April 25, 2010

Progress Report Week Fifteen

Posted in Project Reports at 3:32 pm by nicolettekayetaylor

My project for Arizona State University’s TWC 421 Writing with Technology course is tentatively complete! To overview, I have learned how to use Adobe InDesign CS4 through the lynda.com Online Training Library so that I can create a guide book about the educational publishing industry. This past week, I implemented changes to my project that were suggested by my peer reviewers. Their feedback was very helpful! I fixed typos, formatting, and other issues thanks to them. Now that these changes are done, I feel like the project is ready for submission. However, there are always those last minute changes that may or may not arise. You can view the current book through Taylor Project Iteration 5.

For now, I can look forward to completing the final presentation. I can’t believe how much I have learned about using InDesign in such a short time span. I feel like a very capable user and have no frustrations with the application. I look forward to using it in the future. I also feel like I have a better handle on the end-of-semester time crunch. Next week check for updates in regards to me presentation!

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April 18, 2010

Project Report Week Fourteen

Posted in Project Reports at 3:36 pm by nicolettekayetaylor

My project for Arizona State University’s TWC 421 Writing with Technology course is even closer to completion! To overview, I have learned how to use Adobe InDesign CS4 through the lynda.com Online Training Library so that I can create a guide book about the educational publishing industry. This past week, I implemented changes to my project that were suggested by my usability reviewers. Another large activity for my project this week was editing all of the chapter content of my book. What a time consuming task! I had so many typos and issues with sentence clarity. The text of these is now completely set and final. Finally, I created hyperlinks in my document that links all of the vocab words to their spot in the glossary and vice versa. You can test these links in Links Test.

This upcoming week, I want to add hyperlinks that go from quiz questions to the answer appendix and vice versa. This will increase digital usability for the user. Also, now that the text is set, I can create my index this week. I still want to improve the bookmarks and introduce variable text to create small chapter headers on the top left corner of verso pages. I may also experiment setting the section title as variable text on the top right corner of recto pages. Finally, I need to revise the content of the introduction and title pages to match the new direction of the book (i.e. print textbooks instead of digital products).

I am still very happy with InDesign. Right now, getting the final touches and the index complete is a little stressful. There is just so little time left and I am moving across state lines this week! Luckily, I am almost done with everything. Aside from my time crunch, everything is still going well. Keep checking in for additional updates on this exciting project!

April 11, 2010

Project Report Week Thirteen

Posted in Project Reports at 12:40 pm by nicolettekayetaylor

My project for Arizona State University’s TWC 421 Writing with Technology course is even closer to completion! To overview, I have learned how to use Adobe InDesign CS4 through the lynda.com Online Training Library so that I can create a guide book about the educational publishing industry. This past week, I completed a usability report for my project. In this report, I discussed my assessment of the feedback I received from my reviewers.

This upcoming week, I want to implement the suggestions given to me by my reviewers. They suggested some changes and noted some errors that need to be fixed. I also want to work on chapter four of my book. In the upcoming weeks I want to implement navigational aids for my book. For instance, For instance, I want to add hyperlinks from vocab words that go directly to the glossary and from quiz questions to the answer appendix. I also want to improve the bookmarks. Another feature I want to focus on is variable text to create small chapter headers on the top left corner of verso pages. I may also experiment setting the section title as variable text on the top right corner of recto pages. Finally, once I get all of the content complete, I need to make an Index All of this will make the book more usable for students.

I am still very happy with InDesign. Right now, getting the fourth chapter and the index complete is stressing me out. There is just so little time left before we need to make our final presentation! I may consider doing away with chapter four so I have more time to focus on the index and polishing the final product. Perhaps I can rename the book to better reflect that this is about textbooks in print format. I will make a decision about this soon. Aside from this problem, everything is still going well. Keep checking in for additional updates on this exciting project!

April 5, 2010

Project Report Week Twelve

Posted in Project Reports at 3:15 pm by nicolettekayetaylor

My project for Arizona State University’s TWC 421 Writing with Technology course is nearing completion! To overview, I have learned how to use Adobe InDesign CS4 through the lynda.com Online Training Library so that I can create a guide book about the educational publishing industry. This past week, I completed chapters one and two of my project. This was a big hurdle that I needed to jump over before sending out my project for a usability review. I am happy to say that representatives from my primary and secondary audiences now hold Taylor Project Iteration 3. I also developed questions for my reviewers to respond to.

This upcoming week, I want to work with my reviewers to make sure I get good feedback. These are people I know but luckily I trust they will be critical. Once I have collected their feedback I will compose the readability/usability report to post to the class discussion board. This weekend I hope to implement some of the suggestions from my reviewers. In the upcoming weeks, I want to complete the last chapter (number 4) so that I can start implementing navigational aids for my book. For instance, For instance, I want to add hyperlinks from vocab words that go directly to the glossary and from quiz questions to the answer appendix. I also want to improve the bookmarks. Another feature I want to focus on is variable text to create small chapter headers on the top left corner of verso pages. I may even experiment setting the section title as variable text on the top right corner of recto pages. Finally, once I get all of the content complete, I need to make an Index All of this will make the book more usable for students.

I am not frustrated with InDesign at all. I actually really enjoy the program and feel I have mastered the basics. Right now, getting the content for the book is the only stressful item on the project agenda. There will be a lot to cover in chapter four but I expect it will only take one week of dedication to complete. Unfortunately, this week will be too busy to fit it in. Aside from this, everything is still going well. Keep checking in for additional updates on this exciting project!

March 28, 2010

Project Report Week Eleven

Posted in Project Reports at 12:20 pm by nicolettekayetaylor

I feel confident with InDesign as I continue my project for Arizona State University’s TWC 421 Writing with Technology course. To overview, I am learning to use Adobe InDesign CS4 through the lynda.com Online Training Library so that I can create a guide book about the educational publishing industry. This past week, I completed chapters one and two from my second online course called, “InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics”. Last week, I also worked on chapter one of my project. It is almost complete now! You can now see the Week 10 Version of my project. Another major activity I participated in last week was writing up a summary of the feedback I received from a recent peer editorial review.

This upcoming week, I want to continue the “InDesign CS4Beyond the Basics” course from lynda.com. I am now 20% complete and I wish to be at least 35% complete with this course by this Sunday. Also, I plan on having the rough draft for chapter one complete early this week. Hopefully, I will have most of the content for chapter two complete by this Sunday. I want to continue gathering creditable source material from online journals and electronic books from the ASU online library that can apply to this chapter. I also want to continue my search for free/inexpensive graphics that support my material.

I am less frustrated with the text-wrapping feature. I am just learning to cope with it. I am thinking about changing my margins. Right now I have added extra space for the binding edge on my masterpage, but it might make more sense to simply have the margins set to this. Right now, getting the content for the book is more important. At this point, I am going to use more quoted material to complete the project faster. If I have time, I will go back and paraphrase more and add more of my own commentary in. For now though, I am concerned about time limitations and filling the book with useful information (even if it is just a collection of information instead of original thoughts). Aside from this, everything is still going well. Keep checking in for additional updates on this exciting project!

March 19, 2010

Project Report Week Ten

Posted in Project Reports at 6:39 pm by nicolettekayetaylor

Spring Break has ended, and I have spent the extra time on my project for Arizona State University’s TWC 421 Writing with Technology course. To overview, I am learning to use Adobe InDesign CS4 through the lynda.com Online Training Library so that I can create a guide book about the educational publishing industry. This past week, I completed the remaining chapters from my online course called, “InDesign CS4 Essential Training”. Now I have a certificate of competition!   Last week, I also resolved one of my major frustrations—that of creating and editing tables. I now know how to get better control over this feature. Another major activity I participated in last week was completing chapter three of my book as well as revising several other areas. You can see the Spring Break Version of my project.

This upcoming week, I want to start the “InDesign CS4Beyond the Basics” course from lynda.com. I wish to be at least 15% complete with this course by this Sunday. Also, I really want to spend quality time developing my books content. Hopefully, I will have a nearly complete chapter one by this Sunday. I want to continue gathering creditable source material from online journals and electronic books from the ASU online library that can apply to this chapter.

I am a little frustrated with the text-wrapping feature. It seems like even though I set two different objects with 2mm edges, one looks like it has a wider text wrap space than the other. It is not a huge deal because I just set the one that looks too small to 4mm but I just get irritated when things are not consistent. Maybe I will do some research on this problem this week. Aside from this minor irritation, everything is still going well. Keep checking in for additional updates on this exciting project!

March 14, 2010

Project Report Week Nine

Posted in Project Reports at 12:30 pm by nicolettekayetaylor

Spring Break has begun, and I want to use my extra time to continue working on my project for Arizona State University’s TWC 421 Writing with Technology course. To overview, I am learning to use Adobe InDesign CS4 through the lynda.com Online Training Library so that I can create a guide book about the educational publishing industry. This past week, I completed chapters nine, ten and eleven from my online course called, “InDesign CS4 Essential Training”.  I also jumped ahead to the course called “InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics to learn about indexing features that I can apply to my book. Unfortunately, I have learned that indexing is most efficient if left for after the book have been written so I can’t implement this new knowledge right away as planned. However, I learned other helpful tricks regarding transformations and formatting which I can use right away. Last week, I also resolved one of my major frustrations—that of creating attractive lists. I now know how to get better control over list formatting. Another major activity I participated in last week was the peer review session on the course discussion board. I feel like I was really able to employ my InDesign knowledge in helping other students with their projects. I also received some great advice for my project.

This upcoming week, I want to continue focusing on my lynda.com tutorials. I am 80% complete with my course and wish to have the entire course complete by this Sunday. Also, I really want to spend more quality time developing my books content because I was set back last week by the peer reviews. I want to continue gathering creditable source material from online journals and electronic books from the ASU online library that can apply to chapter three. This chapter is very close to completion and I am sad that I was not able to finish it last week. I wish to have the rough draft of this chapter complete by the end of the week. I also hope to start working on chapter 1, Textbook Anatomy. I plan on using the Chicago Manual of Style as a main reference for this chapter.

I am still frustrated with tabled. They are a little difficult to manage and I wish to have more control over the style of bullets and numbering. I looked ahead and luckily my lessons this week will address this. Aside from irritation and my content development setbacks, everything is still going well. Keep checking in for additional updates on this exciting project!

March 7, 2010

Project Report Week Eight

Posted in Project Reports at 7:12 pm by nicolettekayetaylor

My project for Arizona State University’s TWC 421 Writing with Technology course is really starting to come together. To overview, I am learning to use Adobe InDesign CS4 through the lynda.com Online Training Library so that I can create a guide book about the educational publishing industry. This past week, I completed chapter seven and eight from my online course called, “InDesign CS4 Essential Training”.  I also jumped ahead to the course called “InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics to learn about creating a table of contents for my book. The InDesign skills I have acquired this week have really helped pull the books structure together. My table of contents is highly functional and easy to update.  I have chapter four of my book nearly complete now. In total, I have gathered eleven sources that have been used in chapter four. Last week, I also resolved one main design issue—that of deciding that each chapter will begin on the recto side of the spread. This will ensure that all of my graphics do not need to be replaced as the book grows. Another major decision I made last week was to remove chapter 1 from my book, which was titled, Historical Significance. I chose to do this because I am covering historical issues in what is now chapter 3, Leading Publishers and Markets. Additionally, I am feeling much better about copyright laws after taking extra time to study fair use this week. Finally, I devised several interview questions for my source at Pearson Education. I sent those to her today. You will be able to see my books progress soon with Iteration 2.

This upcoming week, I want to continue focusing on my lynda.com tutorials. I am 65% complete with my course and wish to be over 80% complete by this Sunday. Also, I really want to learn to use InDesign’s indexing features. I will have to jump ahead again to InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics to learn this.  I want to continue gathering creditable source material from online journals and electronic books from the ASU online library that can apply to chapter three. This chapter is very close to completion. I wish to have the rough draft of this chapter complete by the end of the week. I also hope to start working on chapter 1, Textbook Anatomy. I plan on using the Chicago Manual of Style as a main reference for this chapter.

I am a little frustrated with tables, and lists. The tables are a little difficult to manage and I wish to have more control over the style of bullets and numbering. Hopefully my lessons this week will address this. Aside from these irritations, everything is still going extremely well. I am especially relieved to know that the book will be a mere four chapters instead of five. This makes the entire project less overwhelming. Keep checking in for additional updates on this exciting project!

February 28, 2010

Project Report Week Seven

Posted in Project Reports at 1:41 pm by nicolettekayetaylor

My project for Arizona State University’s TWC 421 Writing with Technology course is really starting to come together. To overview, I am learning to use Adobe InDesign CS4 through the lynda.com Online Training Library so that I can create a guide book about the educational publishing industry. This past week, I completed chapter six and part of chapter seven from my online course called, “InDesign CS4 Essential Training”. The InDesign skills I have acquired so far have allowed me to make large strides of progress with my book last week. I set the basic structure for chapter four and even got substantial writing for it complete. I also designed the layout for all of my book’s back matter which includes the following sections: appendix, glossary, endnotes, bibliography, credits, and index. The glossary and already have several terms in it. My appendix has a set style but I have nothing to put in it yet. My reference sections are really taking shape. I am going with the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) endnote-bibliography system because this is very popular for textbooks. I also have a separate credits section for all of the figures being cited. I plan on acquiring permissions for this credits section. In total, I gathered four sources last week that have been used in chapter four. It was a relief to spend more time on research last week than in previous weeks. Last week, I also resolved two main design issues. First, I determined how much and what kind of color to use. Second, I confirmed my font choices and heading styles. You can see all of these changes with Project Iteration #1.

This upcoming week, I want to continue focusing on my lynda.com tutorials. I am 50% complete with my course and wish to be over 65% complete by this Sunday. Also, I really want to learn to use InDesign’s table of contents and indexing features. This may mean that I need to skip a few lessons in my tutorials and come back to them later.  I want to continue gathering creditable source material from online journals and electronic books from the ASU online library that can apply to chapter four, which is titled Leading Publishers and Markets. I wish to have the rough draft of this chapter complete by the end of the week.  

I currently have no application-use frustrations. However, I am having serious internal debate on what page, odd or even, I want the chapter beginnings to fall on. I could just have them all flow together without defining this but then I will be constantly rearranging the main text box and graphics because the right and left pages of my chapter spreads are not identical. This is because I have a wider margin in the middle so the text is not too close to the binding of the finished book.  This whole issue is frustrating because if I pick each chapter to start on odds or evens, then there may be unnecessary blank pages in the book. My goal is to resolve this issue by the end of the week. Another concern I have is that of copyright laws. I am currently engaged in research and discussion about how to give credit to my sources. Because I may publish this book later, I need to abide by stricter rules because my work might not be protected under fair use if it is not solely a school project.

Aside from my mental hesitations on chapter pagination and citation, everything is still going extremely well. Keep checking in for additional updates on this exciting project!

February 22, 2010

Project Report Week Six

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:19 am by nicolettekayetaylor

I am diving deeper into my project for Arizona State University’s TWC 421 Writing with Technology course. To overview, I am learning to use Adobe InDesign CS4 through the lynda.com Online Training Library so that I can create a guide book about the educational publishing industry. This past week, I completed chapters four and five of my online course called, “InDesign CS4 Essential Training”. I am feeling much more empowered with InDesign and I find that my perceptions of this program have changes. Earlier I was frustrated because many of the graphic editing options of Adobe Photoshop are not available here. Now I have learned the purpose of the Edit Original Graphic function, which opens the graphic in Photoshop and immediately changes it within InDesign. I love the control this feature offers me. I also recently learned about how graphics are linked to or embedded inside InDesign. Now I see how for my purposes, InDesign is a powerful combination tool used to bring together all of the elements of a book for printing.  

During the past week, I completed a rough draft for my books front matter. You can see it as Front Matter Version 1. It includes a developed cover page, title page, copyright page, and dedication page, and author information page. It has space for a forward and features page. It also has a table of contents that needs to better-developed. I was able to exercise many new techniques with this accomplishment. For instance, I have well designed master pages and was even able to use the parent-child master page technique to vary them! In these master pages, I have my variable text for pagination. I also used the override function to delete the page number on pages where I did not want them (i.e cover, dedication).  Another example of gaining new techniques is the way I conquered my color frustrations and created several swatches based off of my front cover art. I took the photo for this myself so that I won’t need to give it citation. I edited it in Photoshop to get the look I want. Finally, I learned to use the the filler text feature for the forward page. This way, I can put this section on hold until my chapters are complete but still get a general feel for how the page will look.

Other accomplishments this week include opening email communication with a Software Quality Assurance Analyst at Pearson Education. I sent her an email and am waiting for a reply. Hopefully, I will hear from her soon. The research is not going as fast as I would like.  

This upcoming week, I want to continue focusing on my lynda.com tutorials. I am 42%complete with my course and wish to be over 50% complete by this Sunday. I currently have no application frustrations. Many problems were cleared up recently. Unfortunately, I unhappy with the progress of my research; I have spent so much time focusing on the tutorials and front matter, that I failed to do much research for book content last week. This week I need to focus on gathering creditable source material from online journals and electronic books from the ASU online library. I also need to make a list of major educational publishers so later I can contact them to set up potential interviews. This activity will be a good start to chapter four of my book which is titled Leading Publishers and Markets. I wish to begin designing this chapter throughout the week. I also want to begin setting up some of the book’s back matter. The glossary and answer appendix, and references will be the main priorities for this.

For this week I want to resolve three main design issues. First, I need to determine how much color I ought to use. Second, I need to confirm my typography but I am conflicted over the font styles. I am looking to my own textbooks for examples to help guide me with this. The fonts I choose are essential towards establishing usability and mood. Thirdly, the table of contents is pitiful right now by design standards. It needs more attention but I am hesitant to spend so much energy on it while as I write the book the pages are going to change.  This week I hope to learn to use a form of linking to make the page numbers here non-static so I can go back to give this section better style.

On the whole, everything is going very well. I have no major complaints with the application or the elements of my project. Keep checking in for additional updates on this exciting project!

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