Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Art and Visual Culture


Graphic Design

First Advisor

Sunghyun R. Kang


Progress and change are important to improving old processes and educational

methods are not an exception to these facts of life. Numerous studies have been conducted on different learning styles and methods individuals use to transfer what they learn to new

situations. However, most of these studies do not reflect on what this research means for

designers, specifically graphic designers. Graphic designers play many roles as problem solvers, critical thinkers, and creative strategists. Generally speaking, success in graphic design is measured by the strength of a solution’s creativity. When a solution is creative it tends to address the need in a new way. A designer works through a process to find a solution that best meets the criteria of the problem or issue—research, ideation, final design development, and communication. Graphic design has been taught at universities for a long period of time, but there have not been many research studies that look specifically at how the processes of design problem-solving are taught to students at the university level. It is important that examines these processes to determine if there is a need for improvement in design education. It has often been said that there is no one perfect way to teach subject matter, but this does not imply stagnation. In this study, two group of students were recruited to examine select teaching methods. Then the two groups were compared based on different methods of instruction. The data were then examined to determine whether the students’ abilities to think critically and creatively are based on the design process and a limited interruption. This research is important because it offers a new method to understand how instructors teach graphic design to enable students to understand the processes they are being taught and transfer that knowledge to new situations.


Copyright Owner

Samantha Colleen Barbour



File Format


File Size

108 pages