Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Using Google Plus Communities for Analysis Work

I have set up Google Plus Communities for all of my groups this year in a bid to address where I see the main weakness of the DVC course. We always seem to have trouble with the notes and analysis, both of the work of others and the work produced in the lesson.
This week, Level 1 and Level 2 groups have been using the communities quite a lot more.

Level 1

We are at the stage where they need to start producing layout ideas for their posters to show the work of an architect. Part of what they are assessed on is their understanding of and use design elements such as proportion, layout, white space, size, visual impact..etc ( Achievement standard here )
Their understanding of the architects work is covered in the preparation work and they are taught the skills needed to use appropriate techniques to produce the presentation
( in this case, we use Adobe Illustrator ).

I set up a google drawing with some set elements on it for them to manipulate.

Their instructions were as follows :-

Make a copy of the Google drawing shown here.
You have the following elements to layout on your page :-
1 picture needs to be bigger than the others
3 smaller pictures
The title
Some text (there are 2 blocks included here, you can split it up more if you want)

Move, rearrange, resize, change the font.....
Link your layout onto the Google Plus community for everyone to see and critique.

Link to the original here



The students had about 20 minutes to get a copy of the drawing,  work on their first layout idea and get the Google drawing linked in the Level 1 Google Plus community.
We then had a chat about the comments that they were going to make on each others work. Making a positive comment was easy, except just saying that part of the layout was "nice" was frowned upon and changed to reasons why they liked something.
We chose to call the second comment "helpful critique". With this one, they had to say how part of the layout could be improved, but in a supportive way.
As usual, no one really wanted to be first to start the comments, so I went first. I will only do that for this first time though. They need to fly solo.
I was pleased overall with the comments that were coming in about each others' work. They seemed to be looking at the work and using the things we had been discussing.

Check out the community on the link here, and see what they have been saying.



Level 2

The task for the level 2 group was to collect images that related to the Art Deco elements in the given grid. I chose to get them to do this on PicMonkey, as they are all familiar with this and could concentrate on the content.
They need to understand what makes Art Deco what it is in terms of the main elements that are key to the design era.
Being able to see each others collages as they were posted helped with their understanding, as other people use different images to illustrate the same word.

Part of what they have to do in order to gain a higher level of understanding in this project, is to compare Art Deco to another design era. Link to the achievement standard here.

I have posted up a Google slide show with 2 images of similar objects, and they have to choose which one is Art Deco from the two.

Here are their instructions....

~COMPARE~
Make a copy of the this Google slide....
On each slide, indicate which one you think is the Art Deco design out of the two.
Share your copy of the slide back here so we can all see your answers.~




They made a start on this today, so when they create their Compare and Contrast diagram between Art Deco and Art Nouveau, they will have a deeper understanding of what characteristics are key to Art Deco.

Check out the community on the link here, and see what they have been posting.


Things I am happy about during this process :-
  • The students acceptance of posting in this way and for everyone to see it.
  • It doesn't take too long, so it doesn't have to be the "only" thing that happens in a lesson.
  • The ability for the students to learn from what the rest of the class post.
  • The simple way that it all works together and they can just "post" without worrying too much 
  • ( although one student will insist on posting publicly and forgetting to put it in the community )
  • The students can look at what is here and use it to help them when they have to do analysis in their own project work.
  • My Level 2 group is spread across 2 classes, so they can see what the others are doing and vice versa.


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