Art, Design, and Theatre Faculty Presentations


Learning to Learn: Flipping the Classroom to Enhance Learner Engagement with Graphic Design History

Document Type

Poster Session

Event Date



University & College Designers Association Design Education Summit


Kutztown, PA


The history of graphic design is a rich tapestry of persons, cultures, events, visual communications, and fascinating stories. The study of this history is essential for design students to inform, enhance and expand their own work. It is also important to help learners connect with their artistic roots in order to see their own place in history. However, there is a challenge to help the twenty-first century learner engage with and gain a deep understanding and connection to their own lives and work. Honestly, teaching history to a group of primarily hands-on learners is an imposing task. How does the twenty-first century teacher meet the requirements of not only presenting the required body of information but also, assisting learners to make those connections in an interesting and effective way?

This poster presents a case study of a semester long journey in which a number of pedagogical methods were implemented. Those methods included “student as teacher” and metacognitive learning strategies. Students were engaged with discussions both on the formal aspects and characteristics of art and design movements but also the philosophical and historical contexts that motivated and informed aesthetic choices. Class projects were incorporated to allow students to explore, research and present topics and information on artists of their own interests to help make connections with artists from the past.

The results of the pedagogical journey proved to be encouraging and hopeful. The resulting conclusions both positive and negative will be presented along with ideas for future improvement in the classroom experience to help learners embrace this important aspect of their education.