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Assessment Component 3B - The Documentation

posted Jul 17, 2009, 12:29 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jul 17, 2009, 5:44 AM by Eddie Woo ]
I did a tour guide for the multimedia component of the project. The tour guide seeks to provide the viewer with basic information about various parts of the farm as well as provide research material of the farm.

Design Specifications

Audio
The audio component consisted of only a single interview with Mr. Pronger concerning Agriculture as a subject and the farm. During the interview, we only skimmed across the new Aquaculture system very lightly.
Possible future audio choices are:
  • More information on updates on the farm - This cannot be done in the timeframe of the project because you are unable to gain information on an enterprise if it has not even begun development yet.
  • Opinions on how particular parts of the farm can be improved or more well integrated into Agriculture - Not impossible to do but can be extremely difficult gathering up opinions as it takes a lengthy period of time.
  • Interviews with previous teachers or current teachers  and maybe farmhands on the progress of the farm - Difficult to do because I found getting a time with just Mr Pronger already difficult with conflicting timetables.
The audio should be relatively short (no longer than 10 minutes, optimally under 5 minutes) or come in small segments (episodes etc.) to decrease file size. A transcript may accompany the audio file although it is not completely necessary. It should also be in one format, preferably .mp3 to alleviate compatibility issues.

Video
The video component was eliminated from the project due to unforseen complications although I still do hold a rather bad quality of a short tour from a student by the name of Richard Yuen. However, due to obvious reasons this video will not be uploaded despite the fact that Richard has already signed my release form.
Possible video choices are:
  • Live demonstrations on farm operations that cover finer details - for example, how to weigh chicks in the chick trial which can help students who have yet to do the task. This is hard to do due to the small timeframe remaining and the lack of people who are willing to demonstrate the task.
  • Live tours of the specific parts of the farm and give talks - the tours will provide information on various parts of the farm. For example, one would be recorded at the cattle crush and he/she would give information on how it would work. This can assist the viewer more effectively than reading off a textbook because it could possibly be less confusing watching the parts move rather than attempting to decipher a complicated diagram.
  • Recording of class and its related operation - this is done to prove how the farm and the theory lessons are co-related.
The video should be offered in two resolutions: one for better viewing pleasure and one for optimal downloading time at the cost of quality. This is done to cater for a wider audience, for both those who can download large files without much difficulty and those who do not mind a lower quality file and has difficulty downloading large files. The file format should be either .avi or .mp4 as both these formats tend to have superior compression but primarily for compatibility.

Record of the seven processes

See these: Compressing photos, Interview with the teacher, Taking photos of the farm, Some changes to the project in general, Data and it's problems.

Gantt Chart

Updated Gantt Chart can be found here.

Case Study

The three systems I have chosen are:
360cities

360cities uses Google Maps-esque panoramas [image and animation media] to portray the location to us professionally. It does this by allowing the user to interact with the environment virtually, to allow the user to get a feel of what the location is like and this is accompanied by brief descriptions of each location. The user cannot interact with the images unless it is an animation and this is unaccomplishable with other medium such as video. This is sufficient for the user to gain basic knowledge of the place and the interaction allows the user to easily gain a visual representation of the place.


Clicking each image of nearby locations also links to nearby locations, a smart use of hyperlinking. Each hyperlinked location also has a brief description such as:

Riverbend African Curio

50 meters away

African Curio shop is home to many interesting objects created by the indigenous people of the area, in the traditional culture. Everything from wood carving...

This cannot be achieved through regular text as it is unable to link to another location.

Italy Guides


Each major feature of the city Rome is cleverly split into six separate sections that are linked via hyperlinks in the form of hyperlinked images. While this can be done with hypertext only it attracts the attention of the audience more readily through image data rather than text data alone. Clicking on any of the images leads to another location.

The linked location then gives the user a greater level of detail in terms of information. If this was featured in the main page however the audience would clearly have difficulty navigating through the page and staying interested. By using those images the author has allowed cleaner and more convenient navigation as well as keeping the attention of the audience to the website. This techinique was done to reduce the effects of an overload of information, a social and ethical issue. Also, a navigation panel was featured at the top of the page below an aethestically pleasing image for more convenient and quicker access to various parts of the website.

NZ Virtual Tour


This website uses predominantly text and hypertext media to transmit its information effectively. The navigational panel to the left gives the user the option to navigate the site effectively. Also, key portions of the website are highlighted in gold, which helps make it stand out to those who are interested as they are the most commonly visited parts of the website or are the more important sections of the website. In a similar fashion to the Italy Guides website this website also incorporates the use of subpages where the user clicks on a link and is redirected to a page where more information is given to them. This allows the user to be more selective in what they view and not be overloaded with information when the site is first visited.


Critique

The system I have chosen to critique is Blair Wang's multimedia system.
It is comprised of two components:
I found this to be confusing because I originally thought only one genre was allowed.
I will be assessing it based on how it achieves the two purposes:
  • Informatively communicates relevant information in a manner appropriate to its genre
  • Creatively and professionally showcases the unique strengths of a variety of media types
Member: Blair Wang
Portfolio: Mathematics
Genre: Tour guide/Subject Promotion
Mark assigned: 18.5/20

I chose this system because the tour guide caught my attention. Rather than aim to inform the viewer with detailed information regarding the work environment for the Maths Faculty he instead chose to use images to create a virtual tour guide.

Informatively communicates relevant information in a manner appropriate to its genre

Tour guide
Taken literally as a 'virtual tour guide' which the user can guide him/herself through, I'd say that this tour guide competently communicates relevant information in a manner appropriate to its genre. Despite the limitation with viewing area for Google Sites, Blair has been able to use image editing software to his advantage to overcome these limitations in conjunction with text media. The detail achieved on the panoramas were excellent and it gives the audience a clear representation of the Cameron block. Hyperlinking was also used effectively to give the effect of a 'tour'. However, perhaps more information can be given to the classrooms such as which teacher is in charge of the rooms.

Mark: 2.0/2.5

Subject Promotion

An advertising campaign in the project was done to summarise the main elements of a particular subject (or co-curricular program, e.g. Olympiad or Enrichment course) in your portfolio and promote its uptake within the school.. Based on this, I'd say it has achieved its purpose quite well. It has effectively and succinctly summarised the main elements of mathematics and also mentioned the maths enrichment program. Blair has also used video to promote mathematics as a subject effectively. Although it has provided information about the subject and he has gathered public positive opinion on the subject there weren't too many facts that actually promote the subject itself as a whole. Maybe this could have been remedied by providing interesting facts on how maths can improve life by giving real-life examples or even relating the subject to other subjects such as Science.

Mark: 2.0/2.5

Creatively and professionally showcases the unique strengths of a variety of media types

Text
Blair has used text reasonably well. He changed the font size and font colour of headings to make them stand out and it has achieved this very well. The use of footnotes and bolding make it very easy and plain (in a good way) to see and this makes page viewing much more convenient and user-friendly.

Mark: 2/2

Hypertext
Appropriate use of hyperlinking in the tour guide effectively gives the audience the idea that it is a tour guide. It is located at the top right/left of each page, making it easy to navigate and even more so when links are created within the text for easier access, for example, the audio linking where the user does not need to scroll all the way down just to access the file. Maybe a navigation panel would be good so the user could determine which areas have been covered in the tour at a glance.

Mark: 1.5/2

Numerical
Blair has used a table to display numerical data and does so clearly. There does not appear to be any viewing difficulties whatsoever and this helps create the impact when viewing the table by making the viewer think at first: 'wow I didn't know this' or something along those lines.

Mark: 2/2

Audio
The audio component of the system was used appropriately. Discussion between Blair and Mr. Woodhouse was clear and discernable and Blair has made a good choice interviewing the head teacher as this gives off the idea that the information obtained is official and accurate.

Mark: 2/2

Image
The main highlight of the system in my opinion. The image data in this system was used excellently and very creatively to achieve its purpose: a virtual tour guide. A higher resolution was offered for viewing pleasure and the image quality was extremely good allowing the audience to view the area around Cameron Block with ease.

Mark: 2/2

Video
The video was created to gather public opinion on Mathematics and various video techniques such as cutting and transition was used effectively. Maybe some major figureheads could have been recorded for their opinion on Mathematics too.

Mark: 2/2

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