Challenges of Design Educators
Panelists include John Baljkas, Sophia Melanson and Sandy Kedey RGD. Moderated by Andrew McLachlan RGD
As experienced Design Educators, panelists offer their professional opinions on different solutions to common challenges that many Design Educators face in this ever-evolving field. 

Some discussion questions include:

  • How do design educators deal with the influx of international students who struggle with English comprehension?
  • Given diverse professional backgrounds (not based on graphic or product design) in full time and part time teaching staff of many design programs, what strategies work to facilitate integrated course development and build strong design programs?
  • What effective methods/processes can design educators use to make links to professional design practice for students, their institution, and themselves?
  • As educators, do we need to rethink our approach to teaching graphic design and interaction design entirely? Some schools have created two distinct programs for Visual Communication Design and Interaction Design. Is this the right approach or does it create two classes of designer?
  • In today’s practice, it is critical for designers to work effectively in groups and understand the entire design process. How do you develop holistic approaches to assessment methods that aid teaching and foster learning in contemporary design classrooms?
  • What is the role of online platforms and virtual instruction in design education? How are you leveraging technology to enhance learning?


Date: Thursday, June 2 at 12:00pm ET



John Baljkas, Affiliate Member of RGD, has a Bachelor of Fine Art, Honours First Class (U of Manitoba), and a Master of Fine Art (York U), both degrees specializing in graphic design. John teaches at Conestoga College, and has taught at George Brown College, Humber College, OCAD U and York U.



Sophia Melanson has taught at NSCAD U and is currently the Lead Instructor of Graphic Design at McKenzie College School of Art and Design in Moncton. She has recently been published in the international academic journal Semiotica.



Sandy Kedey RGD is Chair of the Advertising Program at OCAD U and a tenured Associate Professor in the Faculty of Design, with over 25 years of experience in both industry and academia.




Andrew McLachlan RGD has been a professor in the GraphicDesign program at St. Lawrence College, Kingston since 2002. He was program co-ordinator from 2007-10 and has served on the RGD Education committee for three years.


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