Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama Matthew Johnson has been a Professor of Graphic Design at the University of South Alabama for 12 years and a designer for over 20.  He holds an MFA in Graphic Design from Louisiana Tech University, is an internationally awarded designer, and published children’s book author and illustrator. His experiences in the field, as well as the classroom, allow him to present confidently regarding topics of Graphic Design and student engagement. He lives for visual gratification and the ability to create. Matt’s world revolves around visual communication and the satisfaction that comes from a piece of work well done.


In a society where instant gratification reigns it can be difficult to keep students engaged in the classroom. Computer graphics, and other digitally related fields, often require patience and focus. In this conference presentation I would like to address ways in which educators can develop a course strategy that encourages their students to master a set of objectives while gaining an aptitude for time management and attention to details. With our older generations it is often discussed the need for a slower pace and an appreciation for the small things. This has never been more true than it is today. Many of the mistakes made by students and young creatives come from being overwhelmed by technology and the expectations of their time. This will be the topic of my discussion.

My presentation objectives are as follows:                                  

1. Understanding the present dilemma in the computer graphic’s classroom.

2. Outlining the needs of our computer graphics’ students.

3. Developing lesson plans that encourage time management and focus

4. Breaking assignments down into smaller pieces to reinforce a control of pacing

5. Maintaining a grading system that complements the new course strategies.

Emphasis will be put on understanding the new generation, the world in which they live, and what this means in the classroom. As educators it is crucial that we strive to keep our students interested, engaged, and learning. Allowing them to spread their creative wings while also balancing the technical and time intensive nature of computer graphics and its’ workflow. It is my goal with this presentation to leave viewers with a course template that will keep their students’ interested while not sacrificing their creativity or sanity.

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