Aaron Roberts
Innovative Learning Coach

Mason High School's Digital Image Design Classes

Curriculum Published 12/17/13 Last updated on 5/29/19

Sadly, this site is now down. I have moved into a new position in education and I'm no longer teacher graphic design and digital art. However, I'm looking for a way to keep these lessons and artworks out there on the web for people to access. Please stay tuned.

Original text:

This is my new digital classroom featuring handouts, grading information, instructional videos, and turn-in links for my students at Mason High School. Some may not make sense outside the context of my class, but you can still see what we do.

Every lesson plan for every day is published on there. I hope you like it.

My favorite parts, by far, are the student galleries included for each project unit.

  • Photoshop

    Editing and compositing for photos, web and mobile app designs, 3D artwork, videos, and more.

  • Illustrator

    Create beautiful vector art and illustrations.

Age Levels
Communication and Collaboration, Research and Information Fluency, Digital Citizenship, Creativity and Innovation, Technology Operations and Concepts, Critical Thinking Problem Solving and Decision Making
CC License
5 / 5 • 17 Ratings

Resources (1)

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Comments (52)

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Ryan Hayes

Posted on 1/11/17 6:10:05 AM Permalink

​Aaron looks like your site is down. After a little snooping it looks like you are no longer teacher. Still your site was a great resource. Shame to see it offline.

Aaron Roberts

Posted on 1/11/17 6:13:26 PM Permalink

​Hey Ryan,

Yeah, the site is finally down. The domain cost money and we have a new Learning Management System that the new design teacher is using instead of a website. I've moved out of the classroom and I'm now an instructional coach working with lots of teachers on technology, creativity and innovation. I'm trying to figure out a good way to put all of that website work into one place that can still be accessed. I've met people all over the world because of that website. It might be updated resources here - one for each unit that I used to teach. I just haven't had time to figure that out and do the work. I want to do what I can to support the entire creative education community. Now if I can just find some time :)

Let me know if there's something specific you need. I can probably get it to you. I have all of the original content and files. Get me on Twitter @RobertsLearns or email me at robertsa at masonohioschools dot com

Thanks for the kind words!


Deborah M Neal

Posted on 8/8/14 1:25:54 PM Permalink

Great site! I also stumbled across your website looking for vector graphic rubrics. I've been looking for a way to amp up my Computer Graphics class, and would like to use it as a resource. Of course-giving credit to you in the process. You're a rubric/digital art-saver!

Karen Henchy

Posted on 3/10/14 12:51:34 PM Permalink

Fantastic, love looking at the work in your gallery!

Jessica Kemnitz

Posted on 2/27/14 5:30:40 PM Permalink

Wow! What a great site! I stumbled across your website before finding it here on the exchange, but I'm glad to have come across them both. I've been looking for a way to amp up my Graphic Design class, so I've been using you as a resource. Hopefully that's okay with you! Of course- giving credit to you in the process. Keep up the fantastic work.

Aaron Roberts

Posted on 2/28/14 12:29:40 PM Permalink

Absolutely, please use it! Some of my projects are built off of Adobe's Visual Design curriculum as well. Please let me know if you need anything else. I'm on this exchange to connect with other teachers teaching similar stuff. So, please feel free to let me know what your students are doing as well.

Jim Goodwin

Posted on 2/6/14 1:02:46 AM Permalink

Your website is AMAZING! I have many similar projects that I have stolen, created, adapted, and developed for my students over the years, but I don't have the structure and organization that you have created. I really like the amount of time you place in the planning stages of projects. That is something I think I need to be more deliberate about. Also, the springboard words you use really help to get students thinking outside their box. Your site and curriculum is truly inspirational and makes me want to push my students to do more. I love the student galleries.

I do have some questions for you... Do you ever find that showing so many examples stifles creativity or intimidates those with less skill? How do you decide what you show in the gallery?

Aaron Roberts

Posted on 2/13/14 4:02:14 PM Permalink


When I was in art-teacher school, showing examples was actually discouraged. Professors were afraid that it would make too many people copy the existing "good" images. I think they had a great point. I took the opposite approach. I'm a big believer in standing on the shoulders of giants. I try to show LOTS of examples. We spend time looking at successful student work, we look at artwork online (especially on Pinterest) and begin to collect images we like. I think the collection aspect allows students a chance to identify what is actually visually appealing to them. When they've collected 10 images and all 10 are done in a pretty similar style, they can see quite clearly they have a natural inclination to a particular style. Also, by collecting examples, they can see how other artists have solved visual problems before them. Simple problems like "how do I draw eyelashes in Illustrator?" or more complex problems like "what is the appropriate level of detail to convey my message?"

I don't think such a process intimidates my students. I think they might have an appreciation for the work has come before them. I think they might have a sense of awe, but I don't know that I've ever sensed intimidation. If anything, it's empowering to know that kids their age - grades 9 through 12 - accomplish great things. I'm going for "If they can do it, so can I!"

As for how I choose art... it's totally subjective. These examples are by no means the only "A's" in the classes. I could easily turn it into a group critique activity, but I've never one that. It's simply the work I personally like the best. There's a teachable opportunity in there that I haven't tapped into. I do have a gallery on the walls in my classroom as well. It's 100% made from award winning pieces: Scholastics National Qualifiers, Ohio Governor's Art Exhibit qualifiers, things like that. I'm hoping to add Adobe Youth Voices this year. I've never entered it before, but hope to this year.


Mike Skocko

Posted on 2/13/14 5:02:59 PM Permalink


Richard Reed

Posted on 1/27/14 6:07:25 PM Permalink

Would it be okay to copy and paste some things from your site and give a link back to your site and to give you credit on the pages? If not that is okay.

Thanks again, I love your site!

Aaron Roberts

Posted on 1/29/14 3:22:44 PM Permalink

Absolutely! Go for it. Let me know when you have something posted, I would love to see your site.

Richard Reed

Posted on 3/24/14 3:24:42 AM Permalink

I have my site up and running and I have used your surreal project with a few modifications, but for the most part the students went through all the steps to create their pieces including the tutorials. The way it is organized is so helpful. The critique method also worked fairly well. My website is This is my first year teaching high school digital media so I am still trying to get my feet wet. In my previous life I was a graphic designer for over 25 years.

Richard Reed

Posted on 3/24/14 3:44:25 AM Permalink

I also was looking at your DID 3 Page on the open projects and it looks like it is talking about the surreal project. Do you have the students do that again in the 3rd year of your class or was that just a typo. If they are doing their own independent projects what do they do? Can they do anything they want? Do you give them some direction? It sounds like they can just explore techniques and ideas and make what they want to. Let me know. Thanks again for all your help and for your resources.

Richard Reed

Posted on 1/27/14 6:01:24 PM Permalink

This is great what I have seen so far. I just started teaching Digital Media this year and I have a 16 week unit I have done when I was in college, but I have gone through all that in the first semester and I have been looking for new ideas. Thanks for sharing. I see my Juniors and Seniors for about 1-1/2 hours everyday and my Sophomores for 50 minutes a day. Each semester is about 19 weeks. In looking at one of your other responses it looks as if you have trimesters and the 4 units are taught in one trimester which is 12 weeks. So if I am doing the math right you see the students about 60 days and each unit lasts about 15 days or so. Again thanks. I hope you don't mind if I borrow some of these ideas.


Aaron Roberts

Posted on 1/29/14 3:21:42 PM Permalink

Yes, that's accurate. 60-ish days (the last two days are final exams, so I only see them one of those two, so 59 days I suppose). The days are about 74 minutes.

We're switching to semesters next year, however. So, I'll see them a bit less each day, but for 18 weeks instead of 12. I actually think I will prefer that change.

Please feel free to borrow anything you want. That's why I posted it. Good luck and let me know if there's anything else you would like to see.

Anne Cooper

Posted on 1/27/14 3:13:35 AM Permalink


Thank you for sharing. I am working on revamping my curriculum and you have given me a great path to follow. Your students' work is amazing and you should be proud of what they have accomplished.

Thank you,


Aaron Roberts

Posted on 1/29/14 3:23:43 PM Permalink

Thanks for the compliments. I'm glad you like what you see. Let me know if you need anything else, or let me know what you end up using and works for you.

It's hard to find connections to people doing similar work - so share, share, share!!

Jacob McCullough

Posted on 1/23/14 5:34:25 AM Permalink

Great stuff--thanks for sharing! I will be teaching a similar course next year and will definitely be visiting your site for ideas. I happen to be a Mason graduate ('96: waaayyy different place then!)--weird that I happened upon your post...

Aaron Roberts

Posted on 1/23/14 12:22:19 PM Permalink

Wow! It sure was different. I started in 2002 when the new building opened. Did you have Judi Cettel for art class in the mid-90's?

Cindy peters

Posted on 1/10/14 8:01:06 PM Permalink

I love this site! WOWZAAA! I really appreciate you sharing it. we have just begun the Illustrator Unit and I'm sure going to use these ideas! Much more interesting than what I had previously planned.

Thank you

Aaron Roberts

Posted on 1/11/14 2:09:06 PM Permalink

Great! I'm glad it's going to help. I didn't have a lot of help or connections out there when I started teaching this stuff in 2002. I'm overjoyed to be able to provide help to others. It's good for learners when teachers connect and share like this. Good luck and let m know if you need any help with anything.

Rose Brophy

Posted on 1/8/14 6:20:28 PM Permalink

This is fabulous ! Thank you for sharing !

...I did wonder, how long are your classes? Do you see the students every day? Are you on block or traditional schedule?

Aaron Roberts

Posted on 1/9/14 12:57:40 PM Permalink

I'm glad you like it!

My classes, currently, are one trimester long - 12 weeks. I see them every day for 70-ish minutes. Digital Image Design I is a single trimester, DIDII is another tri (and not required to go into), DIDIII is yet another.

Next year, however, we are going to a traditional 7-bell semester system. Each course will remain as a one-semester course. I will see them for 50-ish minutes a day for 18 weeks. So, contact time is technically the same.

I don't know what that will be like, going to semesters and less time each bell. I am actually excited for it, however. The trimester system can feel very fast paced at times.

We do this with other art classes, by the way. Everything is one single term (trimester, semester, whatevermester). Drawing I, II, II. Painting I, II, III. Photography I, II, III. Sculpture. Metals I and II. Ceramics I, II, III. AP Studio and AP Art History are actually full-year courses. It's a pretty unique approach to art education that is born from being a very large high school (biggest in Ohio). It certainly has its advantages and disadvantages, but I love it here.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Take care!

Jodey Udell

Posted on 1/8/14 5:45:00 PM Permalink


Fabulous work, Aaron.

Aaron Roberts

Posted on 1/9/14 12:57:55 PM Permalink

Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. Let me know if you need anything.

Disa Perry

Posted on 1/8/14 2:55:27 PM Permalink

Thank You SO much for your willingness to share. This will really benefit my students.

Aaron Roberts

Posted on 1/9/14 12:58:14 PM Permalink

Great! Good luck! Let me know if you need any tutorials or anything that you're not seeing here.

Terrence Banks

Posted on 1/8/14 4:42:37 AM Permalink


Aaron Roberts

Posted on 1/9/14 12:58:20 PM Permalink


Cathy Chen

Posted on 1/8/14 1:15:22 AM Permalink

Aaron you are truly an inspirational teacher - the evidence is all here!
I love that you have included the 'timetable' so that students can see exactly where they should be at any given session. Such a thoughtful and carefully planned curriculum that offers great support for the students. I teach at college level and I can see many ideas that I can adapt.
Thank you for sharing - a great model for me to aspire to!

Aaron Roberts

Posted on 1/9/14 12:59:16 PM Permalink

Great! I'm glad it will help you out. I know some other college programs - including Ohio State - has looked it and have found it helpful. So, I hope it helps at your program as well!

Kelly Hake

Posted on 1/7/14 7:15:37 PM Permalink

Amazing! So well organized and great ideas. I'm teaching Photoshop in middle school on year two, and your site is an inspiration.

Aaron Roberts

Posted on 1/9/14 12:59:36 PM Permalink

Great! I'm glad it is helpful. Let me know if you need anything or any help with your program.

Kelly Hake

Posted on 2/6/14 1:16:37 AM Permalink

Will Do! Thanks.

George Myer

Posted on 1/7/14 6:34:36 PM Permalink

WoW !!!

Aaron Roberts

Posted on 1/9/14 12:59:53 PM Permalink

Thank you sir!

Cheryl Molesky

Posted on 1/7/14 6:20:27 PM Permalink

This is such a beautiful site! Thank you so much for sharing the details of your lessons.

Aaron Roberts

Posted on 1/9/14 1:00:24 PM Permalink

Thanks! I hope it helps.

Nathan Scherer

Posted on 1/7/14 5:56:04 PM Permalink

yikes - I hate my site now :)

Aaron Roberts

Posted on 1/9/14 1:01:19 PM Permalink

Ha! I had 12 years of content that I had to put somewhere.

Martin Douglass

Posted on 1/7/14 5:42:19 PM Permalink

It really is a great inspiring piece of work and curriculum. I will be using it as a template-hope u don't mind. GREAT n thank you!

Aaron Roberts

Posted on 1/9/14 1:01:42 PM Permalink

Thanks! I'm glad it's helpful for you. Let me know if you need anything!

Deborah Gonzalez

Posted on 1/7/14 5:37:00 PM Permalink

Very nice site. Thanks for sharing.

Aaron Roberts

Posted on 1/9/14 1:02:49 PM Permalink

Thanks! I'm glad you like it!

Rosemary Ratajczyk

Posted on 1/2/14 2:44:04 AM Permalink

Thank you for sharing all of this great information. Great work Aaron

Aaron Roberts

Posted on 1/9/14 1:02:40 PM Permalink

Thank you very much! Let me know if you see anything missing or anything else you would find helpful!

Migueline Rivera

Posted on 12/27/13 3:37:40 PM Permalink

Really good site, Amazing :)

Aaron Roberts

Posted on 1/9/14 1:02:19 PM Permalink

Thank you!

Matthew Miller

Posted on 12/18/13 7:20:32 AM Permalink

Great site, Aaron! I'll be using this as inspiration for my digital media design students. Professional looking projects.

I second Mike's #Respect

Aaron Roberts

Posted on 1/9/14 1:02:13 PM Permalink

Thanks! Let me know if you need anything!

Mike Skocko

Posted on 12/17/13 6:09:50 PM Permalink

What an epic site. Aaron, you and your students ROCK!


Aaron Roberts

Posted on 1/9/14 1:01:57 PM Permalink

Huge compliment coming from you, my friend. Thanks so much!