburne University of Technology’s highly respected design program has been redesigned for the online environment.

To meet growing student demand, Swinburne Online launched the Bachelor of Design (Communication Design) in early 2014. After a successful first Teaching Period, design has proven to be a popular course amongst online students.

Swinburne Online Design Program Director, Nicki Wragg says the advantage of studying Communication Design online is students are able to create a studio space to share ideas, gain inspiration and creative insight into their own work from other students.

“The great thing about working in an online space is that students can be there 24/7 and be involved collaboratively with their peers. Collaboration and practice is how designers learn and progress their work, by learning from fellow designers,” says Ms Wragg.

Swinburne Online student Jodi Hemmings is studying a Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations) and said she was excited when she saw design was being offered online.

“I love design and wanted to know more. I assumed it would be colours and drawings and easy. I assumed wrong. Studying a design unit as an elective for my public relations degree I initially felt like a fish out of water but that didn’t last long.

“My online teacher quickly eased my fears and the other students are so open, creative and helpful and their feedback is encouraging,” Jodi said.

“I have learned fantastic skills, from design concepts, tools of the creative trade, design software, online collaboration and personal growth. The highlight has been the utter joy from being creative and being creative with others.”

Student feedback for the new design course has been positive. Many students have expressed that the collaborative nature of the course has helped create a creative environment.

“My fellow students are fabulous, so creative and clever. I experienced insecurities from not previously studying design not once have they made me feel uncomfortable, if anything it's the opposite,” Jodi said.

“Students and teachers are always answering quickly online with helpful ideas, or just positivity.”

Graduates of the new three year degree will be able to pursue careers in advertising, design consultancies, publishing, merchandising, packaging design, communication strategy and many other areas.

“Students will have the ability to shape their work through the Communication Design degree. Projects can range from brand identity design, publication design and packaging all the way to website design,” says Ms Wragg.

“The benefit of the new degree is its flexibility as online delivery allows students to work and study concurrently.”

Online students also have the benefit of receiving a great deal of support from the range of services offered by the online campus community.

“Swinburne Online prides itself on its spirit of collaboration and social constructivism in the online space, which is an ideal environment for designers,” says Ms Wragg.

“We are using the online space so students can literally be in each other’s studios where they can collaborate and work together, mesh ideas and experience to push the boundaries of design.”

Find out how to apply here.