The Instructional Design of CFCC’s Interior Design


Student Portfolio example

snapshot of student portfolio


 Size Doesn’t Matter

For a department that consists of a lead instructor and three part time instructors, big things are happening in Interior Design at CFCC’s North Campus. 

When Patricia Battershill, lead instructor, made the move from Fort Lauderdale two years ago, she found herself a part of a department that had already exceeded its high expectations.  But don’t let this woman fool you…she is a true instructional gem.

Student-Centered Instruction

One of the most impressive facets of the I-Design program is the blend of student-centered learning  and scaffolding. The program is designed for courses to be completed in “blocks” with 2 rotations of 16 students.  Ideally, each group of 16 students completes the courses and program together.

In the Beginning

During first semester, students are introduced to interior design concepts and principles. Then, students are asked to apply these concepts to design a project of their own selection.

The open project is intended to embrace the students’ individual style and creativity.  Battershill believes this builds student confidence and understanding in their work and learning. As the students advance through the program, parameters are established and projects increase in complexity.

 Bring in the Pros

At the end of a group’s final fall semester, Interior Designers from the local community are brought in for a professional review. The local pro’s are treated to a review session of  projects completed by students. Each student is then provided with individual feedback from interior design professionals in our community. This allows students to reflect and adjust their work in preparation of their final semester. 

Capstone: The finale

The foundation has been built. It’s time to add the finishing touches.  During the final semester, the students are b-u-s-y

  • Putting together their portfolio. Both digitally and in an 8.5 x 11 binder.
  • Learning the ins and outs of self-marketing.
  • Final exam, 1 day assessment: students are presented a project and required to draft, space plan, and articulate in writing their concepts for materials.
  • Participating in the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) local chapter’s design competition.  **Note, in 2008 CFCC Interior Design swept the competition with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

The Goods

 Both classrooms in the Interior Design Department provide each student with their own individual workspace.  The student workstation includes: 

  • drafting table
  • computer with Internet access, AutoCAD (engineering, design software) and Photoshop


student workstation

Student Workstation: I-Design

Other noteworthy “goodies” for the students include a cooperative learning center which includes: movable desks and chairs, large HD television, Elmo presenters, scanners, design supplies, and yes, even the kitchen sink! Adjoining is the lighting lab which also connects to a high-end sample room.

cooperative learning room: i-design

Needless to say, the Interior Design graduates are true 21st century citizens and career ready. The graduates are comfortable with working relationships. They are self reflecting. These Interior Designers are skilled and innovative.

Click here to check out student portfolios!   

Author’s Note: My original intent was to feature the development process of the student’s digital portfolios but during my interview with Ms. Battershill, I realized that the Interior Design program itself is the real story.

PC versus Mac…how ’bout a VC?


The Business Technologies Department is without a doubt up-to-date with current technology trends.  Melissa Watson, CIS 110 & 111 instructor, is the MVP of the VCL at CFCC (how are those acronyms for ya’?).

Virtual Computing Lab, or VCL,  is just that, a computer lab our  students can access from home.  North Carolina State University, who houses the project, has partnered with community colleges in NC to spread the use of the program.

With student enrollment approaching 600 for  CIS 110/111 distance learning sections for the year, Melissa Watson recognized a need. Students who “do not reside near the campuses or who use a Mac computer are now provided with an opportunity to use a computer from home that includes all the software required for their courses without having to travel to one of the school’s’ Learning Labs”, states Watson.

Recruiting the help and expertise of both Dom Friant (IT Services) and Pat Hogan (Business Technologies Chair), Watson has successfully provided students with access to 20 virtual computers.

How does it work for students?

  1. Head to the lab! Turn on the PC or Mac and head to the VCL homepage to login.
  2. Make a reservation  Strictly on a first-come-first-serve-basis, students reserve an environment (ex: WinXP), date and duration for use of the virtual machine.
  3. Transform At the time of reservation the student’s computer is literally transformed into a CFCC image while running the app.

For more info on the Virtual Computer Lab go to or contact Melissa Watson at

Faculty! Staff! Do you know of any technological  awesomeness on our CFCC campuses? Email 

Have a couple minutes? Make sure to check out the kickoff post “Let’s get things started” to get you in the mood. :)

New spotlights posted Thursday of every week.

Let’s get things started…

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From, “185 voices from 12 countries join a choir that spans the globe: “Lux Aurumque,” composed and conducted by Eric Whitacre, merges hundreds of tracks individually recorded and posted to YouTube. It’s an astonishing illustration of how technology can connect us.”

CFCC Sea Devils, are you ready to “connect”?