EDTECH 506 Assignment: Color


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.



Digital Divide/Digital Inequality

Click here to view my VoiceThread on Digital Inequality in the UAB Division of General Internal Medicine

I had always observed differential use of various technologies for teaching in my colleagues. Most use PowerPoint and have no great desire to try new things. I am just the opposite. I like trying new tools. That’s one of the reasons I decided to get this degree as I was using new tools with no understanding of why I was using them or how to evaluate if I was using them well.

Prior to this module I hadn’t really thought about the digital divide. I don’t think I had even heard of the concept. The main  readings focused too much on differences between developing and developed countries and that doesn’t interest me much. I can’t impact that in any fashion. What did interest me was Warschauer’s reconceptualizaton of the digital divide to include the human and social issues that impact the digital divide. The binary division of having or not having a piece of equipment doesn’t really get at the more complex issues of why a person chooses to use a computer or the internet and what they choose to do with those tools (e.g. playing a game or educating a friend on a topic from across the globe). The concept of digital inequality was even more fascinating as it put a name to observations that I had made. Hargittai’s approach to conceptualizing this allowed me to try and measure it (ever so crudely) in my division. I plan to present this data at our next faculty meeting and see what interest it sparks in them. Many still don’t see the utility of using “fancy tools” in education. The traditional nature of medical training can be hard to overcome for many, especially older faculty.

Using Google Slides was a useful exercise. I would not have used it otherwise. I like PowerPoint and Prezi. I have experience with them and can manipulate them more easily. I can see the utility of Google Slides as it is free and can be shared/accessed in Drive from anywhere (except where I work). I don’t plan to use Slides though in the future unless forced to. I don’t have access to it at the office and it doesn’t add any features over PowerPoint (other than sharing in Drive).

VoiceThread was not an optimal tool to use to give a presentation. I like to use screen capture software so that I can use animation in slides as I talk. I would really like to use VoiceThread at my institution to give feedback to learners on artifacts that they make. I have to read a lot of history and physical exam write-ups and have to use the comment feature in Word to give feedback. I would much rather use VoiceThread to give audio and written feedback. I will discuss this with the medical school to see if they will consider a 1 year trial of VT.

I don’t think these were my best slides. Too many words on them. I like to use fewer words and more pictures but being new to this topic I found it hard to find pictures that demonstrated what I wanted to say. If I had to change this presentation I would reduce the wordiness of the slides, introduce more pictures, and use simple animation.