This was this week’s assignment:
This is a bit of a redux from a couple of weeks ago, when I attempted to do this preposition idea, but without as much effort or success. This was a lot more in-depth design, so I decided the idea would work to use again.
Who are my users and what assumptions do I make about them?
Just like last week, I would be presenting this resource to my own students, so it’s a group that I am intimately familiar with. My students in this class would be sophomores, between the ages of 13 and 17, with medium-low to medium English writing, reading & grammar skills. They should have a basic understanding of the parts of speech in English, as they would have been taught parts of speech at least once, in their freshman year, but most likely, they’ve forgotten the names and roles of the different parts of speech and are “due” for a reminder.
Why do you think your solution will work?
On page 75, Lohr states that, when analyzing what your image’s purpose will be, you must “make the instructional objective clear (selection), provide well-organized and comprehensive information (organization), and create an environment or context where the overall message and organization are easy to understand (integration).” I think that I made that happen with this image. I feel that the idea is clearly stated in the text and then supported by the image, which attempts to visually display what each of the prepositions is trying to say. I also think this is something simple enough that anyone could understand.
On page 87, Lohr says that the “three usability criteria that will help you determine the learner-friendliness of your instructional visuals [are] effectiveness, efficiency, and appeal.” I tried to keep this in mind as I checked over my image, to see if they were effective, efficient, and appealing. When I talked to my test-users, I asked them about all three of these factors, and I think I am confirmed in my belief that this image just works.
What did you learn from a “user-test”?
Prepositions are a really weird part of speech to explain to students—honestly, the easiest way to teach them is to simply provide students with a list of what they are and ask them to memorize said list—but I was interested in providing a more visual way to understand what many prepositions do. My users in the user-test felt that the old “prepositions are anywhere a cat can go” (or “prepositions are anywhere a worm can go in apple”) give it a visual hook to hang the information off of. It’s not perfect (as you can’t really use this method to explain “of”), but they seemed to feel that they would remember it like this in the future. The only complaint was that it could use a dose of color, but frankly, I disagree—my previous images have been in grayscale, and I’d love to be able to print this on our black-and-white photocopier without losing any information.
Lohr, Linda, L. (2008). Creating Graphics for Learning and Performance, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.