There are reasons that we don’t follow the order of the ACA objectives in our curriculum -- it doesn’t make sense! The first Objective Domain is about working with clients and project planning, but you can’t do that effectively without knowing the software capabilities first.

1. Learning and working steps happen in opposite order.

The order you learn software and the order you work in are almost opposites. On the job, you’d meet with the client and understand their needs and wants first. But you can’t do that effectively unless you know the software and what it can do! You need to learn what the software can do and what your own skill level is before you can have an intelligent discussion about client goals and designing to specifications. We teach the objectives in the order that they occur naturally in the learning process… which sometimes aligns with objective order, but sometimes is completely opposite.

Example: You can’t learn how to effectively manage a Photoshop project until you understand Photoshop. We have to cover the objectives in a way that makes the most sense for the learner, not the employer/client. 

2. It’s a mix.

Sometimes it makes sense to cover objectives in order. Each project generally covers objective domains 2-5 (in that order) throughout the process, but they’re covered over and over again in each project. Many of the Challenge lessons in our lesson plans would require that students work through all objectives in order -- especially when it’s designing for someone else and getting their own images where client goals, copyright, and design concepts will come into play.

We understand that teachers want to have a good idea that all the objectives are covered. In our lesson plans (available in the teacher’s lounge for teachers only), we list the objectives covered in each lesson, but we don’t face that info to the students in the lessons; it’s distracting and the students generally don’t (and I suggest shouldn’t) care. Fun projects, student ownership of their own learning, and completing tasks that matter and make sense are the most effective way to ensure student engagement -- and we’ll be sure every concept is covered!

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