New distance learning option for introduction to game design

The technology that enabled arts students at the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) to make the rapid and successful transition to home learning during the lockdown in 2020 is being used to bring a new course to a wider audience across the New Zealand, overcoming the barriers of distance, and accessing specialized and high-tech equipment from your home.

Semester 2 at SIT sees the introduction of the new blended delivery paper: BSA 528 Game Design 1, which can be completed with a short course – Introduction to Game Design – over fourteen weeks, or credited in a bachelor’s degree in screen arts, game Thread design.

Rachel Mann, Animation and Game Art Tutor at SIT, is excited to be able to offer the paper for the first time via a mixed delivery format, as in the past it could only be offered on campus due to technological requirements.

“This is an extension of the Microsoft virtual desktops that we enabled last year, which allowed our students to access highly specialized resources from their homes, ensuring that they could continue their studies. studies without interruption during lockout. Before Covid, we couldn’t offer this to distance learners, but now we can offer these programs due to the adoption of new technological capability, ”she said.

Ms Mann said the blended format includes a compulsory class session once a week – every Friday, where students are required to attend their classes remotely, citing its importance as the document places a strong emphasis on practical, students will therefore need this face-to-face. time with their tutor.

“The other study materials can all be completed at their own pace, but once a week they must attend this tutor-led session in order to have tutor access and support firmly integrated into their course.”

There were other benefits to be gained from classroom engagement, said Mann, who she was also looking forward to. “We use a different model with off-campus and on-campus students all being taught simultaneously.”

By combining the two groups of students, it would provide advantages for those who study the paper. This increases the diversity of the group, creating more connections and wider networking and collaboration opportunities, she said.

“This should be very interesting for the students as we are developing informal discussion groups which will make it easier to share their ideas with each other and keep in touch even when they are not in class. It means we have more students coming together and doing something creative ”.

Ms Mann says the short course, which focuses on 2D animation games, will appeal to those who want to hone their skills, those who may be interested in the degree program, and who want to test the waters to help them. to decide ; those who already have a degree or knowledge and skills in digital media and want to add another string to their bow, or those looking to train for career development in order to capitalize on the exponential growth of the industry of the game at the moment.

“It’s exciting because of its flexible nature, and it gives students the opportunity to integrate it into already existing commitments like work and family – it should have a pretty broad appeal,” she said. .

Introduction to Game Design runs from July 26 to November 05. It is available as part of the SIT Zero Fees program, with a course fee of $ 100.

For more information or to register, call 0800 40 FEES (0800 40 3337) or visit: campus / Invercargill

The SIT Zero Fees Scheme (ZFS) is subject to the policies of the New Zealand government.

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