What it’s really like to study Digital Media and Design online

Study digital media and design

In 2021, eCampus NZ worked closely with Ara’s Department of Creative Industries to launch an online version of the New Zealand Certificate in Digital Media and Design.

We caught up with one of the superstar learners, Di Ross, after she finished her first course, to see what she had to say about the experience.

Meet Di Ross

Ara learner Di Ross chose the programme because she wanted to translate her artistic abilities into digital creations.

“I’ve always been creative and artistic but lacked the technical skills to showcase them using the Adobe Suite. I have so much respect for digital artists now that I understand what is involved in the process of creating digital art. Photoshop is an incredible piece of software.” she said.

Di enjoyed the variety of skills and knowledge covered in the course.

“We learnt a diverse range of skills within the course. We used three of the Adobe programmes at once and the projects were all quite different. There really is something in there for everyone,” she said.

Di discovered a new passion for illustration (see picture above) as she progressed through the course.

“I learnt a lot about myself through this study. I thought I would enjoy the graphic design aspects most, but it was the illustration that I loved. Studying part time gave me an opportunity to ‘go down rabbit holes’ when I got passionate about a certain aspect of the course,” she said.

She loved the confidence she built over the ten-week course.

“It felt awesome to finish the first course. I’m proud of the last assessment I submitted. It’s amazing to go from not knowing how to use Photoshop to being able to create illustrations and a book design,” she said.

About the New Zealand Certificate in Digital Media and Design

There are challenges associated with offering such a practical, creative programme online. Inspired by the challenge and determined to equip learners with the same skills they would learn in a studio environment, our eLearning designers created a virtual design house called Aronga Whanokē Design.

Learners navigate through this virtual world, using design briefs to create a variety of works using photography, illustration, video, and animation, and learning how to use the Adobe suite along the way.

In the first course, learners get a foundation in basic design principles as they create a range of digital materials in Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop.

Facilitator Sandy Galland, who guides learners through this course, has loved seeing Adobe beginners producing “quality, creative, and technical work” by the end of the first, 10-week course.

Find out more about the New Zealand Certificate in Digital Media and Design here.

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