Friday, November 30, 2007

Trial Runs

I'm two days behind from my original schedule, but still within acceptable parameters (I hope). I have managed to confuse myself beyond all belief: should I be submitting the entire lesson, is it okay to submit the learning object for one portion of the lesson, am I anywhere close to doing this correctly, ad infinitum.

At least I was able to give the lesson two trial runs today, one with a teacher who is new to the district and needs to finish the module so she can get credit for our upcoming Comp. day. The other was with what could easily be my most discriminating audience, my 8th grade Advanced Tech Apps class.

The teacher came to my classroom during her conference to work through the module, concerned that she was going to need help since she describes herself as a "Technophobe." Fortunately she came during one of my smaller 7th grade classes. The kids are working on Excel right now, and need a lot of attention to help them stay on track, so I was only able to check in with her occasionally. Things went very smoothly right up to the section on setting the body text in a serif font. The unformatted document has (had!) the headings inline with the body text, and she kept trying to select an entire paragraph and change the font. Of course that undid the work she'd done setting the headings in sans serifed font. Other than that glitch, she was able to complete the work on her own, and seemed very pleased with her own work. She even asked to print it out!

I adjusted the unformatted document so that the headings are on separate lines from the body text they relate to, and then I entered the Den of Lions and asked my half-dozen Adv. kids to work through it. I told them it was for a course, and that I needed constructive feedback...but to feel free to try to break it. Bless their hearts, they did try! Some kept asking "What's a title?" while others chose fonts that were totally unreadable. They had fun changing the font size and pointing out that I was only showing one method for centering text, and not a favorite method at that. (They are firmly convinced that keyboard shortcuts are better than menus any day of the week.) They liked the L.O., but suggested that it be recorded with a higher volume. I will need to do this before turning it out to wide world.

So, there it is.

Am I done? I have no idea. Have I completed the assignment the way the professor intended? Again, no idea. I'm going to let it rest for a few days, see if some of my fellow students post something that will help guide me in this dilemma, and then take it from there. Sigh.

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