Week 10 — Color and Depth

March 28, 2011 at 2:52 am (ED TECH 506) (, , , , , )

The ideas of color and depth are very important, this is clear. How many times have I seen or been guilty of overcrowding a page for no apparent reason? Layers upon layers and color upon color definitely do not always serve a great purpose. At the same time, I am also as guilty as anyone of being drawn to the attractive and interesting over the bland and simple when reading, surfing the Web, learning, etc. So, wherein lies the balance? That, of course, is the trick, and one that I am not always cognizant of when building Web resources or other classroom resources.

The idea of really focusing attention on the right place and communicating information in the most efficient manner are keys to using color and depth correctly. There are simply facets of the larger ideas we have been studying this semester, but very important ones. Thankfully, I have access to Adobe’s Kuler tool, otherwise I would have no chance to approaching the color question very well. Hopefully, I will be able to take some of these lessons forward with me throughout this semester and future courses.

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Week 9 Selection Principle

March 22, 2011 at 12:31 am (ED TECH 506) (, , , )

The assignment for this week was challenging for me to complete. I wasn’t sure what graphic to use to really approach the selection principle, and, in the end, I am not convinced that my graphic truly shows the ideas of the principle. I did try to use size, shape, and color to create contrast and delineate a hierarchy within my materials. The idea was to show that I was paying attention to the importance of focusing attention on underlying concepts without distracting from the goals of graphic. I do think I achieved this to some level, although that is not really for me to judge, in the end.

As for going out and finding a graphic for the Twitter posting, that was simpler. I was looking at enough copies of brackets for the men’s NCAA basketball tournament that it only took me a few minutes to think of that as my example. In the end, I do feel like I understand the selection principle, but I also feel that I am beginning to truly press the limits of my creativity and artistic ability with the most recent assignments.

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Week 8 — CARP

March 15, 2011 at 4:36 am (ED TECH 506) (, , , , , , , )

Contrast, alignment, repetition, and proximity are clearly important actions for creating solid instructional graphics. While I feel I have tried to include elements of all these in most of what we have done in the course thus far, it was interesting to have to really focus on the actions. As far as the assignment went, I initially thought I had a great piece to create with my message pulley system instructions. However, as I started to create my document, I quickly began to struggle with the product. In the end, I had to reach back to MS Word for my tables, which is not ideal, but it is the tool I am most capable with, so that is where I went. I did play with the wood grain texture and other textures in creating my model of the pulley system, which has expanded my use of the Fireworks tool set, though, so this did offer some growth there, not just MS Word practice.

At the same time, I found a great example for my Twitter posting for how strong design can be great, but sometimes you lose part of the message. I posted an advertisement I received from Pizza Hut. Only, the only reason I knew it was Pizza Hut was because I know their product. Without that knowledge, I would never have known who was advertising their pizza and other Italian foods. The design was clean, and incorporated aspects of CARP, but the aesthetics were worthless without the title of the company appearing on the page!

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Week 7 — ACE it with PAT

March 8, 2011 at 2:54 am (ED TECH 506) (, , , , , , )

The ACE model (Analyze, Create, Evaluate) builds off of the ADDIE instructional design model, which I thankfully experienced in a previous course at BSU. Having the foundation in ADDIE certainly made this week’s reading and assignment less intimidating. In general, ACE has the feeling of being almost common sense in a way, but, having worked in publishing for so many years, I know first hand how much harder it is to create quality content and graphics than it first seems. I had the same feeling this week as I always do when working through assignments for this class or creating visual materials for my job-related development activities–I found it really hard to think through the design as expressed in the model and tools represented by ACE and PAT.

I can often see the end product, but I have a terrible time getting there. For instance, I wanted to create a Glog for the students using some graphics I had and some new multimedia elements, but I struggled to execute on this vision. I still think the idea was right, but my Glog was less interesting overall than I had hoped. On the positive side, I had already made great strides on this week’s assignment last week with my lesson map for teachers, without evening knowing that I was doing that! For that assignment I went through all three of the keys for ACE, coming up with a gear motif that definitely fit with my content and concept.

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