This is an interesting question for someone of hybrid origins such as myself - when I first studied art and graphic design, Xacto skills were definitely part of the expectation, and there were no explicit drills - simply an expectation of competence; and as a whole, that expectation was met.
Later, when I returned to Uni as a "re-entry" student, changing fields to architecture, Xacto, craftknife and utility knife skills were very much in the fore, in use not just for graphic design exercises but also model building - basswood, balsa wood, foam, foamcore, toothpicks, skewers, pressboard, cardboard, acrylic, lucite and illustration board all being commonly-used materials - with all the obvious expectations of craft, trueness of angles, clean, light-tight intersections and joints (learning to mitre on tiny corners) and there was a clear dichotomy beginning then between those with manual and digital skills, and those with only digital skills.
I returned to that environment some few years ago, and saw that at that time, the digital skills were excellent, but the manual skills far less common, and those who had them reached a lower standard, having had no-one else to compete with or catch up with.
I've been told that now, there's a sort of backlash - there's a new emphasis in architectural design on physical models, both 3D printed / rapid prototyped and traditionally handbuilt, with the result that the crop now in design classes should come out with stronger, more integrated skills.
Where I'm headed with this lengthy exposition is that for many students, the gee-whizz factor combined with the self-awareness of craft factor can be seriously jump started by designing a very basic but interesting building form at say 3/32"=1' scale, with a pitched roof with a clerestory for daylighting, lightshelves / solar control on the main glazed facade, deep overhangs on the pitched roof, and challenging the students to cut and build to a standard such that they can light the resulting model with a desk task light and judge the daylighting impact of the lightshelves, overhangs, clerestories, skylights etc.
You have them photograph the results and turn those images into a presentation board about the project.
This provides an inbuilt incentive for light-tight craftsmanship, it's fun, the resulting models are great bragging rights, and show them how they can assemble parts to end up with a wholly different contiguous item.