“Beautifying” Slides

I have some resistance to that phrase, hence the inspiration for my reflection today. It carries some connotation that the work is meaningless (may not be the intent of the speakers) and that, is so not what I’m doing or my intent. In my job as an online ID, I review slides that instructors use in their videos — they are visual aids. My review involves my looking at all dimensions of slide design, except the content, but I try to check if the phrasing is understandable to me, the outsider. At times, I create icons and graphs that don’t take up too much of my time. Slides QC is a very involved process consisting of multiple tasks and decisions.

Outsiders don’t see know the whole story of what I do, nor who I am. The odd few comment, out of the kindness of their heart, that I spend too much time on “beautifying” these slides. But my dear readers, the goal is not beauty but the motivational design of instruction – which is an ID’s job – check out John Keller’s ARCS theory.

I have learned since I started working on the first set of slides that I should work with the chief graphic designer (GD) so that he and his team gets to do the bulk of the graphic design work. My work with one set of slides in the first course project does not represent the labor I put in for the rest of the courses’ slides. It’s always hardest and we are most idealistic (and not too pragmatic) when we first work on a project. I learned now to leave the complex graphics development to the chief GD. As a team, we work efficiently together. I would never want to see us turn into a factory or graphics development machine.

My job as an ID is complex because ID is an art and a science. A good ID has a sharp eye for art/aesthetics and science. IMHO, s/he should be trained in both art and the learning sciences. I consider that my job — to make faculty look good as learning facilitators, and to make my ID portfolio of work as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Because my work is an expression of me. To ask me not to create aesthetically appealing things is to go against the grain of who I am. Why would anyone want to create bland un-motivational resources if presented the opportunity? Knowing that the GD team may not have the resources or time to realize my learning vision?

I get to work with stellar scholars and magnificent people. Some instructors are apologetic about asking for some graphics development. “I will not be high-maintenance.” They get it; we are busy. But I’m the

In the clamor of daily life, we sometimes forget that some little things we don’t see habitually happening, may bring immense joy to some people.  All they want is to have a little bit of opportunity to express their potential and to make some people around them a little happier with their contribution. I am blessed to have that opportunity to make that contribution.

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