Jennifer Coleman Dowling
Framingham State University, USA
Jennifer Coleman Dowling is an experienced new media specialist, designer, educator, author, and artist. She holds an M.F.A. in Visual Design from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and a B.A. in Studio Art from the University of New Hampshire. Dowling is a Professor in the Communication Arts Department at Framingham State University in MA focusing on Integrated Digital Media. She has been dedicated to her teaching and professional work for over 25 years, and is the author of “Multimedia Demystified” published by McGraw-Hill. Her current line of research and practice is analog-digital approaches pertaining to media, fine art, and design.
Teaching computer animation techniques using innovative approaches was made possible for me with two consecutive technology grants. iPads were procured for inventive ways to learn digital animation and time-based media for artistic and commercial purposes. It assisted the students in the development of new visualization and production methods while concurrently providing the theoretical and practical instruction of fundamental animation techniques. This approach facilitated a more imaginative process for solving problems, discovering inspiration, creating concepts, and exchanging ideas so they could more fully develop their knowledge of the subject while building more versatile computer animation capabilities. Another advantage included the portability, accessibility, flexibility, and immediacy of using a mobile device as the primary course tool. Students used the iPad to sketch ideas, brainstorm, plan narrative and storytelling structures, conduct research, and present their work. They also had ongoing opportunities for collaborating with one another on group projects, exchanging ideas, discussing work, and giving/receiving feedback. Complementary tactics with iPads included: studying historical and contemporary figures in the animation field; sketching characters, scenes, and storyboards; manipulating timeline key frames and stage elements, and adjusting camera views; digitizing and editing audio tracks; and capturing and manipulating photography and video. Assignments focused on such subjects as kinetic typography, logo animation, introductory sequences for video and film, web-based advertisements, cartoon and character animation, animated flipbooks, and stop-motion techniques. This presentation will cover the goals and outcomes of this research, including student survey results, assessments, and animation examples.