Students at Boston University Prepare for a More Visual Future with Adobe Creative Cloud

by Karen McCavitt

posted on 06-03-2019

Whether students pursue business, law, medicine, social science, or any other field, Boston University (BU) wants to make sure its graduates can succeed in an increasingly complex and connected world. That’s the mandate for BU Hub, the university’s general education program, which builds capacities crucial for modern life and work, emphasizing historical interpretation, scientific inquiry, civic engagement, and communication.

“Each capacity in the BU Hub covers different skills and knowledge that reflect the realities of life in the 21st century,” says Sarah Madsen Hardy, Interim Director of the Center for Teaching & Learning at BU. “For example, the capacity for communication encompasses not only the written word but also oral, digital, and visual communication. Students should be more than simply consumers of digital media. They need to be effective creators who can tailor messages to different audiences.”

Technology is key to 21st century communication, and BU Hub uses Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise as its standard for multimedia creative and digital tools. Since giving access to all undergraduates and faculty members, the university has seen a lot of exciting ideas come to life across campus.

Using video to elevate student work in the community

Because BU is a research university, students often get involved in practical projects that have a real- world impact. Sharing those experiences visually can be a powerful way to support students and connect with the surrounding community.

To educate healthcare providers on the care and treatment of young people with autism spectrum disorder, Porche and her doctoral students worked with the Massachusetts State Department of Mental Health to develop a web-based curriculum rich with interactive content and presentations. The team used Adobe Premiere Pro to film short video clips of physicians and researchers sharing their stories and insights, bringing a powerful and compelling angle to the curriculum.

“Having video from experts makes serious topics far more engaging and persuasive for learners,” says Michelle Porche, Clinical Associate Professor for Counseling Psychology and Applied Human Development in the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. “With Adobe Premiere Pro, we can create video that emphasizes the human nature of our work and helps create a sense of empathy in our teaching and outreach.”

Porche also promotes her students’ work in the community using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for quick photo editing and Adobe Spark for engaging multimedia storytelling.

Harnessing the power of video to persuade and connect

Video is a powerful communication tool for business as well. Tom Anastasi, Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Questrom School of Business, uses Adobe Premiere Pro to help students increase the impact of their work and build connections.

In his Organizational Behavior course, Anastasi asked students to choose a company, analyze its corporate environment, and interview its employees—comparing the real-world case with theories covered in the class. Instead of a static slideshow presentation, students were required to use Adobe Premiere Pro to produce videos of the interviews of employees telling their own stories. As a result, presentations made a stronger impact and prompted the audience to engage more.

“We live in a digital world and understanding how to work with design programs gives students from any field a leg up over their coworkers,” says Anastasi. “Even if students never need to work on designs personally, having experience with Adobe Creative Cloud allows them to collaborate with graphic designers because they share a common creative language.”

Adobe facilitates a creative new approach to ESL curriculum

Adobe Creative Cloud has also made a big difference in BU’s English as a Second Language (ESL) courses. To prepare international students for the rigors of a BU education, faculty members need to provide as much instruction as possible. With new Center for Teaching & Learning-sponsored initiatives, the ESL faculty incorporated elements of a “flipped” classroom into the curriculum that would enable students to review topics in advance, allowing for more instruction time in class.

By gaining access to Adobe Creative Cloud, the ESL faculty finally had the tools to make it happen. The department used Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Audition to create online learning modules that enable students to get a jumpstart on lessons and free up classroom time to dig deeper, answer questions, and tackle hands-on projects.

A bright future at BU

With so many classrooms incorporating digital and visual communication tools into their coursework, BU Hub does an excellent job of helping BU students build 21st century skills. Faculty and students alike are excited as new ways of communicating and working spread across the university.

“By providing Adobe Creative Cloud licenses to all BU undergraduates and their faculty, we’re finding that faculty are beginning to integrate digital and multimedia expression into the classroom in meaningful ways,” says Brad Wheeler, a Learning Experience Designer at the Center for Teaching & Learning. “We’re giving our students important opportunities to develop innovation skills that will help them succeed in the workforce.”

_Boston University uses Adobe Creative Cloud, including its video and photo editing tools, to enhance interdisciplinary learning and prepare students for future success. Learn more here.

Topics: Industry, Education, digital literacy,

Products: Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Creative Cloud