Adjusting to online classes can be challenging! Here are a few tips to get the most out of your experience and connect with your instructor and fellow learners.


1. Review instructor feedback. Make time to review prior feedback and notes before class. Have a list of questions ready to ask about anything that isn’t 100% clear. SCPS instructors will make time for Q&A; they want you to get all you can from your courses! There are no stupid questions, only lost opportunities.

[Provide feedback, too! Let your instructor know if there’s something they did in class that you liked. This will help them improve their online teaching skills—they are looking for ways to engage you.]

2. Take photos of your work. Take photos of your work and share files through Canvas. This also gives you a digital record for the future!

[Feel free to send to photos of your work, photos of you creating your work, or photos of you attending class to Kristen at kdabro13@pratt.edu. We’d love to show prospective students what it’s like to take classes & create at Pratt!]

3. Make sure your files are in the right format. When it’s your time to upload files for a presentation or class assignment, ensure your files are the right type and size for uploading well before class begins so you’re not crunched for time at the last minute.


4. Turn on your camera.

I know. You didn’t brush your hair. However, if you have camera access, use it! It creates a more personal learning experience, allows the teacher to see your reactions, and connects you to other class members. Don’t be a silent observer! You paid for the class; you deserve to get ALL you can from it.

Understand that your instructor may not feel “camera-ready,” either. They are working hard to adjust to the online format. Finding the ideal light/angle may not be at the forefront of their priorities! 

5. Use the chat box. Especially if you don’t have camera access, the chat box can be your best tool for communication. Make sure you are participating! It can also be a good way to get your questions in without interrupting at an inopportune time.

6. Check every tab. View every tab in Canvas—Files, Downloads, & Discussions—so you don’t miss any important content.

7. Capture comments. When instructors make comments on your assignments in Canvas, experiment with the best way to capture them for future reference. One method is to take a screenshot, retitle it, and save it to your class folder.


8. Download course files. Use Google Drive, Base Camp, an external hard drive, or a flash drive to store course files & class recordings after each session. NOTE: OneKey remains “live” for 31 days after a class ends. After that, class access is closed.


9. Network! We cannot emphasize this enough! Not only does this help with class content and assignments, it also creates a community and a networking base for the next stage in your career.

10. Use free search tools. org is a huge, wonderful resource! Download and save whatever is FREE and RELEVANT to your course of study or field of interest.

Special thanks to Roy Pachecano (Lecturer, Pratt SCPS; President, Portico R.E.I. LLC; Assistant Adjunct Professor, Columbia University) for helping out with this post! Roy is an amazing professor with the Pratt School of Continuing and Professional Studies’ Architecture Program.

Sarah Tan (Voices of Pratt)

Sarah Tan


Sarah has held the reigns of editor for more than one popular magazine, including Editor of Female magazine in Singapore. Later, she launched her own apparel line, Cosset, one of the first fashion labels in Singapore to feature bamboo fabric, embracing sustainability ahead of the curve. In 2017, she completed Pratt’s Fashion New Media Certificate.

“This is a great course for anyone who has been working, but maybe is a little bit out of touch with how much has changed digitally and wants to upgrade their skills to become more relevant. It provides a lot of advantages to someone with a lot of work experience who might have difficulty translating it to the current market. For instance, learning social media marketing and content strategies on your own is not the same as entering a course that provides the framework and expert perspective of faculty who are in the field and can teach you how to execute branding and digital marketing campaigns.”

To learn more about Sarah visit her website.

Carolyn Shafer (Voices of Pratt)

Carolyn Shafer

Carolyn is the Director of the Center for Sustainable Design Strategies (CSDS) at Pratt Institute. Since 2009, she has worked to develop the program. Carolyn has acted as project manager for a number of CSDS Industry and Research projects, coordinates the annual Sustainability Crash Course as part of Pratt’s Green Week event series, and runs the CSDS internship Program. Carolyn also teaches in the Sustainable Environmental Systems Graduate Program, the Industrial Design Department, and the Sustainable Design Certificate Program at Pratt Institute.

“Pratt’s new Sustainable Design Certificate program is unique. It fills the gap for all those professional adults who aren’t considering enrolling in a degree program but who are dedicated to innovative design and sustainability; and who seek to strengthen their skill set, complete a portfolio and obtain a certificate in this important and growing field.”

At the Brooklyn Fashion and Design Accelerator (BF+DA) Carolyn has created a resource center, called the s.Lab, for the BF+DA to integrate Life Cycle Thinking into the design process. Her role at the BF+DA is to mentor Venture Fellows around their sustainability mission using her knowledge of Life Cycle Assessment Tools, Sustainable Design Strategies, and Environmental Impacts of various materials. Carolyn holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English (Smith College) and a Master’s degree in Industrial Design (Pratt Institute).

Tetsu Ohara (Voices of Pratt)

Tetsu Ohara

Tetsu Ohara is an Adjunct Associate Professor and Departmental Sustainability Coordinator in the School of Design at Pratt Institute. His commitment to integrating “smart design” (sustainable solutions as part of the design proposal) has resulted in exceptional graduate students’ works since 2007. Tetsu teaches qualifying level core design studio and interior options lab (Sustainability + Biomimicry).

He also leads the Pratt Sustainability Coalition in order to organize the annual GreenWeek (campus-wide event showcasing green proposal/ ideas/ seminars/ lectures). Through this work, Tetsu has recently received the Positive Impact Award under the Leadership in Sustainable Design Education category from the Brooklyn Fashion and Design Accelerator (BF+DA). This led Tetsu to the academic consultant and teaching opportunity for Pratt SCPS’s new Sustainable Design Certificate Program. With an architectural degree from the College of Environmental Design at U.C. Berkeley, Tetsu uses his knowledge and experience to engage in lectures about Sustainability in NYC. He is also a partner at SpatialDesignStudio, Inc., practicing interior architecture in Asia, Europe and the U.S. The office integrates green design in each project whenever possible.

Carlos Ibarra (Voices of Pratt)

Carlos Ibarra

Carlos Ibarra is an actor, writer, director and producer. As an actor, he has appeared in various features, commercials, short films, regional and off broadway productions including Netflix’s upcoming show “The Good Cop,” Sony’s “Rough Night” and TBS’s “Adam Ruins Everything.”

In 2012, he founded 4 & 1 Siblings Productions and produced the award winning short, “Botes al Amanecer.” His feature script, “Corredor,” was a 2nd Round Qualifier at 2014’s Sundance Institute Writer’s Lab and a NALIP Media Market Finalist. In 2016, the script was nominated for a Best Script and Best Original Idea award at the Oaxaca Film Festival.

In 2015, Carlos became the 1st Latino to run across America, raising funds for inner city youth. His journey can be seen in the docu-series, “Run Carlos Run.” The series was a 2016 NALIP Media Market selection and is currently in development with PBS and ITVS. Carlos has presented the project at over 25 universities, including a special presentation for Mexican President, Enrique Peña Nieto.

Currently, Carlos works as a Development Executive at 141 Entertainment. Projects include: “Ingrid Goes West,” “Marjorie Prime,” and “Revolving Doors.”

Carlos holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Carlos teaches Pratt SCPS’s Two-Week Summer Intensive course: “Accessing Your Authentic Voice: Improvisation and Public Speaking” for adult learners—a unique immersion learning experience that combines creative play and business communication toward mastering public speaking skills.

Austin Robey (Voices of Pratt)

Austin Robey

My name is Austin Robey. I graduated from the Bachelor of Architecture program in 2011, and started Make Mode, a creative 3D printing studio, in 2013. In the first year of the company’s existence, I took classes in the Certificate of Design Entrepreneurship program that had a real impact on the direction and thought process driving the company. Coming from studying design, starting a business was a daunting learning curve; but after finding out about the CDE classes, I jumped at the opportunity. Two classes in particular had lasting lessons that stood out.

After absorbing the lessons from John Bruce’s class, “Engaging Your Market – Branding and Social Media,” our thought process behind the company became far more focused. We developed a much more clear vision for our brand and our value proposition, and ended up changing our name and re-branding ourselves. I still think about questions that arose from this class regularly.

I also took “Starting a Design Business” taught by Rebecca Pailes Friedman. Working through the brass and tacks of a business model canvas forced us to be more disciplined about finding out our customer segments and revenue streams. Since taking both these CDE classes, our company, Make Mode, has had two consecutive years of 100% revenue growth, and has introduced new products, services, and classes.

As of November 26, 2018, I’ve since launched Ampled, a web based platform that allows music artists to be directly supported by their listeners.

Visit Austin’s company website.

Alexis Karl (Voices of Pratt)

Alexis Karl

I received my MFA in figurative painting at The New York Academy of Art, Graduate School of Figurative Art, and BFA in painting at Cornell University.

My paintings, multimedia, fragrance, and performance works have been exhibited in New York City, Italy, and the United Kingdom, most notably at The Whitney Biennial, Corcoran Museum of Art, The Morbid Anatomy Museum, and Stephen Romano Gallery. A selection of work has been featured in The New York Post, London Times, Art News, ARCO Japan, Gothic Beauty Magazine, and various blogs, radio, and television spots. I am a perfumer and owner of Scent By Alexis and co-owner of House Of Cherry Bomb.

As an art teacher, my main interest is in classical techniques, narrative painting, art and fashion at Pratt Institute, figurative painting, fragrance and art at The School of Visual Art, and as a regular lecturer on art, fashion, and fragrance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Morbid Anatomy Museum.

I had a rather unique childhood spent in a cemetery (my father’s business), where I could wander through the grounds creating intricate stories and drawings of ghosts and imaginary beings within. This has served to inspire my dark, haunting multimedia works as an adult.

In April 2017 at the Pratt SCPS Gallery, I was one of three featured faculty artist in the exhibition, Eye of the Beholder. In May 2017, I proudly launched The Cult of Fashion course, concluding with a fashion show curated by the students, modeling their wearable art on the runway. This October 2017, my work will be on view again in the Pratt SCPS Gallery in a new exhibition.

You’re invited to join me on this mystical, magical journey!

Click here to learn more about Alexis Karl.


Kelly Worman (Voices of Pratt)

Photo: Kelly Worman

My relationship to Pratt is a rich one. I joined the MFA program in 2009, with a concentration in Painting and Drawing. I was in awe of the creative community that surrounded me, and graduated the program in 2011 with an enriched practice. While I continued my painting practice, I also started a curatorial practice, including many of my peers from the Pratt community. I spent some time in London, and when I returned I joined the Pratt Alumni Advisory, and became more involved with the Alumni community. I participated in a few Post-Pratt Panel Discussions, and moderated one on Artist as Curator. I then curated the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Alumni Exhibitions, and this year I am co-curating a booth at Untitled Art Fair in Miami for the Pratt Fine Arts Department benefiting the artists and a new MFA scholarship. In 2016, I started teaching Color Theory for Artists and Designers in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, as color is a central part of both my curatorial and painting practices. This semester I am also teaching Color, Light, and Design Lab in the Foundations Department, as well as an upcoming workshop on hanging artwork for SCPS early in the new year. As you can see, Pratt Institute has been an enormous part of my creative journey, and I am grateful that I am able to continually participate in it’s abundant creative exchange!

Kelly Worman has been an instructor at the School of Continuing and Professional Studies for over two years. She has exhibited at the SCPS Gallery, You+Me+Everyone, Novermber 18 – January 12, 2019 and teaches the following courses this spring: Color Theory and Create A Gallery and Statement Wall Workshop.

Aurélie Lionet (Voices of Pratt)

Aurélie Lionet

Spring 2016 Graduate

I studied business in undergrad, but I have always been interested in design and creation in general. As I considered what I wanted to do, I became more and more interested in design strategy, as I enjoy the idea of using creativity and different design methods to develop better products and services for people and organizations.

When I made the decision to work in a design field, I realized that I needed to get practical digital design skills to help my ideas and goals come to life.

During the Graphic Design Certificate Program, most of my classes were at the Pratt Manhattan campus (144 West 14th Street), which was very convenient for me to access since I live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a few stops away by train. But I also decided to take an industrial design continuing education class as an elective, which was at the Pratt Brooklyn campus. The print lab and the computer lab at the Manhattan campus are very well equipped and provide students a multitude of tools for creation. But I also really like the Brooklyn campus, with its beautiful sculpture park and classrooms.

Thanks to the certificate program, I was able to work part-time during my studies, and I landed a great internship at a user experience design firm, which has now turned into a job.

The certificate program director was very supportive in helping me secure an internship and made sure I could juggle it with the program. The classes enabled me to add actionable and diverse skills to my résumé, which my employer really liked.

I think that having digital design skills are critical nowadays, whether it’s for a professional purpose or a personal one. I see the certificate program and the classes I took as a pillar for my creative projects and my career—something I’ll use to leave my mark.

View Aurélie Lionet’s portfolio.

Chloe Wolff (Voice of Pratt)

Chloe Wolff


It has always been my childhood dream to become a creative. I did not have specific career goals when I entered the Computer Graphics program (having spent most of my education and career in a business or corporate setting); it was really just the sheer joy of being in design school for the first time in my life that was my real motivation. Fortunately, the design skills I learned from Pratt almost immediately led to freelance opportunities. Eventually, I built the courage to start my own consultancy, Wildspring Creative Studio. This is my way of giving back to society by helping social enterprises and small impact-focused businesses strengthen their brand identity.