Learning by Design: Visual Design and the Learning Sciences Summer Scholars Session I

Most people think that "learning" only happens within the walls of a classroom, but we are always being taught -- how to think, feel, believe, know, and be -- based upon how stories and ideas are communicated, arranged, and designed.  Whether through a formal textbook or through an advertisement, a museum, or a picture book, visual designs play an important role in how we think and interact with the world.

Using theories in education, the learning sciences, and visual communication design, the intent of this course is to broaden and complexify our understanding of "learning" within and beyond actual school buildings.  As such, much of the "curriculum" for this course will happen around campus, and if possible, in South Bend and beyond, as we consider how concepts associated with the learning sciences combine with aspects of visual design and communication to "educate" individuals.

Students will develop a greater sense of how design principles and methods can be utilized in physical or digital spaces to support learning sciences in establishing environments for intentional growth and learning. 

Possible "Topics" Include:
The Notre Dame Football Stadium and sporting events

The Notre Dame Architecture Building

Notable places around campus -- dorms, classroom buildings, statues

Zoos and Museums

Malls and Grocery Stories
Contemporary TV Shows
Monuments and Memorials
Theme Parks
Depictions of Teaching & Learning in Culture
Social Media and Advertisements

Course Schedule

This course will be offered during Summer Scholars Session I (June 8 -  22, 2024) on campus.

Academic Directors

Michael Macaluso

Michael Macaluso

Michael Macaluso serves a faculty member of the Alliance for Catholic Education and a fellow of the Institute for Educational Initiatives. In this role, he teaches education related courses through the Teaching Fellows M.Ed. program and through the Education, Schooling, and Society program. As faculty of supervision and instruction, he visits ACE Teaching Fellows at various communities around the country, including Tampa, Washington, D.C., and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Macaluso earned his undergraduate degree in English and political science from the University of Notre Dame and his M.Ed. from the ACE Teaching Fellows program in 2006, serving in Baton Rouge. After teaching in the suburbs of Chicago, he earned his Ph.D. in curriculum, instruction, and teacher education from Michigan State University. He specializes in English education and young adult literature.

Clinton Carlson

Clinton Carlson

Clinton Carlson is an Associate Professor of Visual Communication Design at the University of Notre Dame. Clinton has over twenty years of experience working as a designer, educator, and researcher. 

As a designer, Clinton’s work has included for-profit and nonprofit organizations such as AT&T, Airtel, Toyota Racing, Intel, McGraw-Hill, World Vision, CARE, Compassion International, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and The Colorado Meth Project. His design work has been exhibited and published internationally including inclusion in the AIGA National Design Archives. 

As an educator, Clinton has taught at the University of Alberta, the University of Northern Colorado, the University of Nebraska-Kearney, and the University of North Texas. He has taught courses in graphic design, interaction design (UI/UX), and design research. His students’ have been recognized by Communication Arts, Adobe Achievement Awards, CMYK Magazine, and The National Student Show.