Faculty Development at an Adobe Creative Campus: key elements to Adobe faculty support by MARINA 'RED' MADDEN, MFA | DECEMBER 2019 | 20 MINUTE READ/VIEW

"What we learn with pleasure, we never forget" — Dr. Alfred Mercier

Mercier, in one of his well-known quotes on learning, is speaking to the value of teaching and the powerful spaces educators provide when creating experiences and environments of learning that are inspirational, fun, exciting and engaging for both student and teacher.

As a design scholar and visual communicator attempting to teach intuitive design, alongside abstract discovery, and paradoxical methods of linear reasoning and lateral thinking, I assumed that all classrooms were like my own—the primary teaching style exampling a methodology and enthusiasm for experimentation, prototyping, and iteration. Teaching to embrace the good, the bad and the ugly, but always try, and try again until the problem is solved.

This was the only pedagogy I believed plausible in order to develop the critical thinking skills needed to sharpen our natural born ability to be creative and resourceful, allowing those serendipitous provocative moments to visualize the world, not as it is, but as it isn't. Students need this, and educators need this in order to stay passionate about learning.

Visualization skills are essential for our shared 21st-century human 'laundry list' of global issues, all weighing on the hearts and minds of us dedicated to the academy.

Becoming an Adobe Creative Campus was beyond extraordinary for our students, but even more so for our faculty. Once our teaching community accesses this power now at their fingertips, I am confident UTSA will provide the key elements of faculty development and support to activate and infect all its faculty—from all disciplines, not just the usual suspects like me.

Educators have intellectual stories to tell, create, demonstrate and most importantly SHARE. Our perspectives, i.e., our research, ideas, processes, knowledge, pedagogy, and solutions for a better world are all waiting to be created and disseminated to the new generations of students hungry for a good lesson.

So, why do so many of our faculty struggle with embracing creativity or new technology to deliver their story?

A few years ago, I watched a video by Sir Ken Robinson, "Do schools kill creativity?"

Did someone tell YOU, "You are not creative." Or, have you been telling yourself, you are not creative, or capable of engaging in creativity? Well, STOP THAT! 'ADOBE for EDUCATION' has provided new tools and resources, allowing "creativity for all."

5 Key Elements to Faculty Support at an Adobe Creative Campus

1.) Centratlized Learning Services and Support

UTSA Teaching and Learning Services offers programs, services and resources to faculty that support instructional excellence, innovative teaching, and outstanding educational experiences. They even have a new instructional designer coming soon, specializing in Adobe instructional design!

2.) Fellowship programs to encourage 21st century teaching and learning

UTSA has already formed the Adobe Student Ambassadors group to help cultivate digital literacy and fluency among the entire UTSA community. With our Adobe partnership as a Creative Campus, we can also take advantage of new opportunities like the Adobe Scholars Program, and with one click, you can connect to the Adobe Education Exchange for self-paced courses, lesson plans and project ideas for your courses.

3.) Connect, Cultivate and Collaborate to form "Learning Commons" and Creative Studio Spaces

College of Engineering and Learning Technologies Digital Experience (DEx) Lab had its grand opening in November 2018, and is open for faculty and students to schedule for use.

4.) Faculty recognition and incentives for incorporating elements of Innovation, Digital Literacy, and Digital Fluency into their curricula

Founded in Fall 2018 to foster and celebrate innovative thinking at UTSA, the President’s Innovation and Impact (I2) Award, will recognize creative and innovative projects of high impact that emerge from our institution.

5.) Collaborative Faculty to Faculty professional development and training—it's my pleasure!

UTSA offers us SMEs from across the UTSA community to share our unique skills with fellow community members—both staff and faculty—which has been a delightful experience for me, personally. Faculty development is mutually beneficial. Not to mention, having access to the Adobe Education Exchange and building networks of educators across the globe. I've been able to share my passion for design, visual communication, creativity, Adobe tools, while sharing and collaborating with my fellow faculty and peers at UTSA.

Marina "Red" Madden, MFA | Lecturer III, COM Internship Coord. & UTSA Adobe Faculty Ambassador

Created By
Marina RED Madden, MFA


Created with images by Dennis Donohue - "Greater Roadrunner in Southern Texas, USA" • Tim Mossholder - "Get in the Flow" • Dragos Gontariu - "untitled image" • My Life Journal - "Please tag @mylifejournal.co on Instagram" • Juan Marin - "untitled image" • MinuteKEY - "A handful of minimal keys" • jose aljovin - "untitled image" • Priscilla Du Preez - "untitled image" • Hammer & Tusk - "untitled image" • Clay Banks - "untitled image"