Openness in Eduction: A Curated Topic

In this module of EDTECH 543 (Social Network Learning) we are learning about content curation. I don’t think I had heard of content curation as it relates to education. Curation is not just about collecting information. It’s about collecting the best information, arranging it in an organized fashion, contextualizing it, and sharing it. It’s the adding of our expert perspective that provides value. You want to tell a story with your content so the ordering of the content you present it and what content you present is critical to your message. Because of this, you need to be somewhat expert in your curated topic area. You need to be able to know what content is most useful and be able to add your perspective.

I have been interested in openness since taking Fred Baker’s Introduction to Openness course (EDTECH 597) this summer. I curated a broad overview of what openness is. It was a more of a challenge to decide which tool to use to curate than to choose the curated content. Ultimately I used ScoopIt. I liked the way it presented the material and is fairly easy to use (though I wish it were easier to put things in the order I want). LiveBinders looked interesting too but I couldn’t figure out how to add my perspective to the content I curated. I also couldn’t get PearlTrees to do what I wanted.

curationworld

In this module we also developed criteria to evaluate the quality of a curated topic. Below is my self-assessment of my curated topic.

Current:

  1. Is the content out of date?  While some of the content is several years old it is still current.
  2. Has the content been regularly updated? NA- this is a newly curated topic
  3. Is the date of last revision documented? I dont see a way to put a date field other than in the topic title but each content entry has the date it was curated so a user would be able to tell when it was last revised.
  4. Does the content contain stable and reliable background material that will not go out of date soon? Yes. The content from David Wiley and Martin Weller are classic descriptions of openness.
  5. Do all of the links work? Yes

Credible:

  1. Is the content from credible sources? I know they are but not sure how a user would know that.
  2. Is the content free of bias? I think so. I tried to post content that offered alternative perspectives and that was free of commercial bias. I found it could be difficulty to find quality counterperspectives. Most were just opinions of some blogger whom I didnt recognize and who didnt offer references to support their opinions.

Organized:

  1. Is the content is well organized? I put the content in the order that it was presented in the course I took. It goes from more general information to more specific.
  2. Is the content consistent with other content? It all ties together as I curate various components of openness.
  3. Is there a contextualized organization beyond the general theme? I add my perspective to the content. I organized it from general material about openness to more specific about components of openness.

Varied:

  1. Is the content from a variety of sources? Yes
  2. Is the content format varied? (text, video, pictures,etc) Yes

Valuable:

  1. Does the content provide new knowledge? Yes to someone unfamiliar with this content.
  2. Does the curator add value through summaries and descriptions? I do add my perspective to each piece of content.
  3. Is the content relevant to the learner’s needs? It would be to someone wanting to get a good overview of openness.
  4. Is the content appropriate for the level of the learner? This is geared toward an adult learner.

I think the challenge of using these criteria are several fold. One, they are probably more useful for the curator than someone who is consuming the curated content. Several of them require some content expertise and the curator would likely have more content expertise than the consumer. Next, some of the criteria require content expertise to know if the material is current, reliable and properly contextualized. This might be difficult for a novice in a curated topic area. While I dont know how I would alter the criteria we developed I think it just needs to be realized that some (if not many) learners might not be able to utilize these criteria themselves.

Now it’s your turn. Do you think my curated topic is useful? Why or why not? What could I improve?

EDTECH 506 Assignment: White space

Wrist - Arthrocentesis 101- An Online Course for UAB Internal Medicine Residents 2016-03-31 17-12-29

The above page is a screen capture of a blended course I am developing on arthrocentesis. This week we learned about white space. White space is the area between visual elements whether that be text, graphics, or elements within a graphic. Its the background color. It is used to separate elements and to direct the eye to important information. It can be used to clarify information.

Write a justification paper for the activity you select. Describe the following:

  • Your users and the assumptions you make about them (such as age, reading level, and assumed skills). My users are internal medicine residents who have graduated from medical school.
  • Why you think your solution will work; include at least two ideas from the book, including page numbers and your interpretation of the passage used. I use white space to chunk and organize the information (Lohr 2008, p. 272).       Chunking is grouping of information in meaningful or related clusters (Lohr 2008, p. 125). I also use white space to evenly distribute the graphics/pictures in each information cluster.The site is simplistic in design but has symmetry. I wanted to project professionalism since it’s a site to educate medical professionals (Lohr 2008, p. 275). According to Lohr, symmetry can be boring but I think the graphics and color scheme of the template help with that some.
  • What you learned from a “user-test” (have someone look at the image and verbalize their thoughts while looking at the image). I asked 2 faculty to evaluate the page. They felt the spacing was good. Information was broken into meaningful chunks. It was visually appealing.
  • The changes you will make based on user comments (or create a revised image). My colleagues had no suggestions for improvement.

 

EDTECH 506 Assignment: Organization

Week 6 Graphic_ Fluid Analysis-3

Organizing information (or at least helping our learners organize information) is one of the most important roles of a teacher in my opinion. Chunking, using visual cues, and hierarchy are all ways to organize information.

I am designing a blended course on arthrocentesis. The graphic describes the types of fluid that can be obtained from a joint and its diagnostic characteristics. I created the image using Google Drawings. The cells are labelled for reuse from Wikimedia.

Write a justification paper for the activity you select. Describe the following:

  • Your users and the assumptions you make about them (such as age, reading level, and assumed skills). My users are internal medicine residents who have graduated from medical school. They would recognize the cells in the graphic and understand all the terms.
  • Why you think your solution will work; include at least two ideas from the book, including page numbers and your interpretation of the passage used. I use chunking to help organize the information. Chunking is grouping of information in meaningful or related clusters (Lohr 2008, p. 125). Shape (the circles) facilitates chunking and comparison of the types of fluid (Lohr 2008, p. 252). Each circle is a chunk of information that is related. I also limited the amount of information (5 pieces) in each chunk so as not to overload working memory. I don’t have a lot of white space between my chunks but the circle outlines help delineate the chunked information (Lohr 2008, p. 126). I depict hierarchy (as you go left to right the diagnoses get worse) in this image in 2 ways: increasing WBC from left to right and darkening of syringes from left to right. Also using the horizontal makes the most important information standout (Lohr 2008, p.128).
  • What you learned from a “user-test” (have someone look at the image and verbalize their thoughts while looking at the image). I asked 4 learners to evaluate the image. I asked for their overall gestalt about what the image was depicting and then specifically about what each of the circles was depicting. I also asked them what stood out in the graphic (ie what drew their vision).

Learners understood that the graphic was depicting the possible types of joint fluid and what the testing of the fluid would reveal. They said they noticed the circles in the middle of the graphic mainly.

  • The changes you will make based on user comments (or create a revised image). Learners had no suggestions for improvement.

 

EDTECH 506 Assignment: Color

Gout3

This week we studied the uses and effect of color in designing a learning graphic.  The graphic above helps learners differentiate two types of crystals found in joint fluid which are commonly confused with each other. I used this graphic previously but have altered the color scheme some. Color plays an important role in this graphic. I created the image using Google Drawings.

Write a justification paper for the activity you select. Describe the following:

  • Your users and the assumptions you make about them (such as age, reading level, and assumed skills). My users are internal medicine residents who have graduated from medical school. They know all the terms used in the graphic.
  • Why you think your solution will work; include at least two ideas from the book, including page numbers and your interpretation of the passage used. Color plays an important role in this graphic. According to the textbook color has 4 instructional functions: labeling, identifying quantity and measurement, representing reality, and aesthetics. (Lohr 2008, p. 265). I use color to represent reality. The colors of the crystals approximate the true colors of the crystals. The purple circles approximate the background as seen in a polarized microscope. I also use color to label or differentiate information. I chose different colors for the text describing each of the crystal types to help learners remember the differences between the crystals. While the colors of the text aren’t exactly the same as the color of the crystals but they are representative of the color. I think the color of the text makes this information stand out thus helping selection (Lohr 2008, p. 267). I decided in this iteration to make the labels (Gout and pseudogout) the same color as the text hoping to tie it together better.
  • What you learned from a “user-test” (have someone look at the image and verbalize their thoughts while looking at the image). I asked several learners to evaluate the image. I asked them specifically about the color scheme of the text describing the crystals.

They commented that they liked the color scheme. They felt it would help remember the information better than if the text had been in black. They also felt that using black font color was fine for the words “Gout or Pseudogout?”.

  • The changes you will make based on user comments (or create a revised image). I changed the font color for the words “Gout or Pseudogout” to match the color of the text describing the crystals.

 

EDTECH 506 Assignment: Selection

Selection is the “cognitive process of attending to particular visual and auditory stimuli” (Lohr 2008, p. 100). We select things we want to remember from other stimuli and then we organize it into a mental model and integrate it into long term memory. One of the jobs of the instructional designer is to help learners to select what is important. We can help our learners select by using contrast, alignment, repetition, and proximity (CARP). We use tools like type, color, shape, design, and space to accomplish CARP. I helped you pay attention to “selection” by having it contrast with the surrounding text by making it blue (color) and bold (type). These same principles can be used in graphics.

I am designing a blended course on arthrocentesis (inserting a needle into a joint to either remove fluid or inject medication). The graphic demonstrates two bony landmarks that guide the location of insertion of the needle for arthrocentesis of the shoulder joint. This graphic will be used in the “Shoulder” section of the course. I created the image using Google Drawings.

Write a justification paper for the activity you select. Describe the following:

  • Your users and the assumptions you make about them (such as age, reading level, and assumed skills). My users are internal medicine residents who have graduated from medical school. They know the terms used in the graphic.
  • Why you think your solution will work; include at least two ideas from the book, including page numbers and your interpretation of the passage used. Initially I was going to use drawings of the shoulder to demonstrate the anatomy and landmarks but as noted in our text “in areas such as medical education and engineering, realistic images are considered more effective” (Lohr 2008, p. 101). Also, my learners are advanced and familiar with shoulder anatomy. As such, their visual cognitive processing will not be overloaded by the realistic image as might a novice’s visual processing. While this is not an elaborate graphic I think the use of a bright, contrasting color (blue) to outline the bony landmarks serves the role of selection (Lohr 2008, p. 108). I also made the text in a different color than the bony outline to serve the role of contrast. In this image the landmarks are the figure and the rest of the image is the ground.

In the second image, I use a black circle to note the point of needle insertion. The use of shape (circle) guides the learner and the black color contrasts with the skin and blue outlines of the bony landmarks. I removed the labels of the landmarks so that the focus becomes the point of insertion and not the labels. In this image I wanted the circle to be the figure and the shoulder with the landmarks to be the ground.

  • What you learned from a “user-test” (have someone look at the image and verbalize their thoughts while looking at the image). I asked 2 faculty to evaluate the image. They thought the images easily demonstrated the anatomic landmarks and where to insert the needle. They didn’t feel the syringe gave enough information about the intricacies of the angles and directions of needle insertion. I use the syringe with an arrow just to convey the idea that the black circle is where you stick the needle.
  • The changes you will make based on user comments (or create a revised image). I didn’t make any changes.

 

EDTECH 506 Assignment: CARP

Week 7 Graphic_ Gout-3

CARP stands for contrast, alignment, repetition and proximity. These actions are used in a graphic to help learners select, organize, and integrate information.

I am designing a blended course on arthrocentesis (inserting a needle into a joint to either remove fluid or inject medication). The graphic I designed how to differentiate two types of crystals that can be found in joint fluid which are commonly confused with each other. Again, the circles (I chose circles because when you look in a microscope the visual field is circular) indicate what would be seen under a microscope. I chose the purple color because the background in a polarized microscope is purple. This graphic will be used in the “Basic Principles” section of the course. I created the image using Google Drawings.

Write a justification paper for the activity you select. Describe the following:

  • Your users and the assumptions you make about them (such as age, reading level, and assumed skills). My users are internal medicine residents who have graduated from medical school. They know all the terms used in the graphic.
  • Why you think your solution will work; include at least two ideas from the book, including page numbers and your interpretation of the passage used. I use shape to facilitate comparison of the types of fluid (Lohr 2008, p. 252). I use a sans serif font (trebuchet) to improve legibility of the title of the graphic and the text inside the circles. I am more concerned with legibility than readability as there are only short bursts of text instead of long passages of text (Lohr 2008, p. 227). I use repetition of the circles to tie this graphic to the one I made last week as they will be located on the same web page. I wanted to create a sense of unity (Lohr 2008, p. 203). I also use repetition in the design (same lay out of each half and same reminder at the bottom of the page). I also tried to use repetition of an important letter (N and P) in each half of the graphic to help the learner remember the most important characteristics. I use color to approximate the color of the crystals and the color is used for all text of each of the crystal types. All “body” text is left aligned and horizontally aligned across the graphic (Lohr 2008, p. 201).
  • What you learned from a “user-test” (have someone look at the image and verbalize their thoughts while looking at the image). I asked 2 faculty to evaluate the image. I asked for their overall gestalt about what the image was depicting and then specifically about the color scheme and scripting of the text. They commented that they liked the color scheme and scripted reminders at the bottom.
  • The changes you will make based on user comments (or create a revised image). I didn’t make any changes.

 

EDTECH 506 Assignment: The Functional Use of Shape

General Arthrocentesis Procedure

General Arthrocentesis Procedure

I am designing a blended course on arthrocentesis (inserting a needle into a joint to either remove fluid or inject medication). The graphic I designed describes the general process for performing arthrocentesis. It might be used in the introduction section of the course. Each of the images was found by searching Google images and was labelled for reuse with no attribution.

Write a justification paper for the activity you select. Describe the following:

  • Your users and the assumptions you make about them (such as age, reading level, and assumed skills). My users are internal medicine residents who have graduated from medical school. This graphic will be used in the introduction section of the course. They know the anatomy of all the joints they would have to perform this procedure on.
  • Why you think your solution will work; include at least two ideas from the book, including page numbers and your interpretation of the passage used. I believe my design will work because it demonstrates the procedure graphically and the arrows between images show a process or steps (Lohr 2008, Figure 10-2, pg. 251). I think it also works because the overall semicircular layout of the graphic will help learners perceive it as a whole. “A shape can be an effective way of presenting related but distinct information as a unit” (Lohr 2008, pg. 250). Each of the steps is distinct but related to the whole unit.
  • What you learned from a “user-test” (have someone look at the image and verbalize their thoughts while looking at the image). I asked a physician colleague if the graphic adequately displayed the basic procedure of arthrocentesis. He felt it was easy to understand and conveyed the main steps in arthrocentesis. He didn’t feel any changes were needed.
  • The changes you will make based on user comments (or create a revised image). I made no changes to the image. I considered trying to create animation of the syringe and needle going in and out in the 4th and 6th images, respectively. My skills aren’t good enough to do that and I didn’t know how well it would work on a webpage so I didn’t want to dedicate the time to something I might not use. I also considered a small thin arrow positioned just above each of the syringes showing the direction of movement of the syringe but I figured the positioning of the syringe and needle (in the joint and outside the joint) conveyed the information adequately and I was worried having too many arrows on the graphic would make it look less professional and possibly be more confusing.

I look forward to your feedback.