Please ask any questions regarding the assignment and its deliverables here.

Technical questions involving how to make something happen in Flash are best asked and answered on the Flash FAQ page.

Assignment FAQ


Question
Answer
1. Can we include diagrams and drawings (hand drawn) on part D(outline of ideas on visual and interaction design)?
Absolutely. It's a great idea to draw out concepts in sketch form not only for your own planning, but to make evidence of that planning evident in the assignment. If you'd rather not scan the drawings and incorporate them digitally in a file right this moment, feel free to print out the rest and append them with the writeup for now - digitizing them would be good by the end though. There are scanners available in J316 (by the left wall as you enter the door.)
2. How much content on the topic do we need?
Consider the note in the assignment writeup about being functionally similar to a DVD menu - a central topic statement with limited interaction options and content modules branching off is a good way of thinking about not only the amount of content but a basic way of structuring it. So, there's no hard and fast rule on this (it depends on the topic you choose in many ways), but think about 4-5 supplementary screens of content, not including the main screen, the bibliography and the "about this project" (part 1 of the assignment, basically). More is fine, especially if the screen/pop-up/whatever modules are small or basic.
3. Are there any file size constraints/limits?
Likely that won't be an issue - the Elara server helps, since there's a reasonable amount of storage, and Flash files tend to be on the smaller size. That noted, try to keep files under control through efficient design - anything that's extraordinarily bandwith heavy that serves no evident purpose will not be treated with much respect.






Assignment Description



Lab Project #2: Flash-based Learning Object
(25 of 80 total 205 marks)

Due Wed. April 12th, 5pm

Rationale


In this assignment, you will design and create a learning object using Flash that effectively and creatively teaches a concept related to CCT 205. Consider the audience for this learning object to be future cohorts of CCT 205 students: in other words, students who have some interest in learning more about your topic but might not have preexisting specific understanding of the topic you choose.

Learning Objects


Learning objects are self-contained instructional modules that contain quality content framed in an accessible and engaging manner to realize specific learning outcomes. A learning outcome is essentially the “take-away point” of the module – on completion, what is the user of this module supposed to know?

Learning objects are often shared in collaborative open-source repositories such as MERLOT (http://www.merlot.org) or CLOE (http://www.cloe.on.ca). Users of these repositories are encouraged to not only use the learning objects within them in their own instruction and learning, but create new ones and share them with others.

This learning object can be seen as functionally analogous to a DVD menu, although with a particular purpose. It is a contained interactive space with consistent design features that advances the viewer’s awareness and knowledge of a particular body of content.


Assignment Structure


This assignment contains four constituent parts as outlined below:

1. Project Definition and Learning Outcomes (25%):


By class next week (Tuesday April 4th), please provide the following (max 2 pages):

a) A list of group members working on this project. The ideal group size for this assignment is 2-3 students. Occasional solo projects and groups of four will be tolerated and evaluated accordingly, with groups of four expected to create considerably more developed works.
b) The topic area you have chosen to explore to create a learning object for this assignment. The topic should be relevant to CCT 205. Many things are – if you have any questions regarding fit, feel free to ask Prof. Jones by email (michael.jones5@sheridanc.on.ca) ahead of time.
c) An outline of 2-3 learning outcomes that you want to realize in this project. These are normally outlined in short sentences and are again framed as the core “take-away points” of the learning object. (Example: After completing this module, the user will be able to a) identify three technologies used to enable the visually challenged to effectively use information technologies and b) evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of each.)
d) An outline of ideas on visual and interaction design you believe would be effective in realizing your learning outcomes. This may include what graphical, audio and video elements you feel would be effective, what interface and interaction designs you are considering, etc.
e) From part d), provide an outline of what Flash or technology skills you feel you already have and what you will require to realize this project. We will try to realize all that are feasible; more complex ones may be bumped to future plans for this learning object.

2. Content Manipulation and Creation (25%)


While you can create a whole new topic area if you’d like, you are free to use the CCT 205 Wikispace as a launching point for this assignment. You are not required to use the content anyone in your group primarily authored in the space – any content is fair game. You do not have to “reserve” a topic either – multiple learning objects on the same general topic area are fine.

All this noted, do not simply cut and paste Wiki content into this assignment. Apart from the fact this is a blatant act of plagiarism, the results would be quite poor indeed – a good Wiki entry is not a good learning object, and vice versa.

Effective content for a learning object contains content directly tied to the learning outcomes you propose. The scope and quality of this content will be evaluated in reference to your learning outcomes as a result.

Cite all sources of information used or quoted, including Wikispace content and any images/audio/video material taken from other web sites.

3. Interface and Visual Design (25%)


Learning objects are interactive presentations of content that frame content in an effective, clean and visually compelling manner. The choice of interface and general visual concept should match the content and learning outcomes.


Some content lends itself well to the use of animation or video, others not. Some will benefit from radical or unique interface designs, others not. Interfaces and design components can be creatively designed and applied, but excessive trickery might be too much of a good thing. Feel free to ask your colleagues or Prof. Jones for ideas and advice regarding the suitability of any interface or visual concept.

4. Flash Design Components (25%)


In this assignment, Flash is being treated as a tool to realize this project’s goals, which are more important overall. That noted, we do want to ensure that you complete this course with a basic understanding of Flash fundamentals, including the following:

• Basic shape and/or motion tweening
• Basic interactivity behaviours (mouseover, Go To and Play/Stop on release, jump to external URL on release, etc.)
• Integration of bitmap and vector-based graphics
• Integration of video and/or audio components
• Exporting and embedding in HTML page

Effective execution of these skills will ensure mastery of more foundational concepts of Flash, including understanding keyframes, labels, layers and actions.

We will be showcasing a few basic examples of these skills in remaining tutorials, and providing one-on-one virtual and hands-on assistance in helping realize these specific goals.

Many of these key skills are faithfully taught in the tutorials already posted on the CCT205 Wikispace. You are strongly encouraged to experiment with these basic skills either in lab or at home, using the 30-day trial version of Flash downloadable from Adobe/Macromedia (http://www.macromedia.com.)

If you are aware of other tutorials that may be interesting or useful, feel free to post them in the Wikispace. Also feel free to use the Wikispace as a means to share examples, ask and answer questions on this assignment, etc.

Hand-in Instructions


The project will be handed in as a Flash module embedded in a Web page. On the page itself, please repost your project definition from Step #1.

In order to date-stamp submissions and to avoid any file size attachment problems, submission will take place via the Sheridan Elara server. Specific instructions on how to submit to Elara and to what location will be posted to WebCT and the 205 Wikispace shortly.