Testimonials

An entirely new perspective on design

Hi Helen,

didn’t get a chance to say so at the last presentation, but thanks for teaching me 251 this tri, I really enjoyed the content and projects- I felt like they gave me an entirely new perspective on design

Student email from November 2017

Helen was absolutely my most

Helen was absolutely my most inspiring, challenging and well organised lecturer throughout my entire degree. She pushed everyone in the class to pursue not only what we were passionate about, but all of the skills and knowledge which would be necessary for the roles we would strive for in the future. Helen taught me to use design thinking in my role, and question everything – consistently looking for a better solution. I thrived in her papers and truely enjoyed every class she managed. I actually owe my current career success to Helen, as she helped me to take a step further while at university and find the right connections to thrive. I cannot recommend her enough, and I know without a doubt future students would be incredibly lucky to have Helen as a teacher. I don’t know where i would be without her!

Jess

I had Helen as my

I had Helen as my Lecturer for two of my undergrad papers, and she also helped advise me in an independent study. I thoroughly enjoyed Helen’s teaching style and appreciated her approach and creation of project briefs. I would go as far as to say that she was one of my favourite lecturers in my undergrad degree, across the several faculties I took papers under. One of my favourite projects I was apart of was in my 200 level paper “Design Psychology” that won a design award at the end of year.

– Lucy McMaster

Lucy McMaster

She helped me keep focusing

She helped me keep focusing on the point of the design topic. Made me better understand about the course by explaining everything about the project.

Student feedback 2012

Helen is a great teacher

Helen is a great teacher and lecturer with a wide knowledge of both design and research methods. As a lecturer, she knows how to get her students engaged and interested in the topics as she discusses them with great understanding and enthusiasm. As a teacher, she is organised and supportive of her students, she happy to teach them her skills and knowledge with no discrimination. This is what I really appreciated about having Helen as a teacher, the skills and knowledge she taught me proved invaluable during the completion of my thesis.

Charlotte

Helen was one of the

Helen was one of the most passionate and driven lecturers I came accross in my 3 years at Victoria University of Wellington. The course ‘Design Psychology’ remains one of the classes where I learnt the most and have carried through with me into my professional career.
Her lectures were well structured, interesting, and always helped us develop our concepts and ideas further. Her demeanuer was impeccably professional whilst being very kind and approachable to all of her students.
Should anyone wish to discuss my experience with Helen during my time at Victoria University further, I would be happy to be contacted.

Holly Macdonald

Helen was my lecturer for

Helen was my lecturer for two classes at university, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed and learned plenty from. She is an organised and committed teacher, and is happy to create whole new lectures based on what the class wants to learn. Helen is always encouraging with students and their projects, and she is one of the best teachers I had at university.

Emma

encouraged group conversations[In response to

encouraged group conversations

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Student Feedback 2011

– visuals- texts- images, personal

– visuals
– texts
– images, personal experience

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Student Feedback 2011

Was really helpful and nice.

Was really helpful and nice. Willing to go the extra mile to help with projects 🙂

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Student Feedback 2011

– approachable- effective with explanations-

– approachable
– effective with explanations
– good feedback

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Student Feedback 2011

– group sharing- fun research[In

– group sharing
– fun research

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Student Feedback 2011

-very encouraging-gives good feedback on

-very encouraging
-gives good feedback on work

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Student Feedback 2011

Good feedback

Good feedback

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Student Feedback 2011

Helen is a great tutor,

Helen is a great tutor, always friendly + helpful.

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Student Feedback 2011

Always friendly, nice to everyone.

Always friendly, nice to everyone. Treated students with respect.

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Student Feedback 2011

Generated more ideas which helped

Generated more ideas which helped me to gain further understanding of the projects.

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Student Feedback 2011

Her understandable way of explaining

Her understandable way of explaining topics.

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Student Feedback 2011

talkative + fun

– really talkative + fun
– accepting of people’s ideas/comments

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Student Feedback 2011

Good Feedback

– Good Feedback
– Interesting Ideas

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Student Feedback 2011

Good feedback on design ideas.

Good feedback on design ideas. Helped me to improve a lot.

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Student Feedback 2011

She thinks laterally, provides

– She thinks laterally, provides a lot of thinking options
– Always made time for students.

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Student Feedback 2011

Tutorials were well prepared

– Tutorials were well prepared
– Response for projects were really helpful and professional

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Student Feedback 2011

helpful with examples and

– helpful with examples and design ideas.
– uses current research to help stimulate design ideas.

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Student Feedback 2011

Organised the class into

– Organised the class into small groups to discuss ideas rather than the whole class doing it.
– provided helpful information

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Student Feedback 2011

found extra videos etc

– found extra videos etc to support material from lectures
– gave good feedback about project ideas and helped us to think differently.

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Student Feedback 2011

Discussion first and then the

Discussion first and then the individual/small group discussions.

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Student Feedback 2011

Her feedback is pretty good

Her feedback is pretty good and relevant.

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Student Feedback 2011

Flexible tutorial plans

Flexible tutorial plans based on what students wanted.
Helpful one-on-one guidance.

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Student Feedback 2011

She has interesting anecdotal stories

She has interesting anecdotal stories to help us come up with ideas.

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Student Feedback 2011

most valuable lessons I learnt at university to her

Helen acted as both a lecturer and tutor for multiple papers during my time at university. She always provided the utmost support for my ideas and ambitions, and guidance when problems or questions arose. Her lectures are always engaging, and she provides constant inspiration both from her own ideas and experiences, and from her ability to produce interesting content for her lectures. The papers she takes are always enjoyable and highly valued because of all she provides for her students. She always goes above what is expected of her as a tutor and lecturer, and I attribute many of the most valuable lessons I learnt at university to her. Her ability to provide encouragment and understand each individual student is really appreciated.

She is very helpful

– She is very helpful for feedback, speaks her advice clearly and in a way that is easy to understand.
– Took time with each person to aid them with their assignments.

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Student Feedback 2011

Everything was clearly laid out.

Everything was clearly laid out. Fantastic!

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Student Feedback 2011

had good ideas

-had good ideas
-helpful with times
-open to ideas

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Student Feedback 2011

Working in a big circle

Working in a big circle with the whole class.
Easy to approach about work.
Going through brief so we have a full understanding of the project.

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Student Feedback 2011

Suggesting ideas/alternatives to my designs

Suggesting ideas/alternatives to my designs and giving honest criticism on my work.

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Student Feedback 2011

Took time out to talk

-Took time out to talk.
-Helped with assignment.

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Student Feedback 2012

Pushed us to our limits

Pushed us to our limits, got me to really think out of the box and come up with new ideas.

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Student Feedback 2012

Always full of ideas

-Always full of ideas
-very positive

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Student Feedback 2012

Always had heaps of ideas

Always had heaps of ideas

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Student Feedback 2012

Willing to talk about ideas

Willing to talk about ideas and build on them.

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Student Feedback 2012

Clarifying information

Clarifying information
Helpful ideas

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Student Feedback 2012

Clear with ideas

-Clear with ideas
-Passionate about topic

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Student Feedback 2012

Always give helpful + creative

Always give helpful + creative feedback.

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Student Feedback 2012

Helen challenged me to think

Helen challenged me to think more broadly which I think is positive.

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Student Feedback 2011

gave honest opinions

-gave honest opinions
-gave good suggestions

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Student Feedback 2011

I am really glad

I am really glad I took this course. I found it really interesting and am going to look deeper into this topic. Helen is an awesome teacher and I thought the course was really well planned out.

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Student Feedback 2015

I found taking CCD332 with

I found taking CCDN332 with Helen, super motivating. She was able to engage me in the content and give personalised guidance with positivity for my projects without negetive criticism. Her teaching style is modern and engaging and I think it is a style that should be adopted by more lecturers in the future.

Danielle Forde

I was taught by Helen

I was taught by Helen in my third year of my four year Double Degree programme. As a Culture & Context student, I didn’t see the value in my chosen programme, nor where I wanted to go with it, until I took the class taught by Helen (Design +). She opened my eyes to idea synthesis and taught me to utilise my other field of expertise to become a good designer. She respects and validates everyone’s way of thinking while still providing very solid and constructive feedback. Her presence in a classroom or studio is among the most positive of those I experienced in my time at Victoria.

Hayley Ottman

group projects and being held

-group projects and being held to what work you have done.

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Student Feedback 2015

Thinking critically about ideas

Thinking critically about ideas and that everything you design has a meaning.

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Student Feedback 2015

breaking down assignments into parts

-breaking down assignments into parts

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Student Feedback 2015

Interesting ways of explaining things

Interesting ways of explaining things in lectures.

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Student Feedback 2015

The lectures were very interesting,

-The lectures were very interesting, really got one thinking about possible branching projects using the research.

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Student Feedback 2015

All of the classes were

All of the classes were extremely interesting and its always awesome and motivating when the teacher is passionate about the topic.
Also Helen is really approachable and always gave good feedback which really helps with confidence in design and presenting.

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Student Feedback 2015

Every week the lecture

-Every week the lecture topic was different and they were all interesting.
-TED talks and videos used (introduced) in lectures.
-Structures of assignments were easy to understand.
-She always made sure I was on the right track and I found her feedback very helpful.

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Student Feedback 2015

Very lovely teacher

Very lovely teacher and always respected the students in the class.

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Student Feedback 2015

Gave interesting lectures

Gave interesting lectures.
Gave individual help.

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Student Feedback 2015

The way that she helps

The way that she helps by giving really constructive criticism has been great!

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Student Feedback 2015

Gave suggestions

Gave suggestions to how we can look at an idea in a different and fun way.

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Student Feedback 2015

Strongly enthusiastic about ideas

Strongly enthusiastic about ideas.
Always willing to help and discuss work.

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Student Feedback 2015

Made sure I was comfortable

1)Made sure I was comfortable with things.
2) Directed me elsewhere if it was needed.

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Student Feedback 2015

Really good feedbackVery useful lectures

Really good feedback
Very useful lectures

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Student Feedback 2015

She helped out a lot

She helped out a lot with good feedback when needed and was very clear with the hand ins.

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Student Feedback 2015

Showing relevant videos during lecture

-Showing relevant videos during lecture to consolidate ideas.
-Getting enthusiastic about our projects and giving good constructive advice.
-Putting us into groups for group work based on our attendance and also enthusiasm toward a project, which really has motivated everyone to work harder.

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Student Feedback 2015

pushed to research

-pushed to research
-very obvious with lectures

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Student Feedback 2015

Gave me one-on-one time. Respected my

Gave me one-on-one time.
Respected my ideas.

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Student Feedback 2014

Had interesting additional info

Had interesting additional info & text to add to your topics.
Answered all questions thoroughly.

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Student Feedback 2014

Very knowledgable

Very knowledgable
Showed interest in individuals and their ideas
Always made time to help and/or listen

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Student Feedback 2014

flexible about lecture subjects

-flexible about lecture subjects
-enthusiastic about projects

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Student Feedback 2014

Lectures are always relevant

-Lectures are always relevant and helpful.
-Frequent meetings with Helen provided great direction.
-Very clear, enthusiastic, skilled teacher!

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Student Feedback 2014

Very understanding

Very understanding at how students feel over course of term and accommodating about that.

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Student Feedback 2014

very informative

very informative support
highly educated critiques
amazing suggestions + communication

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Student Feedback 2014

She was always positive

-She was always positive about my ideas which boosted my confidence.
-Always had good informative ideas when helping me with my projects and developed them with me.

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Student Feedback 2014

She always had good ideas

She always had good ideas and feedback, especially when I was stuck on ideas or didn’t know how to move forward.

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Student Feedback 2014

Specific comments about modelling

Specific comments about modelling.
Give personal opinion about ideas and how improve them.

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Student Feedback 2014

Passion for content of course

-Passion for content of course
-Enthusiasm

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Student Feedback 2014

Really well structured projects

Really well structured projects, the first one developed the process for the second.

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Student Feedback 2014

Helped when I was having

Helped when I was having trouble – Took the time to work out what exactly the problem was, then gave the appropriate advice.

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Student Feedback 2014

Very good at clearly communicating

Very good at clearly communicating what she was looking for.
Good briefs.

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Student Feedback 2014

enthusiastic about the subject

enthusiastic about the subject
linked theories to real-world examples

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Student Feedback 2014

group work

-group work
-concept development, creation of ideas

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Student Feedback 2014

lecturer was good

-lecturer was good
-group assignments

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Student Feedback 2014

The teacher helped a lot

The teacher helped a lot.
The structure of the course helped me learn.

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Student Feedback 2014

Cross-discipline exercises (Psychology + Design)

Cross-discipline exercises (Psychology + Design)

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Student Feedback 2014

Readings about psychological things

Readings about psychological things.

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Student Feedback 2014

Emphasis on research

Emphasis on research

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Student Feedback 2014

The first assignment

The first assignment I really liked.
I liked how quick but helpful lectures are. I never felt I was wasting time.

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Student Feedback 2014

Linking to real-world examples

Linking to real-world examples.

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Student Feedback 2014

Topics were fun.

Topics were fun.
Enjoyable.

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Student Feedback 2014

Flexibility of lecture subjects

Flexibility of lecture subjects.

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Student Feedback 2014

Interesting topics/freedom to explore

Interesting topics/freedom to explore what you want

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Student Feedback 2014

Working in groupsFreedom to research/explore

Working in groups
Freedom to research/explore what interests us

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Student Feedback 2014

Learning psychology basics

Learning psychology basics. It’s very helpful for design.
Presenting in groups rather than the whole class at once is much easier and less stressful/boring.

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Student Feedback 2014

Psychology as a core teaching

Psychology as a core teaching component provided a great base.
Teacher support + guidance

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Student Feedback 2014

I found Helen to a

I found Helen to a very successful and helpful lecturer/tutor. The lectures were packed with useful information to the topic as well as being interesting and sparking an urge to asking questions and learn more. She took a class that I was unsure of and assumed I wouldn’t enjoy it and turned into one the best classes I had taken in my studies. I found her advice very helpful in both a designers prespective to boost the quality of my ideas and their effectiveness, and in the research and testing for and of a design.

Jordan Isteed-Haig

Helen was incredibly influential during

Helen was incredibly influential during my time at university and dedicated her time to not only her own students but others that needed help, inspiration and guidance. Her teaching methods are thought provoking and intelligent, and her passion for her work is evident. The knowledge and skills that I gained during Helen’s classes of hers are by far the learnings that I rate most highly, and look forward to the opportunity of working with her in the future.

Chelsea Porter