ART 365 Campaign Design - Mah

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About This Article

This article describes how mobile computing, specifically tablets, was piloted in Professor Chun Lok Mah's ART 365 - Campaign Design to transform teaching and learning.

Intended Audience

WSU instructors interested in past faculty experience with tablet devices in the classroom.

Fall 2012 iPad Pilot

Students in this class develop campaigns for on-campus and off-campus events.

How the iPads are Used in ART 365

The students in Professor Mah’s Campaign Design class create thematic sets of design pieces in response to a client’s need. Designs are prototyped on paper or on laptops and materials are created on Macs in the lab. Preliminary and final designs are reviewed periodically by the client. Professor Mah is using iPads in the Pilot for two purposes: idea generation and client review. Prototyping of ideas is done quickly through collaborative work between students in the design team. Review versions of the materials are assembled into electronic portfolios for presentation to the client. Believing the iPad is a valuable tool in education, Professor Mah challenged his students to work for a week and a half using only their iPads in their other classes, abandoning their laptops. This challenge will help the students discover how the iPad can be used in everyday education and, maybe more importantly, where the iPad does not fill the need. The challenge included reporting their findings back to Professor Mah after the challenge was completed. Professor Mah used the iPads to accomplish several key objectives of the course that would be difficult or impossible utilizing only traditional educational methods. The iPads and their associated applications enabled Professor Mah to:

  • Generate ideas faster. By using the iPad, rapid prototyping takes less time and ideas are more easily shared. Applications support quick creation and visualization of ideas, faster than possible on the laptop or on paper. Wireless sharing promotes collaboration and critiques.
  • Promote collaborative thought. iPad applications are designed to promote collaboration. Apps like Groupboard allow students to share screen content with other students in their workgroup, collaboratively building and modifying the design. Students now sit in groups and work together rather than independently on their Macs.
  • Increase comfort level during customer reviews. The iPad is less intimidating during client reviews than a laptop. In the words of Professor Mah, the iPad “feels more like paper” and reduces the intimidation caused by bulkier laptops.

An added benefit of using the iPads for idea generation and collaborative design is increased desk space. Because iPads are often held or placed on the student’s lap, the table tops are freed up for other design materials.


Changes in the classroom

  • Designs were prototyped quickly, client presentations were lower impact. Because the tools on the iPad allowed for rapid, collaborative prototyping, students could create more design iterations and develop more ideas. Combined with the ease of demonstrating their designs on the iPad, this gave the students stronger designs and increased confidence levels.
  • Promote collaborative thought and critical thinking. Students used iPad applications to work in groups, collaborating on designs and solutions. The synergy of working together caused more critical analysis of the designs.
  • Students discovered the educational value of the iPads. Thanks to Professor Mah’s two-week challenge of leaving the laptop at in the backpack, students developed a respect for the iPad as an educational tool. Many found the iPad was great for note taking and management of time and work items.


  • Professor Mah plans to grow the use of iPads in the program by investigating ways to use the iPad as a portfolio-creation tool. Keeping the portfolio on the iPad has several advantages, including electronic versions of work items are hard to lose and the iPad makes the portfolio portable and easy to show to perspective employers.
  • Based on the work Professor Mah did in challenging the students to use their iPad exclusively, we find students discovered the educational value of the device. It is in the university’s best interest to find a way to continue this process and have as many students as possible find the educational value of their devices.

iPad Applications Employed in ART 365

Professor Mah used the following applications in his ART 365 iPad pilot:

  • Doceri
  • Evernote
  • Fuze
  • GoodReader
  • Groupboard
  • Minimal Folio
  • Photosynth
  • Sketchbook Pro
  • Skype

Descriptions, pricing, and links to iTunes for each of these applications is available on the iPad Pilot Applications page.

More Information

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