Teachers Kit: A Lesson Plan to Help Foster Student Engagement in The Rookies' Community

Teachers Kit: A Lesson Plan to Help Foster Student Engagement in The Rookies' Community
Photo by Nicholas Green / Unsplash

This condensed guide aims to equip students with actionable insights to enhance their involvement within The Rookies' community. It's designed for teachers to deliver in a single one-hour session, providing a swift and engaging overview with homework tasks for students to take their engagement further.

Introduce The Power of Engagement: Success Stories

Begin by emphasising that active engagement within The Rookies' community is a powerful tool for personal and professional growth. Share success stories of individuals who benefited immensely from participation.

To help you with this messaging, here are some success stories of individuals who were initially hesitant but ultimately benefited immensely from engaging in The Rookies' community. These students may not have won big contests, but simply by being involved with The Rookies, they landed internships, mentorships, and job offers due to their participation. Here are some great videos to help.

Interactive Participation: Constructive Feedback and High Fives

Begin by highlighting the importance of giving and receiving constructive feedback as a foundational soft skill in the creative industry. Explain that commenting on peers' work and offering insightful comments via the project area on The Rookies, not only benefits them but also enhances one's own critical thinking and communication skills. Think of it as is akin to peer reviewing, a practice valued in professional settings. The Rookies serves as a safe and supportive platform to develop this skill.

Encourage students to initiate engagement by leaving comments on projects within The Rookies. Explain that this interaction sets the foundation for reciprocity, as others are likely to return the favour.
The more comments a project receives, the higher it ranks in searches, and the easier it is for our team to discover trending projects.

And whilst they are leaving feedback, ask them to also consider leaving a "High Five". Giving "High Fives" within The Rookies, draws parallels to the "Likes" on social media platforms like Facebook. Explain that giving a "High Five" is a gesture of appreciation and acknowledgement, and cultivates support within the community.

Highlight the added benefit that High Fives serve as a bookmarking tool for inspiration. Whenever a student gives a High Five, it's saved to their profile, forming a visual reference gallery for future projects.

The more high-fives, the more popular a project becomes. This is the primary factor for discovering the best work from our community members.

Exploring Opportunities: Contests, Challenges, and Skill Enhancement

Highlighting the dynamic contests and challenges within The Rookies' platform, such as Weekly Drills and regular contests tailored to specific skills, underscores the diverse opportunities available. Participation in these activities is not solely about winning prizes but about the journey itself.

Even in defeat, students gain valuable experience that contributes to their creative journey. Each entry represents a step toward growth and improved self-assurance.

Furthermore, contest entries offer visibility and opportunities for interactions with peers and professionals. These interactions can lead to mentorship, collaborations, and even potential job offers.

By elaborating on the contests and challenges within The Rookies' community, this section emphasises the value of engagement. It communicates how participation extends beyond winning prizes, offering students opportunities to enhance their skills, gain exposure, and connect with industry professionals, thus enriching their creative journey.

Weekly Drills

Introduce the Weekly Drills, where students can engage in weekly design challenges. Explain that these quick-turnaround challenges are ideal for building confidence, experimenting with different concepts, and developing creative agility.

Illustrate how students can access Weekly Drills to continually refine their skills and add to their portfolio.

Regular Contests

Discuss the array of regular contests tailored to specific skills and software. Highlight that these contests offer more in-depth challenges, fostering skill enhancement and creativity.

Explain that contest participation isn't just about winning prizes; it's about the journey. Students can showcase their abilities, gain exposure, and receive constructive feedback from both peers and professionals.

Elaborate on the significance of the Rookie Awards as a career-launching opportunity. Share that this contest is particularly valuable when students are ready to transition into the professional world, as it garners industry recognition and sets the stage for networking and job opportunities.

Connecting with Student Ambassadors

Introduce the concept of Student Ambassadors to your students, individuals who have demonstrated excellence within The Rookies' platform and are eager to assist fellow students. These experienced members within your cohorts act as guides and role models, providing advice, insights, and mentorship. Share inspiring stories of other ambassadors who have successfully transitioned from students to professionals, highlighting their journey and contributions to the community.

Encourage your students to connect with these ambassadors for advice, networking opportunities, and mentorship. Emphasise the potential benefits of becoming a Student Ambassador, such as extra credit, recognition, and opportunities to represent the school. By nominating a Rookies Ambassador at your school, you're empowering students to rally their peers and enhance engagement within the community.

Amplifying Visibility

Discuss the importance of sharing projects on external social media platforms. Explain how The Rookies' platform seamlessly connects with various social media channels, amplifying the reach and visibility of students' work.

Highlight that student projects are also showcased on The Rookies' extensive social media channels, enhancing recognition.

Partnerships with Print Magazine

Another way we amplify student work, and one of our favourite partnerships is with magazines such as 3DWorld magazine and ImagineFX magazine. Each month, a Rookies members is showcased in a 2 page spread! To be considered for this, students need to share great work, and be a active member of the community.

Encouraging Article Writing

Suggest that students consider writing articles for The Rookies' community. Explain that this provides a platform to share insights, experiences, and expertise. Emphasise that this not only helps others but also garners exposure and recognition within the creative industry.

There are plenty of opportunities for students to create articles. First and foremost, we are always looking for project breakdowns that are a great way to show a more in-depth look at how your students work and solve problems. Here are some great examples of project breakdown articles:

Get inspired by hearing from other Rookies, our alumni success stories, industry experts. Throw in a bunch of visual goodies to get the creative juices flowing and you are in the right place.

Homework Suggestions and Curriculum Integration

Provide engaging homework suggestions to encourage active participation, interaction, and exploration of the platform's opportunities. Emphasise how these tasks seamlessly integrate with teaching objectives to enhance students' skills and contribute positively to the community, and to explore the platform's rich opportunities.

Homework Task #1 - Make new connections: Recommend students follow remarkable creators on the platform. This allows them to tap into a stream of inspiration and insights.

Homework Task #2 - Leave constructive feedback on at least two projects within The Rookies' platform: focusing on providing insightful comments that help improve the projects.

Homework Task #3 - Suggest students give High Fives to commendable projects: give at least one "High Five" to three projects that you find inspiring. This practice acknowledges exceptional work and inspires creative growth.

Homework Task #4 - Advise students to join The Rookies' Discord server: A simple introduction in the dedicated channel can kickstart their networking journey.

Homework Task #5 - Share one of your projects from The Rookies' platform on your personal social media channels: or LinkedIn: Monitor the engagement (likes, comments, shares) and reflect on how sharing your work externally contributes to its visibility and recognition.

Homework Task #6 - Ambassador Exploration: Discuss the possibility of becoming a Student Ambassador. Students can apply for this role to inspire peers and gain recognition.

By following this structured guide, educators can effectively introduce students to The Rookies' community, fostering engagement and growth in just one hour.

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