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.”



07.25.14
Sharon Sees '17 Published in NPR's "This I Believe" Series
View Full Story

07.24.14
Caring for Creatures Great and Small in the U.K.
View Full Story

07.24.14
“Colonization and the Collection” a Student-Curated Exhibit
View Full Story

07.22.14
DNA Barcoding—Cutting Edge Research in Biology
View Full Story

07.16.14
Teaching English Education in Japan: Robert Schalkoff '88
View Full Story

07.15.14
Growth and Happiness: Alumna Brittany Ryan’s Path to New Zealand
View Full Story

07.10.14
Using Technology to Enhance Learning
View Full Story

07.08.14
Linda Petrecca ’73 Mentors Students to Give Back
View Full Story

07.06.14
Eight Lebanon Valley College Faculty Members to Retire in December
View Full Story

07.03.14
LVC Launches Two New Academic Programs—Athletic Training and Exercise Science
View Full Story

07.03.14
Using Technology to Explore Their Curiosity
View Full Story

07.03.14
Richard A. Zimmerman, Former Board of Trustees Member, Dies
View Full Story

07.02.14
Teaching in Germany: Katie Deppen '13
View Full Story

06.26.14
Still Thinking on His Feet: Terence “Terry” Brown ’78
View Full Story

06.24.14
LVC Presents Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra in Free Concert July 3
View Full Story

06.20.14
Lebanon Valley College Sponsors Education Days at Hershey Park
View Full Story