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Agent Orientation: Get the Rundown

Your adventure begins now trainee.

Welcome to Creative Crusade

Home for Highlands Ranch High School Graphic Design and Photography

Creative Crusade is a starting point that students use for direction in digital design research and skill building. My online lessons, or quests as I refer to them, give guidance for many self-directed learning opportunities within our course. Creative Crusade has been used as a gamified learning platform and location that students address them many different learning opportunities that arise over the many semester student return to this class. I work to maintain a student center and often self-paced learning environment that encourages self exploration in newly presented design challenges. As a teacher I maintain a very high expectation of my students while expecting self accountability. While I try to keep parameters of assignments very wide open I will always emphasize that absolutely nothing in life or education can replace a high level of Effort. I hope that all students feel pushed and have full with digital design over the coming semesters.

Mission Possible

Be Ready to be Great because You Can.

Learn to survive and thrive in our self-paced, self-directed, gamified learning environment.

Continue through orientation by clicking through these slides with the arrow to the right.

BEWARE: Take your time, read carefully, and consider the implications of what you’re about to encounter.


Continue through orientation by clicking through these slides with the arrow to the right.

CIA: Creative Institute of Artisans

CIA is our GAME.

As a member of the CIA you’ll battle the insidious forces of apathy and wasted potential.

You’ll earn Gold, XP, and Honor as you level up, develop your skills, and carve out a place of your own in the Institute.

Learn to use these new skills on real-world projects to help yourself succeed in other areas of life, too.

Your Effort = Your Grade

It's as simple as you make it.

Consistent, persistent effort leads to long-term success.

Embrace the Institute’s policies and expectations, play by the rules, and focus on your work instead of your grade.

If you’re unwilling to give it your all—to try your best—then in essence you have already accepted failure.

Find Your ZIM!

ZIM is the Zone of Intrinsic Motivation.

The diagram to the left describes a conversation, a negotiation, and for those who find their ZIM, a celebration.

Read the previous sentence one more time. Do you understand the opportunity available?

Offers like this are very rare. Don't discount how how much the Captain values ZIM, meaning you.


AMP, another of our guiding principles, stands for Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose.

Once earned, AMP will offer you creative freedom and an opportunity to meet and exceed your own expectations while contributing to a compelling cause.

AMP is another piece of the intrinsic motivation puzzle.

Earning AMP takes effort over time. AMP will often be more commonly accessed after your first semester in the CIA.


You’ll be offered the opportunity to choose and negotiate your own creative path.

Dedication and a willingness to learn and play by the rules are the keys to unlocking this door.

Autonomy is an earned privilege not a right. While it will be offered if can occasionally be requested as well.

When negotiating for autonomy, it’s always a good idea to refer to ZIM to maximize your leverage.


Mastery is something you’ll strive for but never reach.

You’ll learn to reject notions of “good enough” as you discover that you’re capable of achieving so much more.

You’ll come to understand that “good enough” seldom is.

Understand that mastery is a journey, not a destination.


Our purpose is to prove to the world that high school students can and will survive and thrive in a well-designed, self-paced, self-directed, gamified learning environment.

We want to make learning fun and engaging once again.

We will do this together. The CIA is a team not a teacher.

Why complain when together we can design, test, and implement new solutions for learning instead? YOU are integral to the CIA's future success.

Code of Honor

As a member of the CIA, you’ll be required to embrace and abide by our Code of Honor.

You will face and overcome apathy, discover untapped potential, embody integrity, and dare to dream:

What if… ?

Perseverance, honor, and integrity will help you to unlock doors in the real world, too.

Give it your all

How often do you try—really try—to do something you’ve never done before?

How will you ever know what you’re actually capable of unless you do just that?

What if you could attempt it, risk-free?

Don’t squander this opportunity to discover something important about yourself.

Don't Stress

Work at your own pace. Don’t worry about being first or last because it’s not a race.

Give it your all, day after day, and you’ll accomplish things you never imagined were within your reach.

The only way to fail is to stop trying.

Believe every word because it’s absolutely true.

Super Hero

It happens every year.

Some quiet kid works day in, day out, never drawing attention to herself. Then one day, the dedication and perseverance pay off. Jaws drop and respect blossoms.

She developed her own creative superpower.

It’s so much more fun to work hard and improve one’s self than to waste time and grow bored.


It happens every semester.

Some random kid wastes time day in, day out, never really learning much at all. Then one day, the apathy and wasted potential sink in. Self-respect dips and frustration blossoms.

He’s trapped in his own black hole of boredom and must still confront the poor choices made.

It hard to overcome wasted opportunity.

It’s so much more fun to work hard and improve one’s self than to waste time and grow bored.

Cruelty-Free Zone

The CIA is a safe haven for all students.

We support one another and watch each other’s backs.

We are compassionate and kind but we do not tolerate the cowardice and insecurity of bullies.

Our differences are inspiring and are embraced and encouraged.

Be part of the solution and rise above the casual cruelty many teens inflict on one another.

Have Fun

Think about it…

Easy isn’t fun, hard is.

Wasting time isn’t fun, accomplishing something is.

Mastering a new skill is fun. Rising to a challenge is fun. Creating amazing art is fun. Hearing other kids say, “Wow!” about your work is fun. Being featured on the Internet is fun.

Try to have some fun every day. Fun is important!

Your Work Station

Seating is assigned so roll can be taken silently, without disrupting class.

However, at some point soon, you’ll be given the opportunity to choose where you’d like to sit.

Consider this an opportunity to meet someone new to your right or left.

Patience, Grasshopper. Everyone should be plugged into Creative Crusade before we get our personal machines.

Be Ready

“What am I supposed to do? I’m so confused!”

You are expected to be in your seat when the bell rings.

Every day.

Important information is almost always announced within the first minute of class beginning. Often these instructions may direct you to a specific page on the website.

Never ask, “What are we doing today?”

Your Guides and Directors



Meet our Team


Coulson runs the Art Mac Lab.

He love's Graphic Design and even did it as a career for a few years.

While he love's teaching graphic design his days of standing and preaching are over.

He's now on a mission to change what learning can be with the goal of creating a new, fun, awesome, motivating experience in design for everyone.

If you have a question, ask it. If you have a suggestion, offer it. If something is wrong, tell him. (He isn’t psychic and he isn't perfect either)

The Captain

The Captain controls the Creative Crusade, the GAME, and the other in-game characters you’re about to meet.

The Captain is firm but fair and he wants you to succeed and will push you to be your best.

The Captain has no patience or compassion for flatliners (those who give up and stop trying).

Don’t test the Captain.

Demetrius: Research and Development

Demetrius coordinates the CIA’s preparation guide.

You’ll encounter Demetrius when the Captain wants to introduce radically new ideas.

And we have some radically new ideas waiting for you to encounter very shortly.

He'll also will walk you through everything new as we get you setup as a proper CIA cadet.

Keep an open mind and don’t be afraid of change.

Polex: Policy and Expectations

What Polex lack in social skills, they make up for in clarity of purpose. (Yes, Polex is plural.)

Polex will covey policies and expectations—the rules and regulations, if you prefer—in no uncertain terms.

Every game has rules. Ours is no exception.

Agent Paine: The Enforcer

Paine is the Captain's hammer.

This year, if you cross the Captain (and you’ve been warned not to do that) you’ll definitely encounter Paine.

But you may not realize it ever happened unless you pay close attention to your loot.

Paine has a new weapon. And he can’t wait to use it.

Work hard, embody honor and integrity, and you’ll never have to fear the Paine.

TimiD: Enlightenment

How important are grades? Don't allow grades to intimidate you like Timi used to.

One of you will see the art and read the words and think that you’re not capable of succeeding.

It’s too hard. It’s too much. It’s too good. I can’t do it.

Timi will tell you: You’re wrong. Try every day and don’t give up—that is success.

Overcome your own fears and learn the value of long-term goals. The Captain simply wants you to try your best every day.

Yuna: Creative Director

Yuna coordinates all creative endeavors.

She’ll get you up and running with our software and with projects designed to hone your skills.

We don’t have tests. You learn by doing.

And in doing, you show what you know.

You might want to master Yuna’s techniques because what you don’t know will show, too.

The Whiz: Your Tech Guru

The Whiz is a true techie at heart.

You’ll need to be patient and practice The Whiz’s lessons carefully.

The Whiz may be a bit over the top but he’ll teach you an array of technical skills you’ll need to master in order to function effectively and efficiently within the Guild.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. (Often)

Basil: The Game Master

Basil lives and breathes gaming and he wants your help in improving our game.

We write the code, play the game, and refine its features.

He'll give all the hints you need for game success but he'll ask for your help in return.

The game is designed to motivate and engage students. And it’s doing that in classrooms around the world.

We’re looking for new hooks to make learning more fun.

Why waste time complaining about school when you can actually do something to improve it?

Virtu: Truth and Integrity

If you don't have integrity nothing else much matters.

Virtu has made his mark instilling and tracking the Integrity of new agents.

His hope is to help you see the value of honor in the CIA so that you won't be faced with Agent Paine later

Value our Code of Honor and you will earn great respect from the Captain.

Risco: Risk Taking Mentor

Taking risks can be scary, but rewarding.

Risco will support and encourage your ability to take risks.

Most of the greatest successes in our history came about because of risks.

Risks will payoff in the CIA as well.

Craver: Director of ZIM

Craver will keep you grounded and ready.

He is focused on motivation.

If we have motivation in life we will overcome challenges.

Without it far too often Agents quit.

Find your ZIM, and nothing will stop you.

Too Much Information

It can be a bit overwhelming.

Our classroom is a learning environment unlike any you’ve ever encountered.

The Captain understands that it will take you time to acclimate and feel comfortable with the CIA’s freedoms and responsibilities.

Think of it as an adventure.

How Will I Remember?

You’re not being asked to memorize it.

You’re being asked to consider it.

Consider the information and its implications.

A better question might be: How might I use this to my advantage?

Tools for notes and practice will be necessary and provided soon.

Reread. Review. Rethink. 

CIA Policy

Be logged in and working when the tardy bell rings.

Warning: Don't logout early either. The Captain doesn't take kindly to agents waiting at the door to leave

Excessive tardies, absences, or any truancies or misbehavior will cause in-game damage, slowing your progress and potentially lowering your grade. Polex will supply the details.

You will be offered multiple options to repair any damage incurred.


If you’re a Creative Crusade student and have reached this slide on our first day, well done, but…

Did you take your time, read carefully, and consider the implications of what you encountered?

And it seems no one took the initiative and read this slide prior to today.

Why not?

As Saint-Exupéry’s Little Prince says, “One never knows.”

Click to Take Flight


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Continue on with your Orientation below

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Go get ‘em!


Welcome to The CIA.

As a part of our CIA agents work their way through challenges and quests to learn new skills while gaining accolades, experieince, and of course gold!

The Creative Institute of Artisans is our game that will map your journey in design this semester. Creative crusade is the website resource through which communication and answers to all your questions are available at all hours of every day.


Our collections of resource link grows by the week. As far as digital design goes we’ve got something for everyone and we are always looking for more great sites. Don’t ever forget about this simple page as inspiration for great ideas can NEVER be under valued. If you find a new resource get it added to the list!



Our students create some of the best artwork in the nation every year. Perhaps they can inspire you as well as give you some insight into what is possible with hard work and effort.


Frequently Asked Questions

Click the login button at the upper left corner of the page.

Your Username should be the same as your district username.

You cannot change your Username. Your Displayname, however, can and should be changed when you edit your profile. This is what you will be called in CreativeCrusade.

If you lose your password, request a new one in the login screen.

Captain's log
This will be used as a bulletin board for events, awards, competitions, or other noteworthy pieces of information.

Here is a link to your Passport Application.

Inspiring Quotes
Past quotes from the front page:

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.   – Thomas A. Edison