Posted in 1.1 Creating, 1.2 Using, 2.1 Creating, AECT Standard 1 (Content Knowledge), AECT Standard 2 (Content Pedagogy), Uncategorized

Design Process Model

This week we were tasked with using a design cycle to solve our graphic problems. Interesting enough I seem to be in a ‘design cycle’ cycle as I’ve just finished covering it in two of my classes that I teach and we’ve just done cycles in my other EDTECH class. Generally speaking a design cycle first figures out what a problem is, then brainstorms possible solutions, followed by putting those solutions into action and finally evaluating what worked or didn’t. Chapter 4 in our textbook uses a 3 step cycle called ACE; Analyze, Create, and Evaluate. The introduction image I chose to work on this week had many design challenges and I worked through this cycle a few times, completely switching directions at one point.

GS Intro.png

The image I created is an introduction image to the unit. My class (HS GenTech students) has an established procedure where we analyze any materials we have in the upcoming unit and we come up with the unit’s vocabulary words as a class. For this assignment, I created a graphic organizer for students to use during the process. They will use this handout during other vocab assignments (assuming they do not lose it) as their word bank.

For the design, I am using the same header as last week to keep consistency in my design and create flow throughout the unit. Since this is a worksheet that will get collected, graded, and returned, there is a section for student info in the upper right corner. I am also using a similar layout format with the rounded rectangles to chunk info. Based on class feedback, this time I’ve included numbers to indicate order. The trickiest part for me was laying out the two input sections. The final vocab table needed 10 cells for words which make it an awkward size and the brainstorm table needed a bit of instruction making that arrangement awkward. I’m mostly happy with how the pieces settled into place. While I would prefer the sections to be flipped do to order of use but I feel like the students will be ok with it since they are already familiar with the procedure. The awkward spacing of these sections provided a funny gap that I filled with a superfluous clipart image. While I don’t feel that the image is needed, the worksheet does seem to lack something without it. 

Posted in 1.1 Creating, 1.2 Using, 2.1 Creating, 3.1 Creating, AECT Standard 1 (Content Knowledge), AECT Standard 2 (Content Pedagogy), AECT Standard 3 (Learning Environments)

Using Shapes in Instruction

This week we are tasked with creating instructional materials focusing on the use of shapes. Here is my project:

shapes

The students using this “at a glance” guide are high school technology students. They have already learned about Google Drive, Docs, and Sheets and are familiar with the Google layout. This handout is meant to provide a quick snapshot of the concept of Themes and Masters. Many students have used Google Slides often but do not know about Master pages and the ones who do know, don’t seem to take advantage of the tool. I feel this handout (poster?) provides a quick reminder.

The use of shapes in this handout is throughout the document. The header uses simple shapes to define a heading and title area. These shapes provide for a clean look (Lohr, 2008, p. 250) and tie together with the overall theme of the unit. The arrows bring attention to the main point of each image. I chose the overall display shape based on how many points I wanted to make. (Lohr, 2008, p. 255) In this case, I kept it simple with 4 squares as I didn’t want it to get too busy and move away from an “at a glance” tool.

The person I had test my design gave feedback on the graphic aspect vs the instructional one. Based on this person’s feedback, I can see areas where the spacing could be tightened up, for example between the header and first squares as well as the very bottom of the page. It was also suggested to add a footer similar to the header, I agree that would be a nice touch.

Reference
Lohr, L. (2008). Creating graphics for learning and performance: Lessons in visual literacy(2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson/Merrill/Prentice Hall.

Posted in 1.1 Creating, 1.2 Using, 1.3 Assessing/Evaluating, 3.1 Creating, AECT Standard 1 (Content Knowledge), AECT Standard 3 (Learning Environments)

Typography

Oh how I do so love Typography. I would consider myself a bit of a type snob. I notice subtleties of type that most do not. Things like kerning, leading, and tracking are all big blaring overlooked settings IMO. In fact, if you’re into it like I am, check out this kerning game, I can spend hours kerning mindlessly.

For this assignment, we are tasked with creating typographic images to represent lessons/objectives of a unit of instruction. For my unit, I will be creating materials for lessons on Google Slides. I chose to go with a typogram theme and tried to create literal examples of the type.

rainville-week4-01

The first image is to represent “Presentation“. The main objective of this lesson is to review the big picture rules of creating a presentation. I chose to use the words to outline the shape and the Google Slides “GS” as the content. For the second image, the lesson is about adding and manipulating shapes to your presentation. Therefore the words “Using Shapes” are displayed using shapes. The third lesson focuses on formatting text and images. For this image, I’ve used words to express formatting text and I created a “picture” to indicated formatting an image. For the fourth lesson on collaboration, I have created the outline of a document using the word “collaborate” and added bits of input being added from various directions.

All of the images, since they will be used for the same unit, have commonalities to tie them together, most notably they use the same typeface (Lohr, 2008, p.215). The typeface itself,  Fingerling Tall would be considered a decorative typeface which makes it best for titles and headings. A paragraph with this typeface would be difficult to read (Lohr, 2008, p.224). I feel it works well here because it is boxy enough to create the shapes I needed as well as being readable enough to use for the art itself.

My very simple test consisted of showing the images to my two teenage daughters and my husband. Their opinions are likely biased but they all seemed to understand the overall message. Of course, the act of showing my stuff makes me see the flaws, there are some funky things happening in the last shape, the word collaboration is bent in weird spots.

Lohr, L.L. Creating graphics for learning and performance: Lessons in visual literacy. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson, 2008.

Posted in 1.1 Creating, 1.2 Using, 1.3 Assessing/Evaluating, 1.4 Managing, 4.3 Reflection on Practice, 4.4 Assessing/Evaluating, AECT Standard 1 (Content Knowledge), Uncategorized

Universal Design Example

This week we are tasked with exploring universal design and visual literacy. Universal design is defined as “a usable design of products and environment, accessible to all people” (Lohr, 2008, p. 5). The concept of universal design is broad and covers all design. For the scope of this assignment, I am discussing universal design in relation to visual literacy; or the ability to interpret a message or task based on its visual design elements.

As I reviewed the materials this week, I spent a bit of time thinking about what type of imagery I would use. My intention was to find what I thought was the most obvious imagery that tells a story. My mind always circled back to the bathroom people.

genderneutral

This representative visual tells the user quickly what privacy room to use. While the feminist in me cringes at the dress definition for my gender, I cannot argue the ease people have in reading these signs. The uses of these gender figures is what could be considered a standard, like the international no symbol, to visually represent gender. The example below is the most common use, a restroom sign. I chose this sign to represent the use of these symbols because of the layout used. I feel like the layout itself is another standard followed. Designing using already defined standards and practices makes it easier for the viewer to comprehend the message and therefore increases a persons visual literacy.

ADA-Gender-Neutral-Sign-RRE-25419_White_on_Red_1000.gif

Lohr, L. (2008). Creating graphics for learning and performance: lessons in visual literacy (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson/Merrill/Prentice Hall.

Posted in 1.1 Creating

Introduction Image

For this introductory week of EDTECH 506 Graphic Design for Learning we were tasked with creating an image that represents ourselves using the skills/theories learned. For this assignment, I used an online program called Canva to create this PNG image.

CRainville-Week1.png

Right from the get-go this image is created with the image size of 1444px squared as 4 is my favorite number. I would have went 4444, but that geeze, that’s huge. My main image is what I would consider my main role, a mother. This family picture was taken on vacation about 5 years ago and is still my favorite. The next couple of images represent my adventurous side. I enjoy stepping outside of my comfort zone and trying new things. The final image was chosen to represent my educator side. While being a classroom teacher is a fairly new thing for me, my career has always been in education in some way.

As far as design in concerned, I stuck to the basic 4 here (Proximity, Contrast, Alignment, and Repetition). I chose the orange color to compliment the sepia from my main image. I consistently the color throughout the piece to show unity. I paid careful attention to alignment and how each element is situated in relation to the others. The repetition of the heading swoosh is carried throughout. I used a pop of color with the Connecticut badge which adds contrast and makes it stand out (perhaps too much?) The variation of text style in my name/title also adds contrast.

Overall the assignment was fun. I do so love my graphics. Using Canva was interesting. I have used Adobe products and image editors for many many years so I am used to building everything by hand. Canva allowed me to create a quality image using templates and guides. While I definitly felt like I had my “hands tied” at points, the process of creating was very pleasing.

Posted in 1.1 Creating, 4.3 Reflection on Practice, AECT Standard 1 (Content Knowledge)

Final Game Project

This final game project started with grand ideas. I really wanted a way to have my high school shop students practice measuring. The students in our shop classes really struggle with measuring, likely due to not having practiced since they learned the skill in the 3rd grade. As a result, we have to re-teach the skill. I struggle finding material suitable for high school aged students so I figured a video game would be a great idea.

I quickly learned, as I was building this, that my ideas and my skills had a bit of a gap to overcome. I can’t put all the blame on my lack of skills, the tool GameSalad, also has it’s share of obstacles (bugs) to overcome. The game is a platform quiz game. You move through the house and “fix” broken furniture along the way by answering measuring questions. You can keep track of the required repairs on the resources screen, accessible via the shift key or the resources icon on-screen.

Currently, the broken items do not seem to show up when playing the game. The first lamp shows up but the other 8 items, do not. Neither does the door at the end, in the attic. I suspect, after quite a bit of time trying to troubleshoot, that perhaps it is a memory issue. I don’t definitively know. The good news is that all the functionality works, so when you run into the invisible broken furniture, you get the correct quiz screen. And when you answer all the quizzes correctly, the “door” in the attic sends you to the game over screen.

All in all, the game plays well and I’m fairly proud of it. Give it a go and see what you think!

Posted in 1.1 Creating, 1.3 Assessing/Evaluating, 3.1 Creating, Uncategorized

Creating a Quiz App in GameSalad

This project was about using GameSalad’s table functions to create a quiz app. There was A LOT of prep content to cover which made it a bit overwhelming. Thankfully things are at a simple logic level as my non-programmer brain tends to fry a bit after “does it match or not”. I was able to use a simple table loaded with quiz questions to populate actors in a scene dynamically. After that, the tutorials guided me through the process of creating a drag and drop question. At this point, I got stuck with what appears to be a bug (although human error isn’t out of the question) where I had 3 tests in a rule that all needed to be true in order for the continue button to show. I could NOT get it to work and spent WAY too much time trying since it should have been very simple. I combed the “code” for errors, repeatedly. I created display blocks to show my variable values (variables are “attributes” in GameSalad) and everything worked but the dang button! Grrrr. For the drag and drop question, you automatically get points, even if your wrong. Hmph.

screenshot-1

The graphics in this game are simple and a bit silly. While I would use something similar to this to test my HTML students, I’m not sure this would be my exact approach or tool.