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Archive for the 'Usability' Category

Oncourse Tests & Surveys tool: Set it up

Oncourse’s Tests & Surveys tool lets instructors change a wide variety of settings in the assessments they create. Students should pay attention to these options too, as different settings might change their test-taking strategies.

Under Settings, instructors can specify delivery dates for their assessments, including whether or not to accept late submissions. In addition they can add a time limit, and add feedback (for specific responses, or for the assessment as a whole). They can even allow students to respond anonymously, or choose to hide students’ names from the person grading a test (such as a course assistant). Two settings in particular can be exploited for pedagogical purposes: Assessment Organization and Mark for Review.

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Wireframing for (hopefully) Better Websites

For people new to the web design game, the process can seem kind of overwhelming. After all, at various points when designing and developing a website, you need:

  1. aesthetic skills (to make things look good)
  2. information architecture skills (organizing the content in a way so that users can find what they need)
  3. interaction design skills (making sure that the paths within a website makes sense and are pleasurable for the user)
  4. technical skills (XHTML, CSS, knowing how to turn on a computer)

Many web design shops have pros who are experts in each of these areas. How can you, a smart but inexperienced person, compete with that?  You’re just trying to put together a little web site for yourself, your aunt the locally famous banjo player, or a volunteer organization…

divide et impera, or, Divide and Conquer

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See How Your Website Looks Cross-Browser and Cross-Platform for FREE

Generic Website Design Template

Design First, Then HTML-ize

If you’re new to the web design game, developing a new website (or redesigning an old one) is much like starting a new job: there are a thousand small details competing for your attention and its difficult to know how to proceed in a relatively efficient fashion.

One typical workflow, especially for smaller sites that only have static HTML pages, is to design the appearance of the site first. Some folks sketch designs on a pad of paper, others use a graphics program like Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Fireworks to lay out how the site will look. In fact, there’s been more than one great website design where the impetus came from cocktail napkin scratchings at a Friday night happy hour.

The Challenges of Translating Your Design into HTML

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