I recently noticed that the GDAA published their list of questions for students to ask games education/training institutions, it's at http://www.gdaa.asn.au/studentchecklist.doc . I think it is missing some rather important questions, for example:
1)Does the institution require students to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement?
2)Who owns the work created by students during the course?
3)Who owns work created by students outside of the course, whilst they are undertaking the course?
4)Do the students have to agree to their work being used to promote the institution and the courses before studies commence?
5)Can the students work be used in commercial games by a "sponsor" company, without any financial renumeration coming to the student?
6)Do the tutors/lecturers have any other educational experience?
7)If they do, where was it and for how long?
7)How qualified are the tutors/lecturors?
8)Are the tutors/lecturers mostly graduates of the institution itself?
9)What links with other educational/training institutions does the institution have?
10)Is there a Student Representative Council (SRC) at the institution?
11)If so, what have they done for the student body?
12)If not, why not?
13)Does the institution encourage membership of the National Union of Students?
14)If not, why not?
15)If the institution offers a programming stream, does it cover a broad range of programming techniques and topics, or is it "straight into games"?
16)Do the students develop their own game engine and then make a game with it as part of the curriculum, or do they just use a pre-made engine?
17)If the institution offers an art stream, does it cover drawing as well as texturing and modeling?
18)Does the course cover non-commercial art?
I'm sure there are plenty more questions that could be asked, this is just a ten minute effort on my part. Perhaps other sumeans would assist?
A few more questions:
1)If there is a contract and/or NDA to be signed, do the students get to see it/take it away for legal advice before having paid any fees (including non-refundable "administration" fees)? Does the institution encourage students to seek legal advice before signing? What happens if a student refuses to sign without alterations?
2)If there is a sponsor company, how many of the institution's graduates have they hired? How many are still employed by the sponsor in a full-time capacity?
3)Have the institution's staff made real and peer recognised contributions to their personal fields of expertise?
You got a good list of questions there, Lorien. Looks like you're looking out for the interest of other students [;)]
For the lazy, here's the list that the GDAA provided. It would be great if all courses provided a FAQ which answered these questions..
The following checklist has been prepared for students and parents to use when reviewing potential game courses and educational institutions.
What links does the course have with the games industry?
Is there anyone in the game industry that could be spoken to regarding the course?
How long has the institution been offering games courses?
Have any of the graduates found work in the industry? Where are they now working?
Does the course offer separate specialized programming and art streams?
If they offer a programming course, does it teach 3D game programming using C and C++?
If they offer an art course, does it teach 3D game art production?
Does the course explore game console development rather than just PC development?
Is the development software that is used in the course also used in the games industry?
If the answer is yes what development studios are using this software?
Is the equipment at a sufficient level to run this type of software?
Do the tutors/lecturers have any professional industry experience?
If they do, where was it and for how long?
Does the institution have any other links with the games industry apart from course development?
Some questions about the document itself:
1)Is this a document with any student input?
2)If so, what student organisations were asked to assist in preparing it?
3)Do the organisations involved have a record of helping students?
4)Might this be a list of questions an institution might like to be asked?
5)Does the GDAA's website look funny if you leave out the "www."?