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This Unity educator is teaching students to build a portfolio and showcase their work while making team collaboration easier with Unity Connect.

When Megan “MJ” Johns first heard about Unity Connect at the Unite LA keynote, she immediately signed on to see what the first talent marketplace dedicated to Unity creators would have to offer. She was initially planning to use it to showcase her own projects and to look for contract work. However, MJ, who is Adjunct Faculty at the Art Institute of Austin, soon realized it would be a perfect way for her students to collaborate and submit their in-class work while becoming comfortable presenting their work to the outside world.

Megan "MJ" Johns, Founder of Aspire Games and Adjunct Faculty at Art Institute of Austin

Megan “MJ” Johns, Founder of Astire Games and Adjunct Faculty at Art Institute of Austin.

Upon returning from Unite, she decided to implement Unity Connect in the next cycle of her Rapid Prototyping course, where students work through the process of making a working game every two weeks.

MJ instructed her 4 student teams, composed of 4 to 5 students each, to create Unity Connect profiles. The team leader was responsible for creating a project in their portfolio and uploading the requisite one page game design document following MJ’s specified format, which includes an overview, team names, the goal for the player, key gameplay elements, what mechanics they would be using, and art style reference imagery. The other team members and MJ herself would then be added as Contributors to the project.

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The student team lead was responsible for creating a project on Unity Connect and adding the other students and their instructor as Contributors.

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The students uploaded a game design document detailing key aspects of the game they were proposing to build and reference imagery.

As work on their game progressed, their project expanded to include additional design docs, concept art, gameplay description, screenshots, and finally, videos of the final product. At the end of the two weeks, the teams presented their projects to the class on Unity Connect.

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At the end of their rapid prototyping cycle, the student teams uploaded videos of their completed project and presented their final work to the class.

“It proved to be really useful for organizational purposes,” said MJ, “As the instructor, it’s much easier to review their work visually on a Unity Connect project page instead of having to look through the school’s network drive folders. For the students, it’s convenient because they are able to keep their work for a project in one place that they can access from school or from home. It also gives them an opportunity to build a public portfolio and get used to presenting their work publicly.”

MJ added that some of her students are looking for freelance work while still in school, to help offset the costs of their education, and that she would encourage them to use Unity Connect to leverage their skills to earn some extra income.

MJ also teaches Advanced Level Design, where students work on a single project for the entire 11 weeks of the course, and intends to use Unity Connect when that course begins in the new year.

“I plan to continue using this tool for my students to present their projects, and I will be encouraging other instructors to do the same.”

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