Q&A with Short Courses Digital Media Teaching Fellow
Myria Christophini Njenga tells us why our Art and Design course 'Intro to Digital Animation' should be on your radar in Term 1.
We caught up with Short Courses Digital Media Teaching Fellow Myria Christophini Njenga to discuss her 10-week credit course 'Introduction to Digital Media' starting at the end of September.
1. Hi Myria! What are the main topics that your course explores?
This is a short, intensive and well-rounded course for anyone interested in taking the leap into the world of Animation - the software used in class is After Effects.
Students will learn about the fundamentals of animation by delving into topics such as storyboarding, keyframing and timing and spacing among others and will view and discuss exciting mainstream and alternative animation pieces.
They will also develop at least one project, which will be carried out from the early stages of the course in addition to creating their own digital learning journals, where they will document their individual research, process and post their animation clips.
By the end of the course, students are expected to gain a good foundation in digital animation and will be able to critically animate their own artistic endeavours outside of this course.
2. How will the course be of a similar standard remotely to on-campus teaching?
The intend to apply a blended learning method to my teaching. I will provide students with instruction on how to perform certain tasks in advance. They will try these tasks out on their own - taking as much time as they'd like and working to a time and day that best suits their schedule.
When we have our synchronous classes we will facilitate the students' progress, go over any issues and use the time for teamwork and community building. In essence, the course has a similar structure as usual.
3. In terms of opportunities for discussion, how will the course be similar to on-campus teaching?
A lot of online opportunities are built into the course to support and encourage discussion. These might take the form of online discussion forums, video chats, or group activities.
The students will have plenty of opportunities to ask questions in our time together during tutorials, in chats or via email. They will also be encouraged to engage in peer support and peer review activities.
4. What transferable skills might students gain from the course?
Being able to complete a piece of animation is a good indicator of creativity and imagination, hard work, persistence, patience, attention to detail, communication and presentation skills, digital aptitude, critical judgement, ability to meet to deadlines, and often teamwork.
On top of that, even the simplest animation can amp up any presentation and online presence. I would also encourage the use of animation for community arts. This course can potentially equip a participatory arts facilitator with the basic skills to apply animation.
5. What have some of your former students gone onto achieve after taking your course?
My students have created wonderful short animations and hope that they continue to develop their skills and produce further clips in the future.
6. In terms of workload, about how many hours a week will students be expected to put in?
For students working towards the credit:
Although this is only indicative as previous knowledge and pace of learning may affect the workload significantly, the University recommends that for every one credit students aim to do ten hours of independent study. This course equates to 10 credit points, which means students should aim for 100 hours of independent study.
For non-credit students:
Although the workload for students who do not intend to take the credit is reduced, they should be able to plan a few hours of independent study a week.
"If you love animation, want to explore a different and exciting medium for your art practice, like taking on new challenges, or even want to give that Instagram profile of yours a boost, this is the course for you!"
Spaces are still available for Myria's Intro to Digital Media course in Term 1 and classes will take place via the online platform Collaborate.