Oklahoma State University
Free up class time. Promote lifelong learning.
This interview with Chris Hopkins was performed in 2009 by the Digital-Tutors team, which is now part of Pluralsight.
My name is Chris Hopkins and I have been a multimedia and graphic design instructor for over two years. Prior to that, I spent 15 years in the industry working as a web designer, 2D animator, illustrator and graphic designer. I currently instruct about 30 to 35 students per semester. I teach Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator, Final Cut Pro and Maya. Next semester I’m teaching After Effects.
I’ve known Digital-Tutors for more than five years and have been following their 3D instruction and successes. When I was tasked to create a 3D track for our multimedia plan of study, I immediately called Digital-Tutors to get advisement. Once I started our new 3D program, I saw two needs quickly arise. One, there was a need for myself and the other instructors to have continued training. Two, the students moved at various speeds in training and I needed a vehicle that would allow me to facilitate the advancement of students with various learning speeds. I wanted to be able to help those who were struggling while at the same time challenging those who were more advanced.
What I enjoy most about using DigitalTutors in my classroom is the flexibility in creating my own custom curriculum. I can pick and choose lessons and courses as needed and email my students the CLIDT and playlists they need to review. Being in such a fastpaced industry, my colleagues and I are constantly trying to keep up with the changes in software technology as well as the latest tools and techniques.
With Digital-Tutors, we can avoid this challenge altogether as they provide new training to the students as well as myself. I’m sure every teacher has a different way of implementing DT into their curriculum but I find it best to meet with each student and determine a project. From there, I assign videos to help them with that specific pipeline skill set and they take off. This has allowed me to spend less time creating lectures and more time creating curriculum specific to individual student’s needs. With this method, I now have the opportunity to spend my time helping students with questions, cover more material in more efficient manner and easily create a customized learning path for each student.
One of my favorite parts of a Digital-Tutors group account is the group portal. You can email individual students as well as the entire group and review their progress including what they watched and how much of the course they viewed. Since I’ve started using Digital-Tutors I found that my students share what videos they have finished with each other and this has created a friendly competition between them. This competition has shaped an environment where the students now cover double the amount of material required in the initial syllabus. DigitalTutors has been a huge contributor toward the success of our program and success of our students. In fact, I just had a student receive an internship for next semester working on the Hasbro’s G.I. JOE 3D webisodes.