Macleay College is the only Australian Higher Education institution running a Positive Education program. As well as teaching our students industry based skills and practical theory, we also address their personal development and mental health through positive psychology.
This holistic approach in learning, is aimed at enriching the student’s wellbeing and emotional intelligence through tailored individual support and encouragement.
It gives the student a better understanding of themselves, their passions, their strengths and their goals. It helps them to better manage their life, relationships and future careers through a greater understanding and use of empathy, gratitude and other positive emotions.
In a nutshell, the program aims to increase the student’s confidence, sense of wellbeing and happiness.
As part of the program, Macleay College has installed PosEd Kits in many of the classrooms across our Sydney and Melbourne campuses and students in the Digital Design Unit have been putting them to good use in Term One of the Advertising & Digital Media course.
One of our tasks was to take the free VIA Character Strength Test. This is a short ten minute assessment that takes students through a series of questions to determine their top character strengths. Armed with this list, the students are then asked to step away from their iMacs and use their hands to construct or draw visual representations of their favourite strengths.
The PosEd Kits are full of great stuff to get them started like Play Doh, feathers, buttons, coloured fabric, wood and paper. There are also ample large rolls of paper and Sharpies.
To begin with, the students had a lot of questions and curious looks. As they started to move around the room and choose their materials the noise levels increased and they were off and running. There were lots of comparing notes on each other’s different strengths with most agreeing that the VIA Test had done a good job.
As I moved around the group, there were some initial awkwardness with speaking about their strengths but they were encouraged to start thinking beyond that and how their personal brand could be visualised into an abstract object or pictorial form.
There was a sense of enjoy in the room so I popped on some music and spent the next hour watching their creations unfold. The next part of the workshop was to take their physical objects and turn them into a digital piece of artwork. The students could take photos, load them up into Illustrator and use this as a template to create a kind of personal logo.
This was the first time I’ve been involved in a workshop like this so there is some tweaking I’d still like to do but it was one of the most enjoyable sessions I’ve run. It was one of those days when you get home, put your feet up and smile!
Jason Gemenis is Macleay’s Digital Ninja
lecturing in Digital Design, Advanced
Digital Design and Visualisation across Macleay’s
Dip Advertising & Media, Dip Digital Media,
BA Advertising & Media & BA Digital Media.