Program Model

As a teacher, I am deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to offer this rich and valuable learning experience to students, and I intend to incorporate this option in all future classes with a research component.
Pat Steenland, Berkeley College Writing Programs
Group short of Creative Discovery Fellows program launch

Support for Both Instructors and Students

The Creative Discovery Fellows program starts from the understanding that instructors and students need support to experiment and be innovative, and that providing this support not only leads to impactful learning but helps level the playing field in terms of who gets to be creative and whose stories get told.

Our model involves working closely with faculty cohorts to help them design effective creative assignments and providing near-peer support for students to complete those assignments.

Faculty apply to join, and they participate in a year-long program, which includes a 3-day Summer Institute, followed by monthly check-in meetings, pedagogy discussions, and optional workshops/hands-on training. Each fellow works individually with a consulting team to develop a plan that incorporates elements of feedback, reflection, practice, and training into their course and that integrates the software and support offerings provided by our student consultants and staff. Faculty in each cohort have ample opportunity to learn from one another, share resources and ideas, give feedback, and build connections across disciplines.

On the student side, our Adobe peer consultants provide support for individual courses and the campus at large by hosting workshops, drop-in office hours, scheduled consultations, and in-class trainings. They also develop instructional resources and maintain our Adobe Student Hub (requires Calnet authentication), the central repository for information and helpful links.

What gave me the confidence to run with that video project is the fact that I knew that [the students] would have the support if they needed it.
Khalid Kadir, Engineering / International Area Studies

Support from Design Through Implementation

The program supports faculty through the entire life cycle of their assignment. This includes developing the project idea and instructional scaffolds; integrating these into the course syllabus and timeline; implementing with student support; and revising/iterating in future semesters.

Adobe Fellows faculty journey map

A Constellation of Support Offerings

The program is designed to provide multiple support options to meet different needs, both individual and collective. Whether it's generating instructional resources that can be shared beyond the program or working one-on-one with a particular faculty member or student, we offer an array of opportunities for people to connect, learn, get feedback, build skills, and develop their capabilities in the classroom and beyond.

Adobe Fellows Support Model

Why American Cultures?

Our intention is that the Creative Discovery Fellows program will scale to support faculty and courses across the entire Berkeley campus. We began by strategically situating the program within American Cultures for several reasons:

  • Established in 1989 to help students understand race, class, and gender in American society, American Cultures (AC) is uniquely representative of Berkeley’s campus culture and public mission. As the only campus-wide graduation requirement, it is a signature part of the Berkeley experience and touches every single undergraduate on campus. Each year, one third of all undergraduates (~13,000 students) is enrolled in an AC course.
  • AC courses are not concentrated in a particular discipline or department, but embedded across the campus. More than 140 AC courses are offered by 49 different departments and programs. Because of its longevity and collaborative approach to curriculum development, AC is widely trusted and influential among faculty. AC faculty are in turn influential among their peers for their innovative teaching and impact on students. 
  • Many AC courses involve critical analysis and creative project work, often to visualize or narrate partnerships with community-based organizations and underrepresented groups. For Berkeley students, these courses are rigorous, authentic, meaningful, and often transformative, because they are grounded in real-world issues and appeal to students’ desire to make a difference. The Creative Discovery program is a natural support partner to help students distill, synthesize, and represent their ideas in ways that will help those ideas travel further and have a greater impact.
  • AC faculty are hungry for ways to bring visibility and “legibility” to their subject matter and to deepen student learning. They have quickly seized upon the power of creative tools/pedagogy to translate the research and analytical work of the classroom into forms that can be “taken up” outside the university. Already, the work that students and faculty have generated is rippling out beyond our program.

An added powerful side effect of working within AC is that this program will empower more students and colleagues from diverse backgrounds (often underrepresented in technology fields) to discover their creative potential and develop their identities as creative communicators and digital experts. This will have an immediate impact on the critical contributions Berkeley students are able to make now as well as on the future creative pipeline.

Doing this mode of investigation [creative projects] and presentation is a really powerful adjunct to looking at American Cultures.
Ken Worthy, Environmental Science, Policy, and Management