Basic Skills Icons and Classifications in Graphic Arts Program
Butler County Area Vocational Technical School
At a Glance
The graphic arts instructor at Butler County Area Vocational Technical School (BCATVS) uses a system of icons to help his students identify the skills required for certain assignments.
Instructor John Spaulding created a system of icons representing the skills needed in both academic and workplace environments. Icons represent the following skills: reading, writing, math, science, oral communication, interpersonal, critical thinking, employability, social studies, and technology. Icons are used to code each assignment and activities within assignments.
Origin / Implementation
Mr. Spaulding created and implemented the icon system seven years ago. Because graphic arts are a visual field, the icon system seemed like a natural way to help students visualize the necessary skills while completing tasks. The icons also help students with special needs and low achievement see progress in a way that does not rely on grading or assessment. The icon system shows students how they may be using skills even without realizing they are doing so. For example, students who say they are “bad at math” are often surprised to learn that they’ve been using mathematical concepts within an art lesson.
Results / Impact
NOCTI scores in the graphic arts program have been progressively stronger since the implementation of the skills icon system.