This page last changed on Mar 01, 2007 by stepheneb.

Overall Look

Screen Resolution
What  are we dealing with.  Are we going with 800x600?  What do the schools use.  Can we go with 1024x768?  

Color Schemes and Layouts - Skins.
One possibility is the have "skins" available for students, like you might have with a cell phone.  Skins would allow the student to pick a color scheme and an overall look.  It may also allow the student to choose a character to go through the activity with.  A "Dora the Explorer" type, a "Harry Potter" type, etc. 

Navigation - forward and backward

The assumption for the UDL project is an essentially linear navigation - a student starts at a beginning and moves through an activity.  Given that, there are two main ways we can break up content, outlined below. 

Stephen Bannasch, note

Here is a link to an xml structure I created for the Mac project (that we didn't implement) that allows specification of very detailed topic sequencing.
There may be some useful concepts we could adapt.

Page turning vs. Scrolling
What is page turning?  In the page turning method, the student only sees one screen's worth of information.  At the bottom of the page, the student navigates to the next page or the previous page.  The activity is broken into quatifiably chucks (pages) that are all roughly equal in length. 

What is scrolling?  This is more like the TEEMSS model.  A page can scroll for however many instructional steps are needed.  It may be 3-4 or more screenfuls of information before the student navigates to the next or previous section.  The activity is broken into chunks, but they are not easily quantifiable without navigating through them

Some presumptions about page turning.  It may be easier for younger kids.  It doens't require much dexterity, especially if the NEXT button is large.  Everything you need to answer a question is right in front of you - you don't need to be able to hold a vision in your head, which can be an element of scrolling.  A downside is the limited screen real estate.  With flash and molecular workbench, as well as graphing, etc. we are going to lose chunks of the screen.  Will we have enough left over on any given screen to make things flow?

Some presumptions about scrolling.  There is a dexterity issue, but with the scrolling mouse, this is less of an issue.  There is a conceptual issue - someone who older and can keep an image in his or her head may be able to deal with this better.  There may be a "where am I" navigational issue.  Not all control will appear at once, unless the scrolling takes place in a frame.  For example, if the overall navigational picture is kept at the top of the screen, when I scroll down I lose this.  We might be able to address this well in the "real" sofware with a menu bar or side bar that is immovable - something to discuss.

Navigation - where am I?

One of the keys to the interface will be the ability for the student to know where he is she is at any given time.  This is a common element in web design, and in software design overall.  But one of non-web-like aspects of this interface is that the user is going through a linear process.  Once in an activity, the sutdent goes from an introduction, through some experimentation, and to some form of conclusion.  In the TEEMSS navigation, we identified where the student was in the process, but what we didn't give her was an idea of how far she had come vs. how far she still had to go.  For example knowing that I am in section 2 of 5 gives me some idea of where I am.  However, if section 4 is three times longer than sections 2 and 3, I don't know too much about how far I have to go.

"Smart" graph features (not in order of priority)

Here are some notes about what a student ought to be able to do with a smart graph. This comes from our meeting of 3-1-07.

auto-resize, so you can find your way home when you zoom or translate or rescale.

auto-scale, so you can see the whole dataset.

rescale axis - numbers change color or go bold when you're in the right screen area to change them.

Explanation of the jump in change of scale by factors of 1000.

Translate graph (with hand)

Label a data point

General text comment (can be put anywhere)

Name the graph (perhaps it should be required, because it's so easy to confuse graphs when you make several in a row).

Describe the graph (an accompanying textbox, rather than text on the graph) - again, forces one to describe the context of the measurement.

Draw a dataset (prediction, but also after the fact)

Zoom in to a selected area. Zoom out (perhaps autoresize is enough).

Read a dataset value - strong crosshair lines to  the X and Y axes (reinforces meaning of Cartesian plane).

Highlight a portion of the graph, and label it. (the line segment changes color,  becomes bolder, etc..)

Analysis (keep this limited, for primary grades): maximum and minimum, slope (of a highlighted segment for instance), time between two  measurements, difference of two measurements, average y-value of a segment.

Save, go back to it and congtinue to analyze and add comments.

We need to inquire more about what in inexperienced student doesn't understand about a graph. Will the abovementioned tools help them, as well as being useful to someone who already understands graphs?

Ed Hazzard 

Posted by ehazzard at Mar 04, 2007 10:40
Document generated by Confluence on Jan 27, 2014 16:49