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Certificate IV in Digital Media 7872

Conceptual Skills 7872D

Teacher: Tony Whittingham
Subject purpose:
To apply conceptual skills and cognitive processes to generating ideas, developing
solutions and solving problems whilst completing a digital media production. Specifically, you should be able to:
1.  Determine the outcome to be achieved or define the problem 2.  Research and analyse all related information
3.  Identify the options by applying problem-solving techniques 4.  Analyse the viability of each option
5.  Decide on and implement most appropriate solution

Click here to download and view or print the subject outline.



Lessons 1  2  5  6  7  9  10  11  12 13



Subject Introduction and Your Autobiography

OVERVIEW:. In addition to providing details about a person an autobiography provides an opportunity to demonstrate that person’s creativity and design skills.


OBJECTIVES: You will be able to:

1. Develop an autobiography that illustrates a creative approach to sharing information with others.


ACTIVITIES: Refer to the project briefs “Designing and

Redesigning an Autobiography”, and “Create a Subject Blog”.

Audio Tips for this Activity


Resources for creativity and innovation  
An excellent source for resources on creativity and innovation - and quotes  for you autobiography

Designing on both sides of your brain

Create a Personal Slide Show Using a Storyboard


How can blogs benefit developers of digital media and their clients?


Lesson2                                                                                                return to menu

  Creative applications of weblogs (blogs)                      

In the workplace Blogs are typically created to record and keep staff and clients informed of the progress of a project. They are also used to share information and experiences that may be relevant to other workers. They may be updated daily, or as information becomes available, using software that allows people with little or no technical background to update and maintain the blog.

OBJECTIVES:  You will be able to:
Create a blog that demonstrates your ability to maintain an online diary of information acquired and projects developed in this subject.

ACTIVITIES: Refer to the 'Blog Creation' handout


Creative uses of blogs in business - note the hyperlinks


“Blogs in the Workplace” an article from the New York Times


Blogs in business with good links to examples of businesses using blogs.


A blog about blogs


What do you regard as the best sequence for the Six Thinking Hats when developing a creative solution for a media design project?


Lesson3                                                                                                return to menu

Conceptual Thinking Techniques:  Six Thinking Hats


“Imagination is more important than intelligence.” – Albert Einstein

Early in the 1980s Dr. de Bono invented the Six Thinking Hats method. The method is a framework for conceptual thinking and can incorporate lateral thinking. The six hats represent six modes of thinking and are directions to think rather than labels for thinking. That is, the hats are used proactively rather than reactively. The key point is that a hat is a direction to think rather than a label for thinking. The key theoretical reasons to use the Six Thinking Hats are to:

  • encourage Parallel Thinking (individual or team)

  • encourage full-spectrum thinking (individual or team)

  • separate ego from performance (team)

OBJECTIVES: You will be able to:

Apply the ‘Six Thinking Hats’ methodology as a member of a team to develop a creative and achievable solution for a hypothetical client’s brief.

ACTIVITIES: Apply the ‘Six Thinking Hats’ template to this lesson’s project brief, ‘Company Blog Site’

A summary of the Six Thinking Hats methodology

Looking at a Decision From All Points of View


What are the benefits of SMART objectives?

What problems are encountered when gathering information from clients?


Lesson4                                                                                             return to menu

Creative Thinking Methods - Brainstorming

OVERVIEW: Creativity can be used to make digital media products, processes and services better and it can be used to create them in the first place. Applying creative thinking methods will help to improve quality of product designs and the quantity of output. Creative thinking is the process of developing a new idea. It is the merging of ideas which have not been merged before. The creative thinking process can be accidental or deliberate. A commonly use deliberate creative thinking technique is ‘brainstorming’. Brainstorming is "a conference technique by which a group attempts to find a solution for a digital media problem by amassing a range of ideas spontaneously by its members"

OBJECTIVES: You will be able to:

Apply the brainstorming technique with a group of ‘designers’ to develop creative ideas in response to a client’s brief for a product.

ACTIVITIES: Refer to the project brief ‘Company Logo’


How to run a brainstorming session

Tools for creativity - including 10 tips for creativity  

The Enchanted Mind website – Try the Creativity Test

Logo design revisited

One of the most daunting task for a designer is to generate ideas.


What are the advantages and limitations of the brainstorming technique?


Lesson5                                                                                               return to menu

Creative Thinking Methods – Concept Mapping

Creativity is both a communication tool (e.g. writing a book) and a technique for problem solving (e.g. designing a digital media product).  Creative people are in high demand in today’s world. Creativity is an important component of problem solving, other higher cognitive abilities, social and emotional well-being, and adult success.

A concept map can be thought of generally as a pictorial representation of a creative process applied to solving a problem. It often includes concepts or ideas, enclosed in circles or boxes. They show relationships between concepts, indicated by a connecting line, with words on the line specifying the precise relationship.

OBJECTIVES: You will be able to:

Develop a concept map to illustrate the relationship of creative concepts to their ideas for implementation in response to a client’s brief for the application of digital media technologies.

ACTIVITIES: Refer to the project brief ‘’Concept Mapping”


There are thousands of ideas to encourage creativity that can be used to design and develop digital media products. See this website for many of them:

Concept mapping for planning and evaluation.

What is a concept map

Background for the online music concept project:

Online music report

The 20 best music stores online today


What are the benefits of a concept map to a client and a digital media designer?

Lesson6                                                                                         return to menu

Concept Presentations - V-Blogging Part 1

OVERVIEW:  Blogs have become an important and widely used communication tool. They have great potential for presenting concepts and allowing comments to achieve collaborative concept development. The presentation of the concept can be enhanced by including a video in which the designer/design team can highlight the concept's key points and emphasise its design features. By applying RSS to the blog  the 'client' can be automatically notified about updates to the concept.

OBJECTIVES: You will be able to:

1. Develop a video presentation for a design concept and upload the presentation to your blog site.

ACTIVITIES: Refer to the VBlogging exercises

Technical information about compressing videos files.
Information on video blogging
Using video to market your concept


What is the potential of vblogging for corporate communcations


Lesson7                                                                                                 return to menu

Creative Thinking Methods – Lateral Thinking

OVERVIEW: Lateral thinking is a process for solving problems; you try to look at the problem from many angles instead of tackling it head-on. The Six Thinking Hats process provides a conceptual framework for applying lateral thinking techniques. Lateral thinking recognizes that our brains are pattern recognition systems, and that they do not function like computers.  The benefit of good pattern recognition is that we can recognize objects and situations very quickly. Unfortunately, we get stuck in our patterns. We tend to think within them. Solutions we develop are based on previous solutions to similar problems. Normally it does not occur to us to use solutions belonging to other patterns. We use lateral thinking techniques to break out of this patterned way of thinking. Lateral thinking can generate completely new concepts and ideas, and brilliant improvements to existing products and services. Commonly used lateral thinking techniques include, PROVOCATION , REVERSAL ,and ATTRIBUTE LISTING

OBJECTIVES: You will be able to:

Apply three lateral thinking techniques to develop creative solutions for a project brief to redesign a website.

ACTIVITIES: Refer to the project brief ‘Website Redesign’



Overcoming Web Builder's Block

Free creative thinking tools on the Web

An introduction to creativity tools

 Creative Thinking and Lateral Thinking techniques

Critical thinking in web/interface design


How can lateral thinking be stimulated?


Lesson8                                                                                              return to menu

SWOT Analysis for Creative Concepts

OVERVIEW: A SWOT Analysis is a very effective way of identifying the internal strengths and weaknesses of a client’s business, and the external opportunities and threats for the client’s operations. This information can be used to develop creative concepts to: i) use the client’s strengths to capitalise on opportunities and ii) overcome the businesses weaknesses to minimize the threats.

OBJECTIVES: Will be able to:

Complete a SWOT analysis for a client’s ebusiness operations and apply the analysis to develop creative concepts that focus on i) using the client’s strengths, to take advantage of opportunities and ii) addressing weaknesses to offset threats.

ACTIVITIES: Refer to the eBusiness Solutions handout and apply SWOT and Lateral Thinking techniques to develop creative concepts for the client's brief


SWOT analysis tutorial

SWOT analysis – Beyond the Textbook

SWOT analysis for personal growth


What are the benefits from a SWOT analysis for developing creative ideas?


   Lesson9                                                                                              return to menu

Creative Audio Solutions - Podcasts

OVERVIEW:  Some experts predict that In the future almost all of the content we consume -- text (including e-mail and Web pages), images, audio, video, and other forms of multimedia -- will be delivered digitally through very portable, battery-operated devices that include MP3 players and smart phones. Podcasts are emerging as an audio technology for delivering a wide range of information and can provide an innovative solution for enhancing client communications.

OBJECTIVES: You will be able to:

Produce, record and upload to a blog an interview for delivery as a podcast.

ACTIVITIES: Refer to the class instructions for 'Podcast Production'.


How to podcast in three relatively easy steps.
A search engine for podcasts in many areas.
How to podcast using and a podcast enclosure template
Example of a podcast centered blog - Talking Portraits.
Index to podcasts from various countries in a range of categories. 


How can podcasts be used to enhance workplace communications? What will be the limitations for introducing Podcasts in the workplace?


Lesson10                                                                                             return to menu  

Creative Video Solutions - V-Blogging Part 2

OVERVIEW: The integration of video in blogs (v-blogging) can enhance blog functions that include promotional activities, interviews, staff updates, product releases, elearning, etc. Windows Movie Maker makes integrating video and sound into blogs (and websites) amazingly easy. With Movie Maker, you can transform and compress your digital camera videos into 'movies' for uploading to your blog, build your movie with a few simple drag-and-drops, delete bad shots and include only the best scenes.

OBJECTIVES: You will be able to:
Create a movie for a blog using Windows Movie Maker. The movie will be a promotion for a product and will include a video clip of your summary of the product’s functions and a video clip of the product (e.g. flash drive, mobile phone, mp3 player etc.) identifying its main parts. The movie will also include title slides and transitions between the video clips.

ACTIVITIES: Refer to the class instructions for 'Video Production'.

Tutorials and videos on using Movie Maker
Microsoft's 'Getting Started with Movie Maker'
A blog about vblogging with links to vblogs
Interesting, cool and worth a look...Rocketboom is a three minute daily video weblog based in New York City covering information and commentary ranging from top news stories to quirky internet culture. Agenda includes releasing each new clip at 9am EST, Monday through Friday. With a heavy emphasis on international arts, technology and weblog drama, Rocketboom is presented via online video and widely distributed through RSS.


How can businesses creatively apply vblogging technology?


Lesson11                                                                                              return to menu

Concept Evaluation: Feasibility Report

OVERVIEW: A feasibility report describes the concepts proposed to achieve a client’s requirements and also describes how practical (feasible) the proposed solution is. Preferably, more than one solution is offered, in which case the report compares the various solutions and determines which solution is best. A feasibility report can assist the client to understand the concepts proposed by providing information on feasibility, viability, desirability, affordability and comparisons. Feasibility reports need not always make recommendations. The report may only need to represent the various arguments and evidence for/against the concepts proposed and the ideas to implement them.

OBJECTIVES: Will be able to:

Develop a multimedia feasibility report describing your analysis of your concepts to enhance a client's ebusiness operations. The report will include a Concept Evaluation Matrix and our recommendations.

ACTIVITIES: Refer to the brief for this subject’s project.


Writing feasibility reports

Components of a design and feasibility report

How To Write a Winning Proposal 



 Lesson12                                                                                            return to menu

Stakeholder Consensus: Presentation techniques

OVERVIEW: There a number of methods for gaining consensus. The process usually involves the preparation of a report followed be a brief presentation that provides background information, benefits of the concepts/proposal, reasons to adopt the concepts/proposal, and possible concerns. The aim of the presentation is gain the acceptance of the client, and other stakeholders at the presentation for the concepts/proposal and to then proceed with the project.

The feasibility report should be distributed in advance of the meeting/presentation from which a decision is required. This encourages prior discussion and consideration, helps the presenter anticipate concerns, minimises surprises, and involves all stakeholders in the proposal.

OBJECTIVES: You will be able to:

Develop, using a software application of your choice, and deliver a presentation that illustrates the key points from a feasibility report. The purpose of the presentation is to gain consensus for the reports proposals.

ACTIVITIES: Refer to the brief for this subject’s major project.


The process of gaining consensus


A comprehensive article on how to make an effective presentation


A good presentation on designing PowerPoint slides

How to make a winning presentation - tips


What are the presentation and technical criteria that identify an effective and entertaining presentation?


   Lesson13                                                                                  return to menu

Stakeholder Consensus: Class Presentations

OVERVIEW: You are required to conceive an idea relative to the digital media sector, expand on the idea using appropriate methods of research, analysis, and problem solving, and establish a purpose for the concept.

OBJECTIVES: To demonstrate your achievement of the assessment criteria for this subject using a feasibility report and a class presentation of the report’s proposals.

ACTIVITIES: Refer to the brief for your major project.


Assessment                                                                                         return to menu

 Grade Code:     72 
* This is a Category D assessment.
* Student Records requires a Class Mark only.
* The Class Mark is locally set and locally marked.
* Results are reported as DISTINCTION, CREDIT, PASS, FAIL.
        GRADE       CLASS MARK (%)
      DISTINCTION        >= 83
      CREDIT                  >= 70
      PASS                      >= 50
      All other cases FAIL
     (>= means a mark of "more than or equal to")

Assessment Events:
In addition to an overall pass in the module, students must pass each assessment
event where there is a "yes" in the "must pass" column.





 Must Pass







 Practical Project                      





 Practical Presentation                 




Assessment Events' Comments:
Event 1:
Each learner should conceive an idea relative to the digital media sector,
expand on the idea using appropriate methods of research, analysis, and problem
solving, and establish a purpose for the concept.
·   Suitable concept developed
·   Logical argument presented for/against the concept
·   Interactive concept map built
·   Storyboards, flowcharts, sketches, 'thumb nail' roughs or any other
    supporting material developed
·   Ability to solve problems
·   Ability to think creatively
·   Appropriate use of reference material
·   Evidence of research clearly documented
·   Range of lateral, reasoning and alternative thinking processes explored
·   Clear understanding of conceptual thinking skills
·   Development of range of visualisation options for a specific brief
·   Work submitted on time.
Event 2:
Each learner to present their concept to a peer group, using appropriate
presentation methods.
·   Logical argument made
·   Knowledge of content evident
·   Legible and helpful annotation used
·   Findings presented clearly and concisely
·   Appropriate use of technologies made in support of presentation
·   Presentation performed appropriately and with confidence


Subject Details                                                                                     return to menu

Learning Outcome  1:
On completion the learner should be able to determine the outcome to be
achieved or define the problem
1.1 Identify the symptoms or outcome constraints of a particular situation or brief
1.2 Analyse the symptoms and constraints to determine the problem or project criteria
1.3 Consider any other factors that may influence outcome
1.4 Specify objectives that are to be achieved
Learning Outcome  2:
On completion the learner should be able to gather and analyse all related information and material
2.1 Research and gather all associated information and documentation to understand the situation
2.2 Analyse information gathered to realise useful information.
2.3 Consult any stakeholders to gather information and confirm accuracy
2.4 Study comparable situations and outcomes to identify other possible solutions and challenges
2.5 Organise information and resources gathered so it is readily available and useful
Learning Outcome  3:
On completion the learner should be able to identify the options by applying problem-solving techniques and creative thinking methods
3.1 Canvas the range of methods and techniques available by consulting reference materials, including libraries, the Internet and practitioners
3.2 Use creative-thinking techniques such as mind-mapping, brain-storming sessions, developing flow-charts, using sketches and illustrations
3.3 Consider and document all ideas and suggestions
Learning Outcome  4:
On completion the learner should be able to analyse the viability of each option
4.1 Canvas the range of methods and techniques available by consulting reference materials, including libraries, the Internet and practitioners
4.2 Use problem-solving techniques such as convening think-tank groups, conducting SWOT analyses, developing action-matrixes, using diagrams and maps
4.3 Note and consider all ideas and suggestions
Learning Outcome  5:
On completion the learner should be able to decide on and implement the most appropriate solution
5.1 Develop and apply process to measure options against identified problem or outcome to be achieved
5.2 Make decision and document with supporting evidence and rationale
5.3 Seek consensus and/or sign-off from stakeholders
5.4 Disseminate solution and implement 1st actions

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