HOW IT WORKS
THE WAY OF THE DOJO
Design Education Re-Imagined
Behold the 4 Pedagogic Principles of Bellarmine's Graphic Design classes:
Using any creative tool effectively depends on a grasp of the principles that inform each creative decision with that tool. (So concepts first).
Mastery of Tools
To create industry-quality design work, one should strive to master the professional-grade tools and workflows.
We build toward real design projects (for the school, a nonprofit, etc.) that offer students a greater sense of challenge, purpose and accomplishment.
Freedom to Focus
Industry projects involve a range of specialized design fields (typeface creation, photography, motion graphics, illustration, etc). Any newfound interest in these areas should be nourished - and exploration rewarded.
How to Earn Points
"Dojo Disposition" is class participation - help others, keep your phone off, don't be a donkey. "Mastery Challenges" refine your skills and open up opportunities to gain added skills. "All-Dojo Awards" are granted by the other design classes by voting on your projects (top 3 get 25pts). "Pro Projects" are the 4 core design projects that we focus on each semester.
Mastery Level I
Mastery Level II
Mastery Level III
Mastery Level IV
Mastery Level V
Points and Belt Ranks
For the sake of college transcripts, at the end of the semester the total number of points are correlated to a corresponding letter grade (E.g., 870pts = Brown Belt = "B+", 945pts = Black Belt = "A").
At the quarter mark, your point total will be doubled to offer a projected (but not guaranteed) point total for the semester.
Upgrade From Grades
Forging Design Ninjas with Innate Incentives
Traditional letter grading is a +120 year old model of assessment that has a range of qualities that adversely impact the goal of education. Specifically, letter grades fail to tap into the primary motivators of autonomy, mastery, and purpose that Daniel Pink describes in his groundbreaking book, Drive.
Have doubts? Well, its good to question - so take a few minutes and check out this TEDx talk to better understand why the Design Dojo uses points and belt ranking system rather than letter grades. The change has let to an marked increase in students' focus, motivation, and quality of work.
If you have any questions regarding this assessment methodology and its benefits, feel free to contact me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
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