EDTECH 506 Assignment: Designing Words to Express Their Meaning

506 w4 final grahic

For this week’s assignment, I chose to do the challenge activity that involved designing four words that express the meaning of those words. 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 indications for performing arthrocentesis. I made the warmth word in Photoshop (following a 30 step process) but the others were made in Fireworks. The background was made in Google Drawings (thanks Norm for the inspiration to use something I didn’t even know existed). I think it captures the essence of each of the indications.

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 meaning of each of these words but may not know all the indications for arthrocentesis. This graphic will be used in the introduction section of the course. I hope the design of the words will help them remember the indications.
  • 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 they are representative visuals which are “used to convey information quickly and easily” (Lohr 2008, pg. 17). They are words that convey their meaning. I think the learners will “notice the important information” (Lohr 2008, pg. 56) because of the design of the words themselves. Pain has an expletive after it (#*@!) which often gets said when we hurt ourselves. Erythema (redness of anything that’s inflamed) has redness around the word. Warmth has flames coming out of it. Finally, swelling has part of the word that is larger (or swollen) compared to the rest of the word.
  • What you learned from a “user-test” (have someone look at the image and verbalize their thoughts while looking at the image). I asked two physician colleagues if the words expressed their meaning. My initial design of warmth (red glow around it) and erythema (red font only) weren’t as representative as I thought they were. They felt the other two words (pain, swelling) adequately represented their meaning, especially with the expletive behind pain. Interestingly, both felt that designing words this way was not needed to teach residents the indications for arthrocentesis. They felt advanced learners likely wouldn’t need this extra cue to remember the indications. They also felt the words would be better around a joint or showing a joint demonstrating all these features. I agree that would be better but wouldn’t meet the needs of this assignment.
  • The changes you will make based on user comments (or create a revised image). I initially wanted to have fire or steam rising from the warmth word but couldn’t do that with Fireworks. I then decided to use Photoshop to redesign the word to its current format. I added red glow to the erythema word to actually make it erythematous. After my alterations I think all the words better represent their meanings.
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