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Learning the Basics of Gmail and Google Drive

Rating: 3 stars
Used in Course: Not used in course
Submitted by: Thomas E. Bieri (Faculty), Feb 25, 2013

I think the presentation is very clear both in use and content.  I like the use of images of each step with clear directions and arrows to the relevant points on the screen.  I also like the colorful images along the sides and the general tone you use in your directions.  I would have given it one higher rating except that as is it isn't applicable to other school settings.

However, there are a couple of things that are unclear to me in terms of how the students will use/see it because of how it is presented on the blog. 

First, I wonder if it will automatically transition slides or if students will have control over when it moves ahead?  In the embedded version we have to advance each slide with an external forward button.  If this is not how students will see this, it might help if they could have forward, back, and home buttons on each slide.  If it automatically advances it might be good to also include a pause button for learners who want a little more time on some slides. 

Second, I also wonder if students will be able to access this simultaneously as they actually go through the process of signing up and creating their accounts and demonstrations?  I assume so, in which case the ability to control the pace on their own will be all the more necessary.  If not, then you may consider breaking this up into two or three different presentations (e.g. signing up for an account; creating and sharing a presentation; building and editing slides) as it is a lot of information to process and retain in one go.  If it is all one presentation and process, with opportunities to pause it and follow along by doing it themselves, it might be good to put a little outline or “roadmap” slide at the beginning to help them preview what they are going to be learning in the slide show.

Finally, there are a few minor things which I think could improve this a little more.  It seems rather static to me.  Adding some dynamic slide transitions, some embedded voice, and/or video might make it more vibrant.  It would also support learners who have trouble with text if you were giving the directions orally as well.  Instead of each slide being an annotated screenshot, perhaps if it were a screen cast it would work well?  Or you could embed a screen cast of part of the process, then switch to static slides like you have now which have it all written out and which they can access at their own pace as reinforcement of the demonstration plus scaffolding of what they’ll be doing themselves.  Also there were some things which I think were probably just typos.  On slide 26, “to” is missing from second instruction down the page on the left.  On slide 27, I think it would be better to write either “re-arrange some slides” or “move a slide” in the directions.  As for slide 35, I personally try not to use both also and too in the same sentence.

Technical Remarks:

I wonder about the pop-up on the last slide. When I got to the last slide, it started a little advertisement for other presentations that blocked out the slide’s text before I had read it.  I am not sure if this is a function of viewing it in Slideshare or not and if it will happen with the student-viewed version or not.  If it does, you may want to find a way to work around it, for example just adding one more slide that says simply “End” or “Finish”.

Time spent reviewing site: 45 minutes