Syllabus-edit744 (PDF, 277 KB)


Course number and title EDIT 744: Graphic Design for Instruction
Prerequisites None
Description Theory and application of graphic design for print and non-print instructional products.
Intended Audience Candidates admitted to the Ed.S. in Instructional Technology program, or individuals who want to learn how to design effective graphics for teaching and learning.
Program Ed.S. in Instructional Technology
College Spadoni College of Education


Professor / Instructor Contact Information

Full name & title: Dr. David Tao, Ed.D.
Office location & building: Online
Office hours: online, by appointment
Email address:

About the Professor / Instructor

I was born and grew up in a city named Suzhou (about two hours’ drive from the metropolitan city of Shanghai) on the east coast of China. My journey in instructional technology began in 1995 when I started college in central China, majoring in computer-assisted instruction. In 2000 I went to graduate school at the University of Central Florida (Orlando, Florida) where I finished a master’s degree (2001) and a doctoral degree (2014), both in instructional technology.

Professionally, I work full time for a private university in Orlando, Florida as the Director for Instructional Technology. I have two main responsibilities there: 1) to train faculty to use various technologies to improve teaching and learning; 2) to design, develop, and support my institution’s online curriculum. Since 2009, I have been teaching online courses on different subjects in the instructional technology field and I enjoy online teaching ever since!

Personally, my wife and I raise three energetic boys, ages 9, 14, and 16, and we live in the Central Florida area (about 45 minutes’ drive from the Walt Disney World). In my spare time, since we can’t afford Disney (^_^), I enjoy gardening, puttering around the house, road-trips, jogging, and hanging out with my family.

Course Pre-requisites, Co-requisites, and/or Other Restrictions


Materials – Text, Readings, Supplementary Readings

A textbook is required in this course—Visual Design Solutions. This informal and friendly book guides you through the process and principles used by professional graphic designers. It also presents creative solutions and examples that you can start using right away. This book also includes practical guidelines for making smart design choices, ways to create professional-looking products, and principles for successful graphics that facilitate learning.

Another text is recommended—Photoshop CC: visual quickstart guide (2015 release). In this course, you will be using Adobe Photoshop to design your graphics. Free online training has been identified to facilitate your learning of Adobe Photoshop. However, if you prefer to learn from paper, the following text is highly recommended. This text includes clear, concise, step-by-step instructions; hundreds of full-color images; screen captures of program features; and supplemental tips and sidebars in every chapter.

Please get a hold of these two titles as soon as possible because it will be needed for the first week of the class. Both are also available at CCU campus bookstore (843-349-2360).

Required Software

You are required to obtain legal access to Adobe Photoshop CC from The annual plan for students and teachers is $119.88/yr and you can choose to pay it monthly ($9.99/mo). Adobe Photoshop will also be needed in EDIT750: Product Design and Development II.

Goals and Outcomes
Course Goals

The following course goals articulate the general objectives and purpose of this course. Students will:

  • Apply the principles of visual literacy to the graphic design for learning.
  • Select and apply the principles of graphic design when developing instructional materials and presentations.
  • Select appropriate combinations of graphic and image representations to supplement text-based instruction.
  • Develop instructional content that integrates multiple instructional messages to achieve identified learning goals.
  • Apply the tools of graphic design (type, shape, color, depth, space) to an appropriate instructional presentation.
  • Apply appropriate graphic design actions (contrast, alignment, repetition, and proximity) to appropriate instructional presentations.
  • Apply appropriate graphic design perceptions (figure/ground, hierarchy, and gestalt) to appropriate instructional presentations.
  • Use image editing software (e.g., Adobe Photoshop CC 2015) to create and modify images for digital and print formats.
Course Outcomes

The following course outcomes indicate competencies and measurable skills that students develop as a result of completing this course. These learning outcomes are derived directly from the Coastal Carolina University Conceptual Framework (CF) Candidate Proficiencies, the National Educational Technology Standards for Coaches (NETS-C) published by ISTE and Advanced Standards published by AECT.

Student Learning Outcomes Standards Alignment Assessment
After completing this course, students will be able to:
Develop instructional multimedia resources that demonstrate best design practices for online and blended learning CF 1.1


Before and After Assignments


Evaluate the results of technology professional development to improve instructional performance CF 1.2


Before and After Assignments


Demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to design conditions for learning by applying principles, theories, and research associated with instructional systems design, message design, instructional strategies, and learner characteristics. CF 1.1

AECT 1: Design

Before and After Assignments


Demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to develop instructional materials and experiences by applying principles, theories, and research related to print, audiovisual, computer-based, and integrated technologies. CF 1.1

AECT 2: Development

Before and After Assignments



The overarching theme of the Conceptual Framework for all educator preparation programs is The Educator as Reflective Practitioner. The initial and advanced teacher education programs and the advanced program in educational leadership focus on the development of knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions to ensure that all candidates are well prepared and meet all institutional, state, and professional standards at the completion of their program. The Conceptual Framework describes the shared vision of teaching, learning, and the preparation of teachers and school leaders. It outlines our philosophy and commitment to the education profession; guides programmatic decisions; and ensures coherence among curricula, field experiences, clinical practice, and the unit’s assessment system. The Conceptual Framework reflects our commitment to integrate technology, demonstrate professional behavior and dispositions, engage in reflective practice, work with diverse populations, and apply content and pedagogical knowledge to the teaching and learning process.

Ed.S. in Instructional Technology

The Ed.S. in Instructional Technology is designed to provide certified teachers with advanced professional studies of the design, development, implementation and evaluation of current and emerging instructional technologies and their potential to improve teaching practice, professional productivity, and student performance. Program candidates complete a common core of education coursework, plus an intensive specialization curriculum derived from the National Educational Technology Standards for Coaches (NETS-C) published by ISTE and endorsed by NCATE. Candidates who complete this program track will be able to do the following:

  • Utilize, maintain and manage a variety of digital tools and digital content resources for technology-rich learning environments (NETS C3.b)
  • Troubleshoot basic software, hardware, and connectivity problems common in digital learning environments (NETS C3.e)
  • Model continuous professional growth in instructional technology knowledge, skills, and dispositions (NETS C6.a-c)
  • Apply modern learning theory and research findings to best practices in instructional design for online and blended learning (NETS C3.c)
  • Develop instructional multimedia resources that demonstrate best design practices for online and blended learning (NETS C3.c)
  • Model effective strategies for classroom management and collaborative learning using a variety of digital tools and resources (NETS C3.a)
  • Apply learning analytics technologies to design differentiated instructional strategies that personalize learning (NETS C2.g-h)
  • Design technology-rich problem-based learning experiences that engage critical and higher-order thinking skills (NETS C2.c-d)
  • Model and facilitate safe, healthy, legal and ethical uses of technology in instructional settings (NETS C5.b)
  • Promote strategies that achieve equitable access to digital tools and resources (NETS C5.a)
  • Design learning experiences that respect diversity, cultural understanding, and promote global awareness (NETS C5.c)
  • Contribute to the design of a shared vision for the comprehensive use of technology to transform an instructional setting (NETS C1.a)
  • Participate in the development and implementation of a strategic technology improvement plan (NETS C1.b)
  • Design and advocate judicious policies, procedures and funding practices relevant to instructional technology innovation (NETS C1.c)
  • Design organizational strategies to manage the change process while initiating technology innovation (NETS C1.d)
  • Select and evaluate digital tools and resources that improve teaching and learning (NETS C3.f)
  • Conduct needs assessments to inform the design of technology-related professional development experiences (NETS C4.a)
  • Design and implement technology professional development experiences that model best practices for adult learners (NETS C4.b)
  • Evaluate the results of technology professional development to improve instructional performance (NETS C4.c)


The following information has been provided to assist you in preparation for the technological aspect of the course.

Minimum Technical Skills Needed:
  • Using the learning management system (Moodle)
  • Using E-mail with attachments
  • Creating and submitting files in commonly used word processing program formats
  • Copying and pasting
  • Downloading and installing software
  • Using spreadsheet programs


Access and Log in Information

This course was developed and will be facilitated utilizing the Coastal Carolina University’s Learning Management System, Moodle. To get started with the course, please go to:

You will need your CCU ID and password to log in to the course. If you do not know your CCU ID or have forgotten your password, please go to:

Student Resources

As a student, you will have access to:

  • Moodle Access Information. It is recommended that you become familiar with the tools and tutorials provided in Moodle to better equip you to navigate the course. Make sure to view all PDF files listed at
  • After logging in to Moodle, you will have access to the “Student Resources” and “Student Help Request” link on top of the page, which provides student resources and Help Desk Information.
How the Course is Organized

This course is organized in the weekly format. Each week, new topics will be introduced along with required readings and assignments.

What Should Students Do First?

Once you have accessed the course and the syllabus, you should read through the syllabus carefully, understanding the requirements of the course and the assessment items. Also, please participate in the first discussion forum—Self-Introduction ASAP. Your weekly participation in this forum indicates your attendance in this course. If you do not complete this forum within 7 days after the class begins, you will be reported absent and automatically dropped from this course. Make sure you complete this task as early as possible.

How Students Should Proceed Each Week for Class Activities

As stated above, this course is organized in the weekly format. On the first day of the week, an E-mail announcement will be posted on Moodle and sent to your E-mail account, addressing the topics of the week and the required tasks and their due dates. These announcements are to get you ready to tackle class activities each week.

Student Support

Coastal Carolina University provides student technical support in the use of Moodle and support resources. The student help desk may be reached at:
Phone: 843-349-2908
In-Person: Kearns Hall, Room 113

Regular hours are maintained to provide support to students. Please refer to the website ( for updated hours.


  1. The student will access and follow all course instructions found in the weekly/unit content area of the Moodle
  2. The student will review weekly topics and complete the reading assignments under each corresponding weekly section.
  3. The student will complete the assigned learning blog/assignment/project by the deadlines.
  4. The student will complete and submit assignments electronically inside Moodle.
  5. The student will complete an on-going semester project in accordance with the instructions given in this syllabus and the online course.


The main channels for course communication are through Moodle and E-mail. I will use the Announcement function in Moodle to distribute any course news. Please check Moodle frequently (3 or 4 times a week). The Gradebook tab of Moodle is another channel for me to provide feedback regarding your submissions. Finally, E-mail is an efficient way to reach me. I am on my E-mail all the time.

Interaction with Instructor: The primary tool to reach me is through E-mail. Please send your personal concerns or questions to Emails will be answered within 24 hours and if you do not receive a response within this time frame please resend your message. I will notify you if response times need to be changed or adjusted.

Submission turn-around time frame: Typically, all submissions will be graded within 7 days of the due date and returned in Moodle. In rare cases, your submissions will be graded after that. If it ever happens, please contact me. I might have overlooked your submissions.


Course Assessments

Unless otherwise noted, all assessments must be submitted to Moodle. Neither email nor hardcopy submissions will be accepted. Supplemental instructions and rubrics will be available online.

Self-Introduction Infographic (6 pts)

This assessment is administered in the first week of the semester. You need to create an infographic to introduce yourself within 7 days after the class begins.

Quizzes (2 quizzes, 5 pts each)

Two quizzes will be administered during the session. You will complete each quiz online using Moodle. Each quiz will be considered open-book; you may consult all online course materials, or even external Internet resources. You are also encouraged to collaborate with your classmates currently enrolled in EDIT 744, provided that you each submit your own quiz. You will be allowed 30 minutes to complete each quiz, which must be submitted before the deadlines posted in Moodle.

Adobe Photoshop Exercises (3 exercises: 4 pts, 4 pts, and 6 pts)

Three exercises are designed to gauge your proficiency levels with Adobe Photoshop techniques.

Before and After Assignments (12 assignments, 6 pts)

This type of assessment is designed to 1) sharpen your keen eyes in evaluating graphics and 2) develop your skills in designing graphics for learning. After some visual design principles are introduced, you are required to identify a graphic that doesn’t comply with visual design principles. Your task is to improve it by applying what you just learned. There are a total of 12 Before and After assignments. Only 9 assignments with the highest grades will be counted toward your final grade.

Concept Map for Effective Graphic Design (10 pts)

This assessment concludes the course by asking you to produce a concept map depicting effective graphic design with Adobe Photoshop.

Assessment Weight
Assessment Weight
Self-Introduction Infographic 6 pts
Quizzes 10 (5 pts each)
Adobe Photoshop Exercises 14 pts
#1: 4 pts
#2: 4 pts
#3: 6 pts
Before and After Assignments 60 pts

10 out of 13 assignments with highest grades are counted toward final grade (6 pts each)

Concept Map for Effective Graphic Design 10 pts
Total 100 pts

Grading will consist of assessment opportunities that will occur each week to determine student progress toward meeting the learning outcomes. Grades will be calculated by converting point accumulations for each assessment using the tables below. Candidates in the Ed.S. in Instructional Technology program must earn a grade of C or higher in order to apply the credit hours.

Score Grade
90-100 A
86-89 B+
80-85 B
76-79 C+
70-75 C
66-69 D+
60-65 D

A grade of incomplete may be granted to students who have suffered serious personal illness or critical emergency circumstances during the academic term, resulting in failure to complete all assignments by the end of the quarter. Documentation from a physician is required and must be attached to the petition for a temporary grade of incomplete. Please see the college catalog for additional information. 


The following course outline is tentative and subject to change.

Module Assessments Readings
1.   Introduction to Instructional Graphics and Its Value Infographic with or Malamed: Chapter 1

Clark: Chapters 2 and 4

2.   Tools: Getting Started with Photoshop Adobe Photoshop Exercise #1 Malamed: Chapter 3

Episodes 1 – 8

3.   Photoshop Essentials (I) Adobe Photoshop Exercise #2 Episodes 9 – 16
4.   Photoshop Essentials (II) Adobe Photoshop Exercise #3 Episodes 17 – 23
5.   Photoshop Project Continue with Photoshop Exercise #3 Episodes 24 – 33
6.   Graphic Space and Choice Before and After #1: Graphic Space

Before and After #2: Choice

Malamed: Chapter 2

Malamed: Chapters 4 and 5


7.   Typography and Color Before and After #3: Typography

Before and After #4: Color

Quiz 1

Malamed: Chapters 6 and 7


8.   Visual Hierarchy and Cue Before and After #5: Visual Hierarchy

Before and After #6: Visual Cue

Malamed: Chapters 8 and 12


9.   Visual Unity Before and After #7: Visual Unity Malamed: Chapter 9


10.  Contrast and Grouping Before and After #8: Contrast

Before and After #9: Grouping

Malamed: Chapters 10 and 11
11. Excitement: Juicing Up Your Design Before and After #10: Excitement Malamed: Chapter 13


12. Enhancement: Adding More Meaning Before and After #11: Enhancement Malamed: Chapter 14


13.Visualization: Depicting Numbers Before and After #12: Storytelling Malamed: Chapter 16


14. Storytelling: Telling Stories with Visuals Before and After #13: Visualization Malamed: Chapter 15


15. Wrap-Up and Conclusion Concept Map

Quiz 2



For each course evaluation they complete, students will receive a confirmation email stating the course, instructor, date completed and time completed.


All works submitted for credit must be original works created by the scholar uniquely for the class. It is considered inappropriate and unethical, particularly at the graduate level, to make duplicate submissions of a single work for credit in multiple classes, unless specifically requested by the instructor. Work submitted at the graduate level is expected to demonstrate higher-order thinking skills and be of significantly higher quality than work produced at the undergraduate level.



Deadlines and Late Work
  • You will always be given explicit instructions on where to send your assignments. Assignments are usually due on a weekly basis—the exact dates will always be found in the activities. If you wish to complete an assignment prior to the due date, you may (however, a group assignment must be completed during the week assigned OR upon approval of every member of the group). NO LATE SUBMISSION WILL BE ACCEPTED. PLEASE BE AWARE OF THIS POLICY AND SUBMIT YOUR WORK ON TIME. This policy will be strictly enforced.
  • All due dates are posted and late assignments, quizzes and discussions are counted as zero.
  • In the event of an emergency or absence, you will need to notify by email before the due date and provide documentation when submitting the late assignment”
Class Participation

Students are required to login to the online course a minimum of three times a week. The instructor will use the tracking feature in Moodle to monitor student activity. Students are also required to participate in all class activities such as discussion board, chat or conference sessions, and group projects (if any).

Virtual Classroom Citizenship

The same guidelines that apply to traditional classes should be observed in the online learning environment. Please use proper netiquette when interacting with class members and the professor.

Policy on Server Unavailability or Other Technical Difficulties

Whenever you experience any difficulty with the Moodle system, please wait for 10 – 15 minutes and try again. If the problem remains, please report it to Moodle administrator at (843-349-2263) and notify the instructor of this. If students ever experience hard disk failure or virus attack, please contact ITS – Student Computing Services and notify the instructor of this difficulty. The instructor and ITS – Student Computing Services will work with the student to resolve any issues at the earliest possible time.

Copyright Notice

Some or all of the materials on this course Web site may be protected by copyright. Federal copyright law prohibits the reproduction, distribution, public performance, or public display of copyrighted materials without the express and written permission of the copyright owner unless fair use or another exemption under copyright law applies.

Administrative Withdrawal

Please be advised that if you do not complete “Self-Introduction” within 7 days after the class begins, you will be reported absent and automatically dropped from this course. Make sure you complete this task as early as possible.

Syllabus Change Policy

The standards and requirements set forth in this syllabus may be modified at any time by the course instructor. Notice of such changes will be by course announcement via Moodle.

Academic Integrity

Under all circumstances, students are expected to be honest in their dealings with faculty, administrative staff, and fellow students. In speaking and/or correspondence with members of the college community, students must give an accurate representation of the facts at hand. Students must submit work that fairly and accurately reflects their level of accomplishment. Any work that is not a product of the student’s own effort is considered dishonest. Students may not submit the same work for more than one course. A student may be suspended or expelled for academic dishonesty. Please refer to the Student Handbook for additional information regarding the policy on academic honesty.

Statement of Community Standards from the Office of Academic Integrity

Coastal Carolina University is an academic community that expects the highest standards of honesty, integrity and personal responsibility. As members of this community, we are accountable for our actions and are committed to creating an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust.

      On my honor, I pledge:

  • That I will take responsibility for my personal behavior; and
  • That I will actively oppose every instance of academic dishonesty as defined in the Code of Student Conduct.

      From this day forward, my signature on any University document, including tests, papers and other work submitted for a grade, is a confirmation of this honor pledge.

Student Code of Conduct:

As the instructor of this course, I will report all academic integrity issues through the channels provided by the University.

Special Services

If you have any learning disabilities or are alternatively-abled in any manner, or if you feel you need special accommodation, please contact the Office of Accessibility and Disabilities Service, located in Kearns Hall 106 or call (843) 349-2503. Disabilities must be on record with the university in order for a student to be eligible for special dispensation. After your need for special accommodation is verified with the Office of Accessibility and Disabilities Service, you need to inform the instructor and provide documentation within the first two weeks of the course.