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The development of proficiency among undergraduate digital art students

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

Teaching digital artists has received ongoing criticism from industry sources, who feel that graduates are rarely well-prepared for employment. This is a problem for students when they seek employment, for employers who must hire qualified digital artists, and for the reputation of educational institutions that provide instruction in this domain.
Students from the Netherlands’ International Game Architecture and Design (IGAD) visual arts programme participated in research designed to investigate how proficiency develops in the technical and creative discipline of digital art. This study used an exploratory mixed methods design that triangulated archival data on the 625 digital art students who have attended IGAD with qualitative data collected from 20 current students, five digital art supervisors and five employed IGAD graduates. A mixed methods design was chosen so that historical performance could be compared with data collected directly from student participants, particularly on the subject of how prior experience influenced later development.
Student participants provided information relevant to their learning process, industry supervisors evaluated student work against professional standards, and employed graduates provided perspective on the transition from student to industry practice. Data collected for the quantitative study was in the form of archival records regarding prior experience and later performance. The qualitative study utilised learning logs, progress reports, project files and interviews with all participants. Correlation and analysis of variance (ANOVA) tests were used in the quantitative phase of the study. Case study analysis was used for the qualitative phases of the study.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date2018


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