academy.autodesk.com (opens in new tab) ■ Retail Price: Free
Autodesk Design Academy provides educators and students free access to product tutorials, exercises, projects, and courses for Autodesk tools as they learn about the world of 3D design. With a growing set of resources at three skill levels, Autodesk Design Academy empowers students to start creating their own 3D designs that they can also showcase in individual portfolios.
Quality and Effectiveness: Autodesk Design Academy is a fantastic resource for teachers who are just getting started with design and for veterans who are looking for new ideas for student projects. Educators and experts in various fields of design have created supporting materials for each activity. Activities for students include individual exercises, projects, and courses. Exercises are short, skills-based experiences that introduce students to Autodesk software and the design thinking process. Exercises usually include a lesson plan, dataset, step-by-step instructions, and software tutorials. Projects ask students to apply skills and design thinking by designing solutions to problems. Each project includes resources such as instructor and student manuals, datasets, software tutorials, and step-by-step guides.
Ease of Use: Account creation takes minutes and unlocks a vast array of resources. Because there are so many materials available, navigation can be tricky at first. Each product used in the activities has its own tutorial. Tutorials include product how-to videos for AutoCAD, Inventor, Revit, Maya, 3ds Max, Formit 360, and Fusion 360. Each exercise, project, and course comes with its own tutorial videos that are specifically about how to do that project using the software that that project requires. Educators and students alike can choose to learn tool-based skills in the context of a particular project or separately.
Creative Use of Technology: Autodesk Design Academy offers exercises and projects in the areas of animation, architectural engineering, architecture, construction management, engineering, maker, manufacturing, STEAM, and sustainability at three skill levels (beginner, intermediate, and advanced). Each activity includes all the resources students need to successfully create a 3D design in one of Autodesk’s software tools that include 3ds Max, AutoCAD, Fusion 360, Inventor, Maya, Revit, FormIt 360, and more. The two fully developed courses that Design Academy currently offers (“Product Design in Fusion 360” and “Introduction to CAD and CAE Tools”) provide a more in-depth look at 3D design, design thinking, and Autodesk software.
Suitability for Use in a School Environment: Teachers can easily integrate Autodesk Design Academy into existing curriculum. Each resource includes an instructor’s manual with learning objectives, alignment to national standards, and rubrics for assessing each part of the activity.
Autodesk Design Academy is a fantastic resource to help educators and students explore design thinking and 3D design. Because there’s a wide array of materials available, there’s something for everyone. The high-quality and well-designed activities include everything necessary to unlock students’ creative potential. Because each activity is aligned to national standards, there’s no question that 3D design belongs in the classroom.
• Relevance—Helps students develop design thinking and technology skills that are important for 21st-century learners.
• Price—Autodesk Design Academy is free.
• Quality—The high-quality materials make it easy for educators to introduce 3D design into the curriculum.