The program scheme has 3 primary curriculum competency themes which are “Analysis: Needs Assessment and Systems Evaluation”, “Design” and finally “Development”. The curriculum goal is to develop skill set competencies within each of those themes culminating into artifacts.
I’ve grouped my specific program into a complete summary (“Program of Study”) followed by competency themes with their artifacts placed below them. Each artifact will discuss its focus (what its about), the process (how it got there) and finally a reflection (what I think about it). The artifacts were produced as either an individual or group project. Individual projects and their deliverables will be presented as single artifacts. Group projects and their deliverables could be presented as a singular group project artifact or paired with my individual artifact contribution. All artifacts can all be accessed with the provided icon links.
Program of Study
|Course Name||Course Number||Course Type||Instructor||Term||Hours||Grade|
|Program Competencies/Course Types: This program is divided into 3 primary competency themes, Design, Development and Core. “Electives” are courses with supportive content to those 3 competencies.|
|Instructional System Design||9471||Design||Dr. Jane Howland||SP2016||3||A|
|Problems in SISLT||9085||Design||Dr. Sean Goggins||FS2015||3||A|
|Problems in SISLT||9085||Design||Dr. Sean Goggins||SP2016||3||A|
|Problems in SISLT||9085||Design||Dr. Rose Marra||SS2016||6||TBD|
|Mobile App Development||7310||Development||Dr. Hui-Hsien Tsai||SP2014||3||A|
|Intro to Digital Media||7361||Development||A.J. Million||FS2012||3||A|
|Intermediate Web Development||7370||Development||Dr. Jane Howland||SP2013||3||A|
|Intro to Web Development||7360||Development||Dr. Rose Marra||FS2012||3||A|
|Needs Assesment||9474||Core||Dr. Rose Marra||FS2014||3||A|
|Formative & Summative Evaluation||9455||Core||Dr. Joi Moore||SP2016||3||A+|
|Project Management||9473||Elective||Dr. Aimee Klimczak||FS2015||3||A|
Analysis: Needs Assessment & Systems Evaluation
Every project needs an analysis process as a beginning point to understand needs and objectives, actual and optimal performance and a methodological framework having tools to help gain that knowledge for projects. This competency serves as that foundation. The following artifacts demonstrate competency with formal assessment, evaluation and project management.
E.M.M. Performance Assessment
This individual project focused on conducting a needs assessment. Using a variety of qualitative instruments, a performance analysis evaluated the causes of client reported performance problems. That analysis detailed those issues leading to suggested recommendations towards improvement. This individual project culminated into the following needs assessment summary artifact:
After initial client consultation, a performance problem was formulated:
“EMM’s lack of a Standard Operating Procedure (S.O.P.) to consistently guide volunteers related to data collection, usage, storage and retrieval is demonstrated with its inability to efficiently plan and function without that data.”
Testing the stated performance problem, developed qualitative assessment instruments focused on extant data (spiral notebooks and the "Filemaker Pro" electronic database), a survey, interviews and observations for analysis. The data analysis supported the stated performance problem discovering significant data handling gaps between actuals and optimals in the areas of tools, processes and knowledge. While the extant data had minimal data to review, that lack of data was helpful in itself by further demonstrating the lack of a process for any data handling. Solicited volunteers (both previous and active EMM members) consistently expressed a lack of specific knowledge on what or how to consistently perform task towards EMM’s service mission.
The report recommendations focused on the development and implementation of standard operating procedure training guides which are all related to data handling in some way. The listed focus areas are onboarding, field interviews and the electronic database. A preprinted “Interview Protocol Guide” for in field use was also recommended.
This effort represented my first experience developing any sort of qualitative instrumentation and client interaction with such a focus. Being exposed to a range of formal instrumentation and their data generation was both empowering and a challenging experience. The designed and developed instruments certainly represented my nascent understanding and could be improved through being better targeted, more concise and with better stated clarity. I think collected data can only be as quality as the instruments probing for that data and believe my abilities have grown since that project. Dealing with the clients was a positive experience since they were incredibly motivated and interested in the results to help improve their charitable efforts.
Co-Teach System Evaluation
This group project was a system evaluation of the Mizzou K-12 Online “Co-Teach” model. A Formative and Summative evaluation was designed and developed, with the Formative evaluation being conducted. I’ve linked my individual artifact work (SUS feedback results) through the below google drive icon link, followed by the PDF icon link to the final group artifact:
The first step was to review the system and conduct subject matter interviews. From that, I participated in the development of the purposes and the supporting formative and summative questions. During the formative evaluation, I conducted multiple interviews and transcribed all of those which accounted for over 22 pages of transcriptions. I also conducted recorded usability testing sessions with K-12 Online personnel and followed those sessions with SUS reaction questionnaire to add to the recommendation. In the final report I wrote up numerous sections including the much of the introduction, the background and the Formative/Summative methods tables. In the results section I wrote the usability recommendations (pg. 24-30) while contributing to all other recommendations and summary in some way, shape or form.
This course was intense and probably the epitome of most program concepts merging into one project. Between the constant forum activities, readings, the mini project and the massive primary project, I don’t think there was much room for reflective adjustment through the continual onslaught of task after task after task. Our project could have gone in so many directions which is an area for improvement, to have settled on our focus sooner. However, by not exploring so of those directions, I think it kept our report from being as comprehensive and complete as it needed to be for truly actionable feedback. Another interesting point was the lack of participation by subjects, which seems to be an issue in all projects I’ve been a part of and it’s something to consider when designing a study. In this case, our class had 4 different projects targeting the same subjects which could have been spreading the same sources too thinly.
UX System Integration
This individual project focused on the integration of a new department within an existing organizational structure utilizing formal project management methodologies. With no client, this was a fictitious project. The project culminated in the following artifact:
The process utilized formal project management methodologies as outlined in PMI’s PMBOK guide. The integration outline involved the following activities: Project Definition & Initiation, Project Planning, Project Control, Execution and finally Project Closure.
Project Definition & Initiation - Included defining the project focus, alignment, goals, scope, participants and defining project success.
Project Planning- Included detailing a work breakdown structure (WBS) and project budget.
Project Control- Included outlining project control points and variance issues based on the WBS framework.
Execution- Defined a bidirectional communication plan including communication groups, tools/purpose, challenges and provided feedback and clarity validation.
Project Closure- Outlined a checklist for project closure which included client acceptance, deliverables transition, closing out contract obligations, capturing lessons learned and conducting performance evaluations.
This was an exciting project. It explored formal project management methods and paired formal terminology with professional activities I’ve been involved with for many years. While I was familiar with many concepts, it further expanded my understanding while injecting new ideas. This project could have been improved by working with a client to help better detect and define real world challenges. A client influence would have more completely informed all aspects of the project. This course highlighted the importance of becoming a PMP certified professional and reinforced my desire to research translating I.T. management practices (ex. Agile and lean) into non I.T. environments.
Systems Design involves the process of determining needs and optimal performance through use of a variety of instruments then designing support mechanisms towards achieving that optimal performance. This systems design approach can be utilized in a variety of professional and academic environments. The following artifacts demonstrate competency with systems design, qualitative instrumentation design and high fidelity prototyping which informs design.
L.M.S. Transition Design
This group project was the systematic approach of determining performance needs through instrumentation, then designing support having clearly established goals and objectives, folowed by fully developing that performance need into support. Our group project focused on learning modules to assist the transition from the Blackboard LMS to the Canvas LMS, which our campus will begin in 2016. I’ve linked my individual artifact work through the below google drive icon link, followed by the PDF icon link to the final group artifact:
There were 4 classmates creating (not implementing) this deliverable. While I contributed to numerous areas, my primary focus was creating the Needs Assessment and Formative Evaluation instruments. I relied on previous coursework projects to help produce these deliverable aspects. The Needs Assessment tools included an Interview Protocol and Procedural Analysis. The interviews were to focus on Administrators, Academic Liaisons and IT support personnel to learn what was needed to help support and facilitate the LMS transition. The procedural analysis was developed to test the effectiveness of course transition instruction and what modifications may be needed. The Formative Evaluation consisted of two parts, a survey targeting instructors to learn their thoughts on LMS transition support materials and a Usability/Observation protocol to help determine the actual effectiveness of the transition support material.
This project has a real world basis since our campus will be transitioning from Blackboard to Canvas beginning in 2016 and all of our teammates saw a real value in this project because they will be going through this process in one way or another. While I think the end deliverable had actionable aspects, this project could have been improved by having actual conversations with all of the stakeholders who may have injected very different information to help shape the direction of the project. That said, this project provided another opportunity to practice developing qualitative instruments which was very welcome.
Qualitative Design 1
This is the first part of a two semester “Open Collaboration Data Factories” (OCDF) research project. It centered around the design and development of qualitative instruments to help assess what tools and processes open online community researchers use to study those communities. This first phase involved survey development. The following icon link leads to the survey instrument artifacts:
The first steps were to understand the topic and organizational culture through attending weekly meetings. The initial instrument focus was the development of a survey and in depth exchanges occurred to shape those survey questions over a period of time. Decisions included what type of knowledge was desired, how to most clearly and concisely ask those questions and in what format, in either a forced response or an open ended text field. Through a process of refinement and audience testing, the third version of the survey was ready for full deployment.
The experience was incredibly interesting. Not being a subject matter expert or knowing a single topic detail before starting, the initial challenge was orientation, to basically grasp the topic and to find out who the subject matter experts were who had time to discuss and contribute to the project. I think this circumstance mirrors many real world situations and reminded me of the Needs Assessment coursework. Once some grasp of the topic was gained and SME relationships established, the project began to move forward incrementally. The was not a fast process for a host of reasons including the available time of the SME’s, revisions and audience testing. To improve this process, I would look for ways to shorten the deliverable production timeline though I think that would be difficult considering all of the obligations the SME's had.
Qualitative Design 2
This is the second part of a two semester “Open Collaboration Data Factories” (OCDF) research project. It centered around the design and development of qualitative instruments to help assess what tools and processes open online community researchers use to study those communities. This second project phase involved interview protocol development, IRB certification and survey deployment. The following icon link leads to the IRB and instrument artifacts as well as exact copies of the qualtrics survey and interview consent form:
After the survey instruments were developed, the next focus went to shaping the interview protocol. Decisions included what type of knowledge was desired and how to most clearly and concisely ask those questions. Through a process of refinement and audience testing, the interview protocol was fully for use. Before the survey or interviews could be used, I went through the process of becoming IRB certified to perform research on “Human Subjects”. Once that was completed, I then went through the process of IRB approval which included submitting all materials and making any changes requested. The project was fully IRB approved in May of 2016. The survey is currently fielding responses and the interview protocol will be used in the near future. The survey will be quantitatively measured (forced responses) and qualitatively coded (open ended responses) and analyzed. The interviews will be transcribed, coded and analyzed.
Designing and developing qualitative instruments is a definite skill set needing practice to do well. This was a fantastic real world experience towards further qualitative skill set development. Beyond the qualitative work, it also highlighted the importance of relationship development to help facilitate the process. I think this circumstance mirrors many real world situations and reminded me of the Needs Assessment coursework. The was not a fast process for a host of reasons including the available time of the SME’s, revisions and audience testing. To improve this process, I would look for ways to shorten the deliverable production timeline though I think that would be difficult considering all of the obligations the SME's had.
LTI Prototype Design
This is a UX design concept project which will be demonstrated through use of a high fidelity prototyping tool using either InVision or UXPin. It is Learning Tools Interoperability (“LTI”) concept based project and the prototypes aim is to demonstrate interactive functionality to pull keywords and concepts from student forum interactions in an annotation format to help mentally tie concepts together to help facilitate/reinforce learning. The project artifact(s) will be presented through the following icon link:
The process will be fully discussed on completion of the project. This will be interesting.
The reflection will be fully discussed on completion of the project. This will be interesting.
“Systems Development” is the actual development of the design to make it both usable and deployable. This program has a strong development focus on technology, to either support the design and/or is a fundamental part of it. The following artifacts demonstrate competency with web development and media creation.
HTML: Greek Yogurt
This individual web development project focused on building a multi-paged website to demonstrate basic layout, usability principles and HTML coding skills. The following artifact is a screenshot from that project:
This project involved developing a website concept, hand coding all of the HTML and associated aesthetic styling code then producing all of the content to populate it. After developing a concept, wireframe drawings were produced to help shape an information architecture and user interface locations. Once that was determined, the coding began making that vision a reality which resulted in a number of iterations before a framework was decided. Original content was then produced and ranged from writings, images and information tables. With all of the content placed within the framework, usability testing followed from 3 Users and with their feedback, final site adjustments were made.
Before this project, I had never built a website and this experience proved invaluable towards developing that skill set. When I look back at it now it’s amazing how rudimentary it was and the challenges it presented learning such a foreign topic at the time. It introduced import concepts I still utilize today including, concept/content design, paper wireframing, coding framework development, and usability testing. Considering how little I knew, I’m not sure what I would do differently with such a limited skill set. Content wise, I think the site could be commercialized when paired with a number of significant changes including enhanced instructional videos which I might do in the future.
Digital Media Final
This individual project focused on digital media asset creation and basic web development. This included image creation and manipulation using Adobe Photoshop, audio track creation using Audacity and video creation using Adobe Premiere Pro. All of these assets were then presented on a basic website. The following icon link presents that Digital Media artifact:
Images were manipulated using Photoshop. Through that process, ranging Photoshop tools were explored including the important concept of using layers. Custom images were created using those tools and layer concepts. Using audacity, an audio track was created using a variety of effects (such as “fade in” and “fade out”) and intersecting 2 audio layers between a “Lord of the Rings” recording and my reading of a script. The video was created using Adobe Premiere Pro which included layer merging of the video track, an audio track and rolling text with it. All of those assets were then placed in a basic website for presentation. An introductory video was created along with other custom images for the website (custom banner).
This is the first time I development any digital media of any type I think the project well represented the skill sets I had at that time. It was incredibly empowering since I now regularly produce assets for numerous projects including this e-Portfolio. Working through this project I began to explore more complex techniques which I was unable to perform with the computer I had at the time. The project was my inspiration to build a robust workstation to develop the type of quality media assets I am interested in, assets that can be used in my professional projects and that will easily carry me through my PhD studies. This project was a significant cornerstone in that direction.
This was my second web development project and was much more robust in terms of coding. I was able to build on my first experience through the use of CSS styling and integrated Java Scripting for interactions. I also become familiar with using Dreamweaver which speed up development time since it immediately displays results from coding and content additions. Though I might change site design colors, with the skills I had at that time I’m not sure I would change much else. The feedback was very good in terms of functionality and content achieving its basic goals. I utilized these same steps and tools today and that project served as an excellent skill set enhancement.
After that project, I could see how much individual time was taken with initial design and conceptualization, quality content creation, followed by web development and usability testing, then final adjustments. Each of these time consuming areas is its own skill set and while I think the experience was a good one to understand process, I can see how specialist focus on each area working with other specialist to meld a final product together on larger projects.
eArt Mobile Application
All of the classmates had to submit an idea for a group project and mine was one of the 4 selected. As the team lead I was responsable for submissions and the concept direction. My deliverable role in this project involved content creation. That activity comprised of curating art history images and pairing them with their relevant information (name of the work, artist and date). In total there were approximately 75 images spanning 3 historical periods, the Italian Renaissance, Baroque and manuscripts from the Middle Ages. Using Photoshop, each image was resized to fit the mobile viewport along with creating the flip side of the image having its identifying information. Between the images and their information, there were approximately 150 items to create. I also helped determine the framework interactions which included menu type and hand swipe styles.
This project confirmed my thoughts that a development team of specialist focused on different project aspects can meld together and unify into a cohesive deliverable. While I was very focused on the concept/content design, information architecture and content creation, my other team member was very focused on the front end development overcoming numerous challenges. Overall, the team effort was very satisfying. Today, I use jQuery in my projects (for instance, this e-portfolio) and I have this project to thank for introducing it to me. At some point I may dive into native app programing languages, but I’m more likely to focus on high fidelity prototyping to help direct/inform the front-end development.