Developing a Curriculum on the Arts and Mechanics of New Media for an International Post-graduate Audience
The International Certificate Program for New Media (ICPNM) has been developed by Fraunhofer CRCG in cooperation with the Rhode Island School of Design/Continuing Education (RISD) for international, early- to mid-career professionals in government, business, industry or education. Students from these fields benefit from a rigorous and comprehensive course of study in a concentrated six-month period with an additional three-month period of exclusive involvement in ongoing projects. Other program partners that provide additional know-how and lecturers are Darmstadt University of Technology, Germany; the Media Communication Management Institute at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland; Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics, Darmstadt, Germany; Brown University, Providence, RI, USA; and the Centre for Advanced Media Technology, Singapore. Accompanied by Web-based course material for distance course preparation and review, the program offers a sequence of learning experiences that encompasses a specific body of knowledge and theory regarding the design, use, and applications of new media. This program, however, goes beyond a theoretical exploration of new media issues by grounding the theory in practical applications: participants spend over half of their time in an ongoing research program under the auspices of CRCG and are assigned sub-tasks based on their interests and the needs of the project. At the same time, they explore design processes with RISD faculty and are immersed in four core topical content areas: 3-D modeling, animation, user interface and Web page design and development, as well as cross media publishing. In this paper we present the motivation that led to the development of the curriculum, the resulting program structure, the content and organization of the program, as well as the outcomes and lessons learned from the first two cycles of the program that started in October of 1998.