Valley News Recent Headlines
Anticipating the Pace of Change
06.04.14 |

Once they’ve taught a class several times, some professors can reuse lecture notes and materials, because course content doesn’t change dramatically from year to year. Such is decidedly not the case for Mathew Samuel, assistant professor of digital communications, who finds that he constantly revamps his courses to encompass technological innovations in the marketplace.

Still, Samuel doesn’t allow his students’ need to master advances in technology to obscure their parallel need to master foundational principles of design. “In my Fundamentals of Design class, the first task in any project is to begin concepts by hand,” Samuel says. “I want students to understand the basic design principles by hand so that they get a grasp of the key elements they need to develop for a project. Then, the second half of the project uses software, such as Adobe Photoshop, as a way to execute those principles into solutions. So there’s a direct correlation between what they’ve learned by hand and what they then use technology to execute—so that they use technology as a tool rather than a crutch.”

Samuel says his graduates tend to go into design-based careers where they are called on to craft presentation components or digital animation using both the technology and the design principles they learned in the classroom, developing everything from basic storyboards to videos created using programs such as Adobe AfterEffects.

“One of our new concentrations focuses on user experience,” Samuel says, noting that advertising agencies have begun to rebrand themselves as “user experience agencies.” “A lot of our focus is shifting toward the user’s experience and how the user interacts with product features or the company website or its mobile app,” he says, adding that he’s teaching several new courses in upcoming semesters that explore such topics as prototyping and packaging.

The speed of change in digital technology presents an ongoing challenge to Samuel. “Even the most basic aspects of the Web change every six months,” he says. “We just revamped our Web markup and layout course to fit with HTML5 and CSS3 to get the students more involved and experienced with current standards in the industry, because they’re expected to know it when they graduate.”

Organ Students Gain World and Music Experience During Trip to Brazil
View Full Story

Lebanon Valley College Announces Creation of Center for Political History
View Full Story

LVC Completes Revitalization of Frederic K. Miller Chapel
View Full Story

E.A.T. Research Students Present at International Conference
View Full Story

Laura Gingerich '13 Shares Everyday Adventures Through Her Own Brand
View Full Story

Service Spurs Local and International Travel for LVC Students
View Full Story

Dr. Michael Fink Shares His PT Passion in Taiwan
View Full Story

Alumna Dr. Sophia Lunt Receives AACR NextGen Grant for Transformative Cancer Research
View Full Story

Math Addict: Pursuing a Career in Actuarial Science
View Full Story

Diana Hoffman '17 Curates “Con Spirito: Emotions Through the Printed Image” Exhibit
View Full Story

Students Invited to Visit During Discovery Days This Summer
View Full Story

Collision Course—On Dr. James Glasbrenner’s Career and Hobbies
View Full Story

Leaving on a Jet Plane–Kems Sylvain's Global Experiences
View Full Story

Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra to Perform Patriotic Concert at LVC
View Full Story

Diverse Cultural Exposure: Students Reflect on Service Learning Trip to Peru
View Full Story

Married Professors in Religion and Philosophy Department Co-Author New Book on Insurrection
View Full Story