Swinburne University unlocks digital literacy skills with Adobe Creative Campus
For the past two years, staff and students at Swinburne University of Technology have had access to all Adobe products for use on campus and on personal devices. As the first Australian university to become an Adobe Creative Campus, Swinburne is well on its way to achieving its mission of preparing for a rich digital future.
The initiative focuses on Swinburne’s commitment to embracing innovation, boosting digital literacy and building employability skills, aligning with the university’s long-term strategic goal of bringing together people and technology to build a better world.
The partnership also offers staff the opportunity to apply for an Adobe Innovation Grant (AIG). The Adobe Innovation Grant program helps staff take risks in their teaching and learning, using Adobe programs to experiment and play across disciplines. The program has been so successful that it won the Vice-Chancellor’s Innovation Award at the end of 2021. “What’s exciting about this award is that it means Swinburne really supports innovation and taking risks, especially in our teaching and learning,” says Associate Professor Clare Dyson. In 2020, ten grants were awarded, providing a five-month professional development program to help 13 teachers innovate with digital literacies in the curriculum. In 2021, the program supported 23 projects and 46 teachers, with eight new projects supported in the first semester of 2022. To date, the AIG program has impacted over 8,500 students with innovative student-centered and student-focused projects. digital literacies.
“Adobe Innovation Grants have helped our staff explore creative new approaches to learning and teaching,” says Sarah Maddison, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Education, Experience and Employability. “Bringing digital literacy skills into the curriculum helps our students develop employability skills for a tech-rich future.”
A survey mapping recipient confidence in digital literacy before and after the AIG program showed improvements across all domains, with an increase of 4% in information literacy, 3% in critical literacy, and 27% in literacy technological.
The survey also found that staff felt more courageous to experiment with Adobe programs. Student confidence in digital literacy has also improved. Swinburne’s partnership with Adobe also focused on staff and student engagement. Swinburne’s Adobe Education Exchange (EDEX) offers the world’s first curated Creative Cloud (CC) page, featuring free lessons, activities and projects in a range of disciplines with personalized resources, allowing students and staff to practice , learn and play.
“Traditional learning practices can be difficult to retain student engagement, especially during the pandemic and remote learning,” says Maddison. “There was also a lack of confidence among staff and students in their digital literacy skills.”
Disciplines outside of what are generally considered traditional creative subjects have also benefited from innovative learning methods using Adobe’s Creative Cloud. Mathematician Emily Cook created stop-motion animations using LEGO to help her student understand concepts through linear algebra visualizations. Fundamental concepts in chemistry and mathematics were also taught by creating interactive resources using augmented reality. It helped engage students using exploration and experimentation, helping to visualize complex concepts so that students fully understand them.
Images created by Swinburne students with Adobe Creative Cloud
“With the wide range of applications, I have the ability to push myself to advance my skills. Instead of relying on what would be considered the “fundamentals” of graphic designers, for example Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. am able to explore creation in other applications, for example, bring my creations to life using After Effects or Dimension,” says Emily Gittins, student at Gumbaynggirr/Barkindji and Adobe digital coach.
A dual degree student in Communication Design and Marketing, Emily is familiar with Adobe programs, such as Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, however, the Creative Campus allowed her to explore and test her creativity. “There are definitely programs that I never thought I would use before such as Xd, Dimension and even Character Animate. I see that even in my business units there is a need for digital literacy knowledge and I can say with confidence that in the workplace, I will feel not only prepared, but also confident in my digital literacy skills,” says Gittins.
As Swinburne University embarks on a new year with face-to-face learning, grants and Adobe’s collection of tools and resources are helping to create an engaging environment for the digitally savvy .
“We are very excited to be back on campus to continue experimenting together and exploring how Adobe Creative Cloud can continue to develop students’ digital literacy and employability skills,” adds Maddison.