Annual North Island College interactive media grad show goes virtual

COVID-19 forces change in format

The Comox Valley campus of North Island College. (File photo)

North Island College’s DIGITAL Design + Development (formerly Interactive Media) students are celebrating their graduation, in virtual way.

Each year, students host an open house to showcase the web and digital design skills they’ve learned and the unique projects they’ve created as part of their program.

Under the current circumstances due to COVID-19, the students put their design skills to work and created a digital exhibition.

“It speaks to the skills our students learn throughout their time in the program,” said Megan Wilson, DIGITAL Design + Development program co-ordinator. “This was a great opportunity for them to come up with a digital solution that allows them to showcase their work.”

The grad show includes students from the Communication Design diploma, Web and Mobile App Development diploma and Advanced Digital Design and Development diploma. The final projects include websites, mobile apps, re-brands of local businesses, unique packaging designs, animations and behind-the-scenes content all created by this graduating class.

“As stressful as our final few weeks were, it was actually a great real-world test of everything we’re learning,” said Ghislaine Aujla, one of the student organizers of the show. “We had to pivot really quickly and work together to find a solution in a very challenging environment. We’re really proud of how it came together.”

Along with the project work, visitors to the site will be digitally introduced to individual students where they can find links to their personal portfolios, professional social media accounts and contact information.

With the grad show moving to a fully online event, Wilson hopes it will expand the reach for both students and industry contacts. While they might not get the opportunity to meet people in person, they hope people reach out with questions, comments and offers of collaboration.

“One of the best things about working in this field is that you can work remotely,” said Wilson. “You can live in the Comox Valley, or Tofino or Port Hardy and work all around the world. A virtual grad show supports that transition for our students and supports the breadth of opportunity in our industry.”

NIC offers five DIGITAL Design + Development programs, ranging from web design fundamentals to advanced digital design.

“We have a range of students coming to our programs,” said Wilson. “Some are looking to start their career while some come back to advance their skills and learn the latest trends in the industry. It’s one of the things I love about this work, and about teaching it – there’s always new things to learn.”

The 2020 DIGITAL Design + Development Virtual Grad Show is available here: https://learndigital.dev/.

You can learn more about all NIC’s DIGITAL Design + Development programs at www.nic.bc.ca/digital-design-development.

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