Digital Drafting & Design Arts

Being able to draw well is a very useful skill. For designers, it’s a key factor in success. We need to communicate ideas and information, in accurate and interesting ways. This, in all aspects,  is what I teach in my classes at ITT Technical Institute.

A lot has changed in the way of tools, and the results that designers and draftspeople have available to them today. The drawing above is a pen and ink sketch I did 12 years ago, it has been reversed in Photoshop.  The software program a lot of us use is AutoCAD 2012, or some of the other AutoDesk Products like Revit, Civil 3D, Inventor, Maya, and 3D Max. Also, in presentation work, Adobe products like PhotoShop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Muse, Premier, Flash and In Design to just name a few other applications that make creating web pages, print media, and animations.

Here is a project I have done. This is in AutoCAD. This is a screen shot of the drawing of lighting and electrical plan for an electrical contracting firm, Kogap,  for a convention space in Southern Oregon. There was a 3D model of the space, but these were the working drawings for the electricians and contractor.

Example of how to Utilize the ARCS (Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction) model as a problem-solving tool to help motivate learners in an online or distance learning environment

The most successful I ever felt about a class was when I was in Community College working on my GED. The class was in Algebra and was the class I had feared would be my undoing. Like many, I was firmly convinced that I had no math skills and would not be able to even grasp the concepts. That proved to be wrong because of the teaching method that was used in this school. Algebra was taught as what was called a “Lab” class. The students show up on first day and assigned time, and the classroom is set up with many places for students to work, not in traditional classroom style but in multiple spaces where teacher could sit down with student and tutor them when needed. We got an explanation of how the class would work:

  • We got a workbook. We had one term to go as far and fast in our workbook as possible. If we did not get all the way through, we would have to retake the class, but could take up from where they left off, and I personally aced the last of the tests three weeks before the end of the term with a 4.0.
  • We would work on our own through the exercises in the workbook with available help from tutors by scheduling appointments as needed. I was uncomfortable about coming in to show my confusion with some of the processes, at first, but it turned out to be better because I didn’t feel rushed and could stay with a problem until I understood it. I only had to come in four times and was able to work sessions in before and after other classes and that saved me time and gas money.
  • When we are ready to take a section test, we did it on campus, but if we didn’t like our score we could elect to study some more and come back and retake it. If you wanted straight A, it was do able. It took away all the test anxiety. We could easily see that if we put in the effort, the reward of a good grade would be there, and we had all the help and support we needed. I didn’t feel part of a group, but it didn’t matter.
  • It gave us a lot of responsibility, but encouraged self control and self determination. It really boosted my self esteem to ace a math class.

So. Using this example and the assignment to relate ARCS-Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction and apply it to an online or distance learning environment

  • Attention: Met by good visual design and intellectual content of the program and the students own motivation to complete what is in effect, a learning project.
  • Relevance: Work Samples. This is presuming to be in my field of work which is vocational training. The course would produce at least a comprehension of what the student will encounter in the field of study, and create an expression, a completed project, showing their level of skill that an employer or teacher could evaluate.
  • Confidence: I would envision that the student would like to work on their own, but have all the support they needed available. In the classroom model there were fixed hours that we could get tutoring and a physical distance to cover to get there. Using the internet would allow the expansion of what would in effect be better person to person support.
  • Satisfaction: Addressing the students satisfaction would include a positive learning environment which included the learner and made an honest effort to meet their needs. However, if properly done, the best result for the student, in adult education, would be that after the course, they are better prepared, or at least advanced on their path to whatever their larger goal is. To this sense, the learners independent experience, and experiences of multiple collaboration will produce samples, actual evidence of the learner’s acquired skills in those areas.

Adult Education and New Technology

So far in our class we have briefly reviewed what is already known about education philosophy and science and have come to the place where we are looking at the current and future scene in Instructional Design. Now we are examining what tools tomorrow’s instructional designers will be using to deliver content to students, and how “connections” can be made to “engage” a group of people with access to technology and life schedules that require distance learning.

The most relevant information on this subject comes from a site where projections are made based on consensus of educators who are working together to study and predict the future of technology in  education. amount of content and knowledge available at their fingertips.”

The 2009 Horizon Report

One of our class assignments was to read the Horizon Report of 2009, which pretty much dates our curriculum, and I did find information there on their predictions for the next few years. Since it is now 2012 I wanted to find out if there were a more current report, which there was. I also found that there was an Adobe based learning tool used to record the 2011 webinar featuring some of the leaders of the group.  It turns out that their predictions in 2009 had been spot on in terms of the developing trends in use of the following technology:

E-Books: Such as Kindle, IPad, and a whole slew of personal devices proprietary information can be distributed on. These are cheap enough for consumers and could be customized by designers to maximize features like the ability to search, bookmark, and link to resources. Good for long term delivery.

Mobile Phone: Largest and fastest development and distribution of technology. Simple applications are netting the designers millions of dollars and selling for under $5. My personal idea about how to use this technology is for short video type bites of information, interlaced in a program to deliver longer segments of instruction by building on them. Good for short term delivery

Augmented Reality : Reality with something added to enhance it. Like a lot of work done in Photoshop it is based on something, but material is modified and treated as a tool to communicate other concepts. Even greater potential for good and evil, is the ability to get interactive programs that will feed information back about the learners, as the learners are and have interacted with the material. This data could be incredibly valuable.

Gesture Based Computer Learning: Starting with what is the most currently used technology of touch screen applications, we use these as cash registers, ticket dispensers, etc. Now entertainment has preceeded education in finding that motion that is projected into the program so intuitively that the learner is role playing, or demonstrating learning has taken place, and tasks have been completed. We have Xbox and WII and our younger population will be familiar with this technology.

Memory and Adult Education:

People today, whatever their age, or situation are just being bombarded with information. There is no way a normal human can just sort this in their own memory and access it when it becomes relevant.

As a culture we have developed the technology to deal with our problems. The new technology of “Cloud based collaboration” has evolved from the concept of having a communal memory that is readily available to anyone, anytime, free.  Very noble. The rate at which we are losing our privacy has  increased as rapidly as the technology.  However, there are also gains. If we can be more effective as human beings by virtue of education, and collaboration, then there is nothing holding anyone back if they really want to know something. Problems are being solved today by cross over applications, such as the gaming students who have helped nuclear scientists.

Social networking has also become a means of distributing information more informally, however, the degree of relevance and accuracy may be questionable. Whether it is always a good thing, or not, people are now easily able to connect with other people who have the same interests.  I think that does suggest those of us who have positive ideas, should even more fervently work to collaborate to get them working. Which is why I am so very interested in Instructional Design.

Learning Styles, Learning  Strategy, and Multiple Intelligences

Learning Strategies

Invite to fellow students: This is my results of two of the free tests available to determine my personal learning style. Have to admit that I am not clear what the distinction in the two terms are, because according to this source, the two measure the same things? I think it would be really interesting if  my classmates would like to also take the tests and then send their results to me or post them somewhere I can get them to me to compile and share a little study of the “group” which is our class.

There is an indication that I learn more and contribute more and are probably motivated more from interpersonal communication than other factors. My lowest scores in music and math, and higherst were visual perception and intrapersonal communication.  I have been so instrospective this last few weeks, and thanks to the “insights” from my friends who commented on my art work and my blog about it, I have progressed as far in the process, I think what I have learned is that the factor of “reward”, might be something I need to address. To be self motivated to do something you don’t have to, and might argue don’t need to, the question of “what is the point” is a valid question. Just not one to waste too much time on.

So in the soul searching question of “why do I paint”? Maybe the pragmatic answer is just that it doesn’t give me the “reward” that I need, or want or expect?  At least not enough to equal the aggrivation. Knowing this doesn’t seem to cause me to drop this bad habit?

This is a great website for anyone who would like a through catalog of all the teaching strategies along with a through description and models. This is a list of 24 stategies an Instructional Designer.

Teaching/Learning Strategies

Brainstorming          Buzz Groups                     Case Study

Concept Models       Construction Spiral       Discussion

Elaboration               Forecasting                      Forum

Jigsaw Technique     Listening Team              Live-Link

Nominal Group        Panel                                 Peer Teaching

Problem-Solving      Reflective/Evaluation   Relation to current events

Role Playing             Round                               Simulation

Storytelling              Surveys                             Video Analysis

Here are three of the stragegies that I thought would apply to my own experience and I have used.

Brainstorming– Develop general ideas; encourages a group of people to think creatively about a topic. Open informal way to address innovative, unique, or untried ideas and traditional ideas are equally considered. Only limit is to pick a topic for exploration and stick to it.  This can be fun, but can also get off track and waste time. The trick for the instructor, or if this is a single students creative process, is to have a goal to make a decision about.

Buzz Groups – a small group of learners are temporarily working together for a short period to address a topic presented by a facilitator. If there is a large group, then break down the size of groups, and create a series of sub groups. The nice thing about this process with the tools we now have, this can be done via phone/internet meetings. The groups can discuss aspects of a project or problem or topic, and then compare viewpoints and exchange digital data.

Case Study – An analysis of an actual event or situation. Case studies present “real” studies in visual form sometimes, or with samples, images, references to online data others can benefit from,  getting information from the internet of situations with facts, objective information, or data. Learners analyze the case study to interpret, predict, and resolve issues associated with the case study.

Adult Education

With the understanding of how the defnition of  “Adult Student” has to deal with many other life pressures than a “Traditional Student” from practical experience of both an instructor and a student, it is my mission to help create better learning materials for the people, like myself, who take the term “lifelong learner” to heart. The reason I am participating in this class has more to do with understanding how to make the theory and production aspects of creating the new, more interesting, training programs. We have been working on aquiring an overview of what has been going on in the Educational Theory and how that works for human nature, pro and con. All of this is a small part of what the Instructional Designer has to know in order to produce a good program design. Using it and the computer and video production techniques, new software are my next adventure.

Mind Map

Our assignment this week was to make a mind map. That is to think a problem or idea through, create a chart that shows how all the ideas are related or connected to each other. The subject matter of our map is to be our learning network as described in Connectivism and Adult Education. As Instructional Designers we will need to make assessments, present ideas and document plans. This is a format where a designer can use special software, such as Webspiration, or to use any other program so long as it is quick and easy. I followed he excellent directions but since I am familair with other software that allows me to focus on the project instead of struggling with the learning how to use the software. So I used my own preferred design tool, AutoCAD, which isn’t supposed to be a graphic design proram. To me it is just a drawing board that I can draw anything on. I don’t have to think about the commands, so it frees my attention from. Then I created a text style, something simple, and typed in  all the words/ideas. Then as they were indiidual text and not multiline text, I could move them. So I arranged them as I thought they were relevant. Finally when I was sure that I had all the words and relationships right I looked into how to make it graphically clean. A little more moving and tweaking.  When I use AutoCAD I work on a black background, so after I finished my drawing I used a program called Snaggit to capture the image on my screen and turn it into a jpg file.  Then I cropped it to the relevant image.  After that, just for visual interest, I took it into PhotoShop and applied an artistic filter to make it look likeI had drawn the chart as a chalk drawing on a blackboard. I don’t know if it is too hard to read to do this for an illustration for this blog, but in a presentation I think that “artwork” as opposed to mere text, makes it more interesting? What do you think?