White Space

November 17, 2013

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Justification:

The users of my final project will be students from grades 4-12 and adult instructors.  The majority of the students are advanced readers.  Students begin our program with either no or very limited programming skills. Each of the six sample programs in my image are provided for students to recreate using The Cortex programming environment and the Motor Testing Station they each build.  A short description of what is going to happen when the program in successfully transferred to The Brain robotic controller is provided along with tips for programming.

According to Lohr (2008), “Space can direct the eye to important information by chunking and separating instructional elements” (p. 272).  I create this in Adobe Fireworks and used the guidelines to help me have the same amount of space between each section of this graphic.  I was hoping to keep everything evenly spaced so a student’s attention wouldn’t necessarily be directed to one part of the page.  I also kept manipulating the width of the image to make it as narrow as possible so there would be as little difference in white space below the program descriptions as possible.  I still think this needs some work to have less white space in the second and fifth programming sections.

When adding in the program descriptions and tips for each section, I lessened the space between the description and tip.  Initially the space was that of one line of text, but it looked like there was too much separation between the two parts that are related.  Lohr (2008) stated, “It is space that separates phrases, clauses, and paragraphs from each other; and it is space that separates subsections and chapters from one another” (p. 272).

After getting feedback from my user test, I am considering creating a separate graphic for each of the six programs to allow for more focus on each of them or making each section the same size and centering each program section within the length of the space.

Resource:
Lohr, L. (2008). Creating graphics for learning and performance (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

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Organization

November 10, 2013

Image

Justification:

The users of my final project will be students from grades 4-12 and adult instructors.  The majority of the students are advanced readers.  Students begin our program with a wide range of manipulative building skills.  Both students and instructors will need to become familiar with different ways the fischertechnik parts they will use for building robots can connect.  This graphic is intended to provide an overview of the most common connectors used in our lab.  While being introduced to the parts, instructors show students how the connectors work and allow them a chance to try it on their own.

I decided to use vertical alignment to make the heading of the image stand out more so students would know what they are looking at.  I placed the three connectors in order from left to right of how common they are amongst the parts in our lab.  The pin and groove method is the most common.  Lohr (2008) shared that elements on the left side of a plane have the status of before and images on the right have the status of after or secondary (p. 128).  Although all three connectors are important, some are used a lot more than others and students need to become familiar with them in that order.    

I had a friend look at my instructional message.  We discussed use of straight lines versus arrows to show the connection between the heading and the three connector boxes.  We decided that the straight lines allowed for flow from the heading to the parts and also from the parts to the heading.  Due to that decision, my friend suggested that I make the box around the heading bolder so it draws more attention when the entire image is first seen.  According to Lohr, “Aside from using alignment, hierarchy is perceived through color and size.  Images that are brighter or darker are often perceived as more important, dominant, or superordinate” (p. 133).   

Resource:
Lohr, L. (2008). Creating graphics for learning and performance (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.


Color Project: Color and Depth

November 3, 2013

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The users of my final project will be students from grades 4-12 and adult instructors.  The majority of the students are advanced readers.  Both students and instructors will need to become familiar with the location of the different parts they will use for building robots.  This graphic is intended to provide an overview of the three main sections of storage units in our lab.  Two of our other units are focused around static and dynamic building so our parts are separated to make finding either category of parts easier.

I selected rectangular prisms to be simple representations of the drawer units we use to store parts.  It is set up in the same order in our lab: clear, blue, and red.  I am not able to select which colors to use for the storage units since they are already part of our lab.  I did decide to color code the text to match the units. Lohr (2008) stated, “Use the same color to chunk/group content” (color insert p. 3).  In her example, the grouping helped learners make the connection between two items that went together amongst other similar pairs.

I used four different size fonts and shadowing to add depth to my graphic.  Lohr (2008) stated, “Scale, or relative proportion of objects, communicates relative importance and creates an element of complexity or detail that signify depth” and “shadows give an image dimension, or depth” (p. 272).  Having a larger title makes the objective of the graphic clear.  I think having the same size font for the next three levels ties the main idea of the color-coding of parts together.

I had a friend look at my instructional message.  We discussed use of flat rectangles instead of the 3D boxes, but we both felt that the 3D boxes would help a student relate the graphic to the physical units we have in the lab.  My friend questioned the size of the clear unit being smaller, and I explained that in the lab, the unit for the robotic parts is half the size of the other two.  He liked the shadowing behind the text because it made items stand out a little more and goes well with the style of boxes used to represent the storage units.  He also thought that the color coding of the text and storage units will help students make a connection between the color and contents.

Resource:
Lohr, L. (2008). Creating graphics for learning and performance (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.