Syllabus for Adobe Photoshop series

Syllabus –Introduction to Adobe Photoshop CS series

By Dr. Pelham Mead


Description of Course: This is an introductory blended online course for students who wish to learn how to use Adobe Photoshop CS series. The course covers everything from the simplest tools, and how to use them, to layering and how to work with layers. Each week (13 weeks), one or more photo projects will be due by the Monday of the following week. This course is all about hands-on participation, and some discussion about obstacles in completing the weekly photo project. Students taking the course will need a copy of Adobe Photoshop CS2 or CS3. It is available free for 60 days online at Skills as well as concepts in solving photo problems will be assessed so there will be quizzes, a midterm and a written final project based on previous projects and the concepts learned.

This course is good for students who want to learn how to create quality graphics and manipulate photos.  Students must make a commitment of at least 5 hours a week to complete their photo assignments. Some assignments are short, and take only 30 minutes, and others are more complex, and will take 2 hours or more. All samples are provided in .pdf format so that they cannot be copied. Each week is a Module, and will be found in the Blackboard Documents

Instructor Information

Dr. Pelham Mead

Office: eTeachUSA online

e-mail : See Blackboard e-mail system

Note: For course related issues, please use the e-mail system in Blackboard.

Textbook and Supplemental


No Textbook is required, however if you want a more detailed description of some of the projects like the Melon Man project, you can find it in Adobe Photoshop in the Classroom series 4,5, 6, 7, or 8.

Most of the project descriptions will be done in the classroom, however if you miss the class you may be able to find a similar project on the Internet.

Module Submissions

All submissions will be via the Blackboard lockbox feature. This will apply a time stamp for your protection that your submission was in on time 12:00 midnight on each Monday. When I open your submission, Blackboard will automatically send you a receipt via e-mail that your project was received.

Topics Included in this Course


Toolbar skills:  oval, square cutters, lasso tool, magic wand tool, painting, erasing, lifting and placing objects. Working with fonts and lettering. Shadowing, bevel, and other shape additions. Shadow reduction techniques. Working with black and white photos or converting color photos to black and white. Editing and repairing old photos. Working with layers, flattening layers, and overlaying layers.

Special printing techniques, automatic tasks, fitting more than one photo on a page and setting printers for different photo paper. These are a few but not all the skills and concepts that will be taught.

The Course structure


This course runs the entire semester, including online orientation. The course is a combination of hands-on photo projects that teach certain Photoshop tools and photo editing concepts. Each week is a different module or Module and will be contained in a folder in Blackboard’s Documents section listed as Module 1 which is week one and Module 2, and so forth.  Thirteen Modules plus a midterm test and a Final written test compromise 15 weeks total.

You will be required to log on to Blackboard everyday, and sometimes several times a day, especially when you are having difficulty understanding the project. You are being evaluated on how many times you log on so feel free to log on as often as possible. If you have a question about the course in general then post your comments in the Instructor’s Office Folder. These are general questions that everyone can read and understand. For specific project related or personal comments use the Blackboard e-mail. That way your e-mail wouldn’t get lost in my regular NYIT mail.

Check the course master Calendar to know what project is due each week. When you project is finished you should use the Blackboard Assignment Section to send it to me. Do not use my personal e-mail to attach projects. It is possible sometimes that a particular .jpg photo may be too large to attach to an e-mail. In that case, try to .pdf the .jpg photo to reduce the size of the file.

As in a regular course, attendance is mandatory. If you fall behind three projects then you might want to consider withdrawing from the course. If you project comes in late on Tuesday when it is due on Monday there will be a penalty of dropping your grade by one letter grade for lateness.

Communication Tools


Since this is a Blended Online course you will have the opportunity to meet with me once a week for one hour to help you through the assignment for the week. You do not want to miss this session since I will not in most cases be giving you a step-by-step account of how to complete the photo project. I will give you specific requirements and you will have to figure them out by yourself if you do not come to the weekly class labs.

We will not be using the Chat function because of the difficulty of setting a time for everyone. You can however use chat among yourselves when working on a project at a group. There will be a few group projects for you to work on during the course.


The whiteboard can be a useful addition to chat.


Remember to use the Blackboard e-mail system so that I can tell who is sending me a message and not get it confused with my regular office e-mail.







Projects=5 pts. Each= 65 total

Quizzes= 5 pts.x3=      15 total

Discussion on line, participation=15

Final exam=5 pts.

Total= 100 pts.



Projects for the Course



Module 1-Melon head project- using cutting and pasting tools

                  Using a Mr. Melon head we cut and drag eyes, mouth, nose, ears and hat onto another canvas.


Module 2-Bear Mountain bridge project- Editing tools

                  With a photo of Bear Mountain bridge (located in New York), remove the bad parts of the photo and the cones on the road using edit skills, cloning, painting, erasing and color matching.


Module 3-Scotland Girl project- Editing, shading, erasing, cloning skills

A project that takes an hour or more in a pastel painting on a sidewalk in Edinburgh, Scotland. Mission is to remove the cracks in the sidewalk from the girls head.


Module 4-Limo Project- Editing, color matching, erasing, text skills         

                  You have a bus-limo photo and you want to remove the bus lettering and put in NYIT letters instead. Then find photos of 3 people and reduce them in size to match the limo dpi and insert them in the limo windows.



Module 5-College Banner project- Web banner skills-

In this project you will put together a Web Banner using several photos and text layered on top. Flatten the layered photo into a .jpg and you are done.


Module 6-Coyote project- drawing skills, pen and brush

This is an Adobe in the Classroom book project from Book 4 or 5. It forces you to use the pen and drawing skills in Photoshop. I have taught this dozens of times and there were some errors in the book that had to be adjusted when doing the project.


Module 7-Draw bridge project- editing, cutting and drag and drop skills

The  Amish in Pennsylvania  do not like you to take their photos, however, I caught this Amish horse and wagon entering a covered bridge. Use your erasing skills and remove them from the photo.


Module 8- Church steeple project- using the magic wand

This is the steeple of the “Fish” church in Stamford, Conn.  It is a perfect detailed project for using the Adobe Photoshop “magic wand tool.”  Students will use the magic want to fill in the pipes and stairs in the tower and then Control key, left mouse down and drag to another blank canvas of the same dpi as the original photo.


Module 9- Layer slicing with a hat- creating the ultimate 3-D effect with layer slicing

This is a fun project that creates a baseball hat into a 3-D effect by using layer slicing techniques.


Module 10- Lighthouse Project- more discrete editing skills-

This photo needs to be made lighter and improved the shadows with special skill tools.


Module 12- Lilies Project- easy replication of cut and drag tools-

This is a quick project that emphasizes the use of the clone tools.

NOTE: Modules after Module 12 are in additional to the regular assignments and considered Optional for extra credit. Do not work on Modules 13-19 unless you have permission from the instructor.


Module 13- NY City layered Project- cut and drag skills

                  I combined two projects, a banner with fill in boxes and the Gates Project seen in Central Park a few years ago where an artist places beautiful gates of orange fabric gates all over Central Park. Cutting and dragging skills apply here.


Module 14- Printing skills Project- auto and manual printing of photos different sizes

How to print more than one photo on a page. How to do proofs for photos and how to use the automatic features in printing in Photoshop.


Module 15-Venice Boats Project- editing, special paste option tool

                  This is another old Adobe Photoshop in the Classroom project in which the special paste function is used with great results of a Venice photo.


Module 16- Watermarks Project- creating watermarks on paper

                  Watermarks are fonts created in black and white that are washed out to become a letter watermark background.


Module 17- Copyrighting- how to digitally embed copyrighting

                  This is a free tool for the first time in which you can embed digital copyright material to protect your photos from being illegally used.


Module 18- Loading Brushes Project- How to do

Brushes are also like ink stamps. Many different sizes and figures can be loaded into the brush menu and used.


Module 19- Assorted small projects supplement- a few small projects combined-

Some extra bonus work available for bonus credit if you finish you projects early each week.



Civil War-The Battle of Gettysburg, class preparation

Civil War Lesson Plan

Civil War Lesson Plan Dr. Pelham Mead IIIHistory

Dec. 2011


This interactive lesson focuses on the student reading about the Battle Of Gettysburg, Pa.. Student will have an information sheet on the Battle to use as a resource. While discussing the Battle of Gettysburg some information will be provided on a blog on the internet as a teaching tool. Secondly, as a form of assessment students will participate in an educational interactive game of question and answer and checkers.


The main objective of this five-minute teaching demonstration is to show how to use interactive and student engagement techniques in a classroom using the Civil War and The Battle of Gettysburg as the topic.

  • 1-To learn some facts about the Battle of Gettysburg and it’s importance in the Civil war.
  • 2- To become familiar with General Lee and General Meade and their role in the battle.
  • 3- To establish the time line of the Battle of Gettysburg.
  • 4-To assess what the student have learned or are learning using the resource sheets on the Civil War and the Battle of Gettysburg by using a unique question and answer approach to an interactive game of checkers in Powerpoint.
  • 5-To demonstrate briefly another interactive assessment educational game called Decisions Cards for Civil War Generals.


A quick review of part of the Battle of Gettysburg

  • Game of Checkers, assessment activity (question and answer) recalling what was read and what is on the resource sheet given out.
  • Decisions –Generals Cards, another interactive essay or discussion game.


An electronic bulletin board would better provide for interactive checkers to be moved around the checkerboard using powerpoint.

A class can be divided in half and one side can challenge the other side with questions from the notes and readings about General Lee, and the Battle of Gettysburg in the Civil War.


The game of Checkers act as an assessment tool without seeming to be a test of knowledge

The Decision Cards of Generals gives students an opportunity to express themselves with real life decisions about the Battle of Gettysburg and “what if scenarios afterward.

Presented by Dr. Pelham K. Mead III, Columbia Univ. Ed.D. 1992


¡  Preprinted information sheets will be handed out.

¡  Documents posted to Blackboard

¡  Documents posted to

¡  Decision Cards for Generals printed up and handed out at the correct time.

Other Resources web site for information on the Civil War and for the Battle of Gettysburg.

General Lee’s Army “From Victory to Collapse,” author: Joseph T. Glatthaar, Free Press, 2008

Engaging Students

Engaging students it to motivate them, involve them in the presentation, lecture or discussion rather than being “sea slugs” absorbing whatever floats by.

Teaching without Technology

Although I am a strong proponent of technology in the classroom, teaching can still be effective without technology. For over a hundred years or more teachers have used a blackboard and a piece of chalk. They work and they work well, except you get chalk dust all over your suit when teaching. In a small classroom the basic rules of teaching apply. Engage the students in question an answer, and have a discussion about the topic. Inform the students about facts they may or may not know by writing them on the blackboard. Small classroom means 20 students or less. This is unfortunately not reality. In most public schools K-12 there are 32 or more students in a class. In Colleges and Universities classes can range from 20 up to 50. In Colleges and Universities where lecture halls can cram 100, 200, 300, 400 or even 500 in a lecture hall the rules of basic teaching change because of the numbers of students in one room at one time.

I remember well when I went to College we had 400 students in the major block courses, Introduction to Psychology, Survey of World Civilizations, Anatomy and Physiology, and Biology. We took note while the Professor used an overhead transparency machine. That was the technology of the 1960’s. Our Anatomy Professor had the transparency in a roll and he used to write on the transparency and then roll if into the ceiling off the screen. I think he though this was a good teaching method. We certainly did not think it was a great idea. It made note taking almost impossible. We came up with a solution and the women came up with a separate solution. Our solution was to form into groups of 4 or 5 men who would take notes. Two were designated to take the first part of the notes and the rest wrote down the notes at the end of the transparency before it disappeared off the movie screen. The women were more fortunate. They sat around listening and knitting while one woman who knew short hand took all the notes and kept up with the Professor.

The point is basic teaching methods always prevail regardless of what technology you have for tools. The anatomy professor never  tried to engage the students in the lecture all of 400 students. He let the Graduate Assistants do that in the Anatomy Labs. His lectures were the “wham, bam, thank you Mam” approach with no regard for feedback or student engagement. Maybe he thought it would be impossible to ask questions with 400 students in attendance?

Another Professor whom I personally worked for as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in Botany had a completely different approach where he engaged everyone in the Lecture hall. What he used was a 35mm slide projector with slides of the plants, ecology, and issues relating to plant life. When he put a slide on the screen he would pick someone out of the audience and ask them what the slide was about? This kept everyone on their toes. Later on he would give quizzes based on the slides he showed in the lectures. During the Quiz he would used a slide as a question and show the slide from previous lectures that month and ask what is this slide about? What are the issues or identify the plant in the slide. What are these cells in a plant?  If you did not attend the lectures you usually did poorly on the Quizzes. As a result the Professor had the highest attendance rate of any of the large lecture hall courses. You had to be there to answer the quiz questions. He engaged the students during the lectures and never got into rote memorizing of facts, rather he always asked solutions to problems or explanations beyond just what a slide was. His only form of technology was a 35mm slide projector.

Fast forward to 2011 where Powerpoint is the replacement for the 35mm slide projector. What has changes in pedagogy? Really nothing had change. The teaching basics are still there. If you don’t engage the students with thought provoking questions then they will never understand the subject. Engaging the students is always a basic teaching fundamental skill that never changes regardless of the technology tools being used.

Custom Blended ONLINE Courses

Universities and Colleges that are cramped for space and want to reduce their overhead have come up with an online approach that works, Blended Courses. Instead of being 100% online where 50% of the students dropout, Universities and Colleges are compromising with most of the course online and an occasional campus class visit. What a savings? Little or no overhead, no large campuses necessary and more popular with online students.

It all comes down to motivation. Meeting with a live professor that can motivate a student is what it is all about. The basics of education still apply, engage the student and you will perk their interest and motivation. If you bore them to death in a lecture hall or online the result is the same, they drop out or fail.

The new generation of students are used to virtual campuses and Second Life is the next best thing to Blended Courses. Here students are avatars, and the Professor can be whatever avatar they want to be. They get to engage the professor and discussion takes place just like in a classroom. The only prerequisite is the student has to be a little more computer smart than the average student. It takes some experience to get used to moving your avatar around and getting it to talk, but with practice it is possible.

What is your opinion about Blended Courses and Second Life?


The Integration of Technology into Education 21st century

There are many articles on the integration of technology into education. The real problem in higher education is that Colleges and University are always miles behind in technology. Partially because it is difficult to keep upgrading programs like MS Word, and MS Excel. Once the faculty get used to a program that do not want to change and relearn a new program. I have worked with hundreds of college and university faculty and the problem is always the same, they are one or two versions behind the upgrades.

The best thing about upgrades is the improved templates that make jobs easier.  Let’s face it as long as Universities and Colleges have to pay high software leasing fees, change is always going to be slow. Software companies are like a leech that you cannot get rid of.  Instead of making it inexpensive to upgrade, they want to make a big profit and this is counter-productive to integrating technology in the classroom or lecture hall.

Someday, Universities will say “enough is enough and they will stop buying upgrades.” That will be a sad day in technology.

The Good, the bad, and the extreme

It seems we live in a world of extremes where the good goes unnoticed and the bad is commonplace.

The tragedy in Japan is the extreme of nature that is a wake up call for us all as to the condition of the Earth. I don’t think the dinosaurs could see the ice period taking over the earth and causing them to become extinct. We live in troubled times, yet a global outpouring of support is an indication that when tragedy strikes a nation, other nations are there to provide support.

Everything is global these days. We are one big extended community despite national borders. We can no long ignore others suffering as in Egypt, Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Yemen, and Libya. By the time NATO and other nations make up their mind to help the people in Libya, they will all be dead and those that survive will be murdered.

So what can we do? Not much…our governments tend to their own agendas not the agenda of the people. When the poor are suppressed it is a matter of time before they revolt as in the 13 colonies here, in France, and many other countries.


Argosy University

Teaching tools;

Computers-help to prepare lessons, powerpoint shows, internet research, show graphs, keeping the students engaged using laptop computers.

iPads-a handheld style of touch pad/computer that uses apps to run small programs. Built in camera, e-mail, Cloud, educational apps, free apps, game apps, quick reader of digital news and magazines, Photo flow feature in sharing pictures from the iPad to other computers.

Ceiling mounted projectors- hook up to computers to project powerpoint slides, or any screen material, digital photos, digital print, makes screen larger enough for large audiences or big classrooms. Lighter and brighter 3000 lumens to 5000 lumens and more compact than earlier models.

Interactive electronic whiteboards- made by Smartboards of Long Island, NY and Polyvision of Columbus Circle, NYC,NY. Electronic boards come in standard 4ft.x 6 ft. or 10×12 ft. lecture room size. Features capability of saving anything on the screen. Allows teacher or students to write on the screen and erase on the screen; allows for wireless printing within 50 ft.; allows students to interactively get involved with the electronic in moving objects around the screen, drawing diagrams, using arrows or circling important facts or objects.

Interactive Student clicker response systems- Best used in large lecture halls with 50 or more students. No really suitable for small classroom of 15 or less students. Integrates with Powerpoint and creates instant graphs, charts with student responses. Not suitable for attendance checking. Cost of clicker paid for by some text book companies. $15 dollar cost from bookstore can be returned for resale of $5.00 each.

Automatic Podcasting- audio and video podcasts record a professor teaching. Just the powerpoint screen can be filmed with automatic camera. For audio or video only or combined, Echo 360 software will allow a microphone to be set remotely to go on at a specific lecture time and record just audio or both video and audio. At the end of the lecture time the program will turn off the microphone and ceiling camera and convert both audio and video into one Podcast and send it as an attachment to the Professors e-mail address in less than 5 minutes after the end of the lecture.

Assessment tools- Weaveonline is one of many centralized software programs that can help a professor meet their course objectives and provide assessment analysis at the end of the course. Before the beginning of the course the Objectives, action plans, projects, tests, etc are all posted on Weaveonline. The objectives have specific benchmarks for each professor to strive to achieve.


iPad-apps- There are Anatomy apps for the heart, muscles and bones for medical courses or Anatomy and Physiology; Economics apps using a roller coaster as an example of force and speed; and many other apps that a professor can attach their iPad to the movie project cable to put up on a screen for the class to view.


THE BEST TEACHING TOOLS ARE ..the old fashioned, time tested methods, of question and answer techniques, engaging students in a classroom or lecture hall, moving around the classroom and not sitting behind a desk or podium. Proximity when asking a question makes it personal, rather than asking a question from 100 feet away on a stage in a large lecture hall. Using a wireless microphone in a large lecture hall to be heard. Setting up small group collaborative learning projects. Becoming a facilitator instead of a lecturer in a classroom or lecture hall. Having a sense of humor. Provide some entertainment but get the students involved in the process. Debates, student presentations, student Powerpoint projects, Blog presentations, Blackboard instant tests, Powerpoint 1 min. quizzes, 3×5 question cards, inclass laptop assignments with a time limit and report afterward, student partners, student learning groups, student collaborative project groups and interactive educational games.