4.3 Reflection on Practice

Candidates analyze and interpret data and artifacts and reflect on the effectiveness of the design, development and implementation of technology-supported instruction and learning to enhance their professional growth.

Project #8: Worked Example Screencast

This week was a bit difficult for me as I was tasked with creating a worked example screencast for one of my courses.  Worked examples are not a foreign concept for me, and are often created by the math faculty at the university in which I am employed.  I was initially going to create a worked example on how to use the Lightboard technology we have, but I needed more training on the process.  Therefore, I asked my co-instructional designer her opinion on what we needed a worked example for, and we decided I should create one on how to create an accessible syllabus.

I was lucky that I already had so many technology options at my disposal because of my job.  I decided to use Camtasia to record my screencast and audio.  Before I could even begin recording, I had to revise the syllabus template we were using previously and send it off for approval.  Then, I had to write my script.  I wanted to use the quizzing feature within Camtasia, so I wrote a brief quiz for the video.

Finally, it was time to record.  I had difficulty with my mic, but eventually figured it out.  I was able to use my mic, but not my headphones as I only have on plug-in, but two cables for my headset.  I recorded the video and audio in sections, spliced the sections together, and then added call-outs, captions, a title screen, and arrows to show where I was clicking in the video.  All in all, the entire process from start to finish probably took about five hours.

I’d like to describe my video in greater detail.  One of the things our eLearning department requires is for instructors to create an accessible syllabus.  We are looking for the syllabus to be properly set up for a screen reader to easily relay the information to the screen reader user.  Headings and blank characters have been the main problems in the syllabi we have reviewed in the past, therefore those two areas became my focus, along with how to run an accessibility checker.  For the purpose of this assignment, I will not be providing the documents shown in the video as I do not have permission.  The content within the video is meant for GFCMSU faculty only, but could become Creative Commons if I pursue it.

I thoroughly enjoyed creating this worked example.  It provided me with the understanding of just how time consuming it can be to create excellent content.  I can further empathize with the instructors I assist because of this assignment.

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Photo of instructor Alyssa Finch using a light board to teach math

Project #7: Google Slides Presentation

Click here to view slideshow

This week I was tasked with creating a static multimedia slideshow using Google Slides.  I have used Google Slides for a few years, and I appreciate the simple templates that, if used properly, tend to meet the best practices for multimedia design.  I also like that you can view the speaker notes when presenting, which is how I recommend you view my slideshow that I have linked to above.

If I had more time for this project, I would have integrated some higher-level thinking questions to improve the transfer of learning.  While the presentation itself is not an example of the Worked Example principle, I can definitely integrate some of the principle’s recommendations into the presentation.

I felt it was important to include some of the ways the college I work at uses the Worked Example principle, and I think I explained the Lightboard technology rather well.  I plan to utilize the Lightboard to create next week’s project.  Interestingly enough, the Worked Example I will be creating is “How to Use the Lightboard” as many instructors are not aware of how to use it.

Although this is included in the first slide of the presentation, I want to note that the presentation was based upon the following book:

Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2008). E-learning and the science of instruction, 2nd                           edition. Pfeiffer: San Francisco, CA.

Effective Use of White Space in Graphic Design

The Community of Inquiry Framework

As I continue to create the graphics needed for my online course about the CoI Framework, I remembered that I needed a banner for my website.  I focused on how to effectively use white space as I created my banner.  White space does not have to be “white”, per se.  Essentially, white space can be described as negative space, or the portions of the screen that are not filled with text or graphics.  White space is used effectively between lines of text and paragraphs, if you’d like to compare white space to something you commonly see.

The justification for my graphic above in relation to white space demonstrates the variety of ways white space can be effective.

Justification of White Space-Considered Design

  1. Describe your users (people that will see the typography in the unit).

The users of my unit will be educators, either undergraduate or graduate level, that are learning the Community of Inquiry (COI) Framework in relation to online course design.  It is assumed that they are adults with at least one student experience in online education.  The users would be capable of reading college-level material.

      2. Why does your design solution work?

Lohr (2008) describes white space as a way to draw attention to important content.  The white space and symmetry used in the heading are to help the user focus.  Initially, I was concerned about using the graphic I selected because I was afraid that it was causing trapped space.  Trapped space can draw the user’s attention to parts of the page that are unimportant (Lohr, 2008).  I decided that trapped space was not a problem in the graphic because of the angle at which the graphic is, thus almost giving it a three-dimensional effect (not flat on the page, or only two-dimensional).  Also, the lightness of the dashes between the people helps to not create a trapped space effect.

3.  What did you learn from the “user-test”?

My user-test was performed on the same individual from last week’s assignment.  He said that the white space was adequate.

4.  What changes did you make to the design after the user-test?

I have not made any changes because the feedback was positive.  I will if my classmates indicate a change needs to be made.

References

Lohr, L. (2008). Creating graphics for learning and performance (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle                    River, NJ: Pearson Education

Organization Principle in Graphic Design

 

Steps to get started COI (2).png

The organization principle recommends the use of “chunking” information in order to make the most important information the primary focus of the graphic (Lohr, 2008).  For this project, I selected the top three “take-aways” that I want my students to focus on when they begin to design their courses using the CoI Framework.  In order to create my “chunks”, I had to review the three presences in their entirety and focus on the big ideas, rather than the small considerations made throughout the section.  The process was time consuming, but will help the learners get started in their CoI Framework course designs.

Justification of Organization-Considered Design

  1. Describe your users (people that will see the typography in the unit).

The users of my unit will be educators, either undergraduate or graduate level, that are learning the Community of Inquiry (COI) Framework in relation to online course design.  It is assumed that they are adults with at least one student experience in online education.  The users would be capable of reading college-level material.

      2. Why does your design solution work?

The most important information regarding the three presences are chunked into sequential lists.  I considered the “seven to nine” rule while determining what information was going to be presented.  All of the presences are have something that is difficult for the learners to create, therefore I did not represent the information hierarchically.   I had the information horizontal instead of vertical, but I want the learners to be able to easily print this graphic, and the text boxes when horizontal were too large.  I did my best to make the sections the same distance apart in order to create represent equal importance.

3.  What did you learn from the “user-test”?

My user-test was performed on the same individual from last week’s assignment.  He viewed the horizontal version and agreed that the information should be vertical.

4.  What changes did you make to the design after the user-test?

I have not made any changes because the feedback was positive.  I will if my classmates indicate a change needs to be made.

References

Lohr, L. (2008). Creating graphics for learning and performance (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle                    River, NJ: Pearson Education

Project #4: Prezi

View the presentation here: http://bit.ly/2mXjrgA

For the past two weeks, I have been working on a narrated Prezi presentation on the Modality Principle.  Essentially, the Modality Principle determines when narration versus on-screen text would be the best mode of content delivery for graphic-based presentations.  I explain more about the Modality Principle in the link above.

The Prezi was very easy to create.  I selected a template from the variety of templates available.  I chose a balance as the Modality Principle is all about balancing the learners’ cognitive load.  I then chose a color scheme that had good contrast.

The interesting thing about Prezi is that the presentations as path-based, meaning that there is a larger graphic and the presentation then zooms in on smaller sections of the graphic.  This visual helps learners understand that the small sections of content are a part of something much larger.  I really like the analogy presented in this manner.

I did not experience any problems while creating my Prezi or voice overs.  It was very easy to add narration to the pathways.  I only wish that there was a setting to zoom in more on the graphic, such as a “grow” effect.  However, this is just a personal preference.

In summary, creating a narrated presentation with Prezi is a breeze.  If you have any feedback on the presentation, I’d love to hear it.

Selection Principle in Graphic Design

cognitive-presence-1

This week I learned about the selection principle in relation to graphic design.  Lohr (2008) states that a graphic should be concise, concentrated, and concrete to maximize selection.  Additionally, the designer should consider the “figure”, or what the learner will pay attention to, and the “ground”, or what the learner will not pay attention to when designing a graphic.

My justification below highlights how I considered the three “C’s” when designing the above graphic.

Justification of Selection-Considered Design

  1. Describe your users (people that will see the typography in the unit).

The users of my unit will be educators, either undergraduate or graduate level, that are learning the Community of Inquiry (COI) Framework in relation to online course design.  It is assumed that they are adults with at least one student experience in online education.  The users would be capable of reading college-level material.

      2. Why does your design solution work?

Concise: I reduced the amount of visual information by keeping fonts and colors basic.  I had originally designed the graphic with a gray background and a black silhouette which caused problems with figure and ground by drawing the attention to the silhouette instead of the words inside the graphic.  The switch to a plain white background and a light gray silhouette helped solve the problem.

Concentrated:  I kept the information in the graphic to the key terms only, instead of defining what each word means.  The definitions of the terms will come in the instruction instead.  This graphic is meant to be a “quick look”, so being concise was necessary.  Additionally, only a silhouette was used in a non-attention grabbing color with the words written inside of the oval where the brain would be.

Concrete: The use of the graphic showing the words inside the brain makes it apparent that the words relate to the brain as a whole.

3.  What did you learn from the “user-test”?

My user-test was performed on the same individual from last week’s assignment.  He helped me determine that the random placements of the words inside the brain made it difficult to read the words, and he suggested I align the words in the way you now see in the graphic.

4.  What changes did you make to the design after the user-test?

I changed the word placement and alignment.  I also tested the black versus gray silhouette just to see figure/ground in action, and we determined the gray silhouette was needed to reduce where the learner’s attention is drawn.

 

References

Lohr, L. (2008). Creating graphics for learning and performance (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle                    River, NJ: Pearson Education

Design Process Models and the Development of a Graphic Organizer

community-of-inquiry-framework-graphic-overview-page-1-3

This week, I had the opportunity to read about various design process models and how to use them.  I was already familiar with the instructional design process called ADDIE (analysis, design, development, implement, and evaluate), but the design process I learned about this week went a step farther.  Essentially, I learned that within the ADDIE process, there are additional design processes to consider.  When developing graphics for instruction, the instructional designer must also follow ACE (analyze, create, evaluate) during the design and development portions of the ADDIE model.  While following ACE, the instructional designer must also consider PAT (principles, actions, and tools) to enhance the design of the graphic (Lohr, 2008, p. 91-94).

I practiced my newfound knowledge by creating a graphic organizer that segments the entire unit into “chunks”.  I had to use ACE while considering PAT.  Here is an overview of my process: 1. Analyze: I thought about the goals for my graphic.  Essentially, I wanted the learner to be able to see each of the three presences within the Community of Inquiry Framework, and the individual subsections and descriptions.  I determined the purpose was organization.  2. Create: I considered principles, and I knew with the large amount of text that I did not want any decorative graphics to detract from the information.  The actions of CARP (contrast, alignment, repetition, and proximity) were considered as I thought about the design.  Finally, I thought about what typeface I wanted, if I wanted to use color, and what shape the bubbles should be.  3.  Evaluate:  After I created the graphic using LucidChart, I reviewed my design.  I then conducted a user-test, which you can read the results of below.

Justification of Graphic Organizer Design

  1. Describe your users (people that will see the typography in the unit).

The users of my unit will be educators, either undergraduate or graduate level, that are learning the Community of Inquiry (COI) Framework in relation to online course design.  It is assumed that they are adults with at least one student experience in online education.  The users would be capable of reading college-level material.

      2. Why does your design solution work?

This graphic organizer takes the entire COI Framework and divides it into sections.  The colors help to divide the organizer into three evident sections according to “presence”.  The lines help the user navigate through the subsections, with each bubble becoming more specific in relation to the parent section.

3.  What did you learn from the “user-test”?

My user-test was performed on the same individual from last week’s assignment.  He stated that it was evident that there were three distinct categories, but also a variety of subcategories.  He stated that the organization chart was easy to follow.

4.  What changes did you make to the design after the user-test?

I did not make any changes to the graphic after the user-test.  When I initially evaluated the graphic myself, I did not have three colors to help divide the graphic.  I knew color would help create distinction, so I added color prior to the user-test.

In summary, the ACE with PAT process incorporated into the ADDIE process definitely works.  It is easy to get overwhelmed with the big picture, and ACE helped to isolate a portion of the curriculum development that is a necessary “part of the whole”.

References

American Public University System (2016). The Community of Inquiry. Retrieved                                    from http://www.apus.edu/ctl/faculty/community-of-inquiry/

Lohr, L. (2008). Creating graphics for learning and performance (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle                    River, NJ: Pearson Education