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Jerry Bates: Weekly Progress Reports (15/5's)

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Page Last Updated Sunday, April 27, 2008 11:51 PM


Week 14: ending April 28, 2008

Week 14: Accomplishments

  • Showcase. Presented the first part of the project showcase. [100]
  • Process perspectives survey. Set up a SurveyMonkey account and created the survey that Ray and I had drafted in last Sunday's team meeting. Mentioned the survey to Dr. Brescia Monday night, only to find out he would be out of town until midweek. But he said he would try to get to it (which he did). Had to reopen the survey in order to get the feedback from the last team memeber. Explored different methods for exporting the results.[100]
  • Project evaluation report. Completed the draft of this report using time records the others sent, the survey results, and the "lessons learned" from last week's meeting. Wrote my own personal perspectives (as did the others). Document is in Word to make it easier to send to Dr. Brescia, but then converted it to html and posted it to team website. [100]
  • Formative evaluation report. Received Angela's summaries to insert into the shell drafted last week. Document is in Word, but then converted it to html to post to team website. Included some graphs as well. [100].
  • Treatment report. Experienced a sinking feeling when reviewing the course requirements, realizing we had not created a treatment report which was due on Monday. Send out a team email asking for volunteers (no response or acknowledgement either). So I went ahead and took care of it myself. But in a later discussion with Dr. Grant, I found out we didn't need to do it after all... the specifications and high concept documents were all that our project called for. I'd incorporated those into the treatment report, so went ahead and posted it to the web site. Could not figure out how to post the code from the php pages, so had to print them to pdf and post as a downloadable link. However, I was able to get the css code.... but it doesn't look easy to read. I wonder what other method I could have used. [100]

Week 14: Pending Items

  • Debrief with Dr. Grant: Monday night, both for team and for comp question.
  • Project documentation to Client. Later Monday night, I need to get the final collection of Word documents off to Dr. Brescia, per our discussion last Monday evening..

Week 14: Concerns/Recommentations

  • Dr. Brescia's feedback in the survey indicated he would have liked more face to face meetings and would have like to see what the product looked like along the way. I feel personally responsible for these failings, and am quite unsettled about them. I just need to keep this in mind for the future.

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Week 13: ending April 21, 2008

Week 13: Accomplishments

  • Showcase. Drafted PowerPoint for the showcase and shared with team for feedback. Met with Ray during Sunday's team meeting and we made revisions and discussed how we would split the presentation. Applied revisions and redistributed final copy (printed in black and white in notes page format in pdf) for note taking.[100]
  • Project evaluation report. Started working on the evaluation report and shared results with team, asking for input and feedback. Discussed during Sunday's meeting briefly, spending time to develop a generic survey we could sent to all constituents. Signed up for paid subscription to Survey Monkey and input the questions. Plan to distribute it after the Showcase, using that as a time to let people know it will be coming. [50]
  • Formative evaluation report. Wrote the shell for this report, adding my section on eLearning expert reviews. Requested summaries from Angela to incorporate, which I received Sunday evening. Final assembly and editing still needed. [50]

Week 13: Pending Items

  • Project evaluation report. Underway, but still need to collect perspectives from team and well as actual time spent. Will finalize the draft this coming week once I get those pieces, so the team can review final draft next Sunday before we turn it in on Monday. [50]
  • Formative evaluation report. Need to incorporate Angela's sections and write recommendations. [50].
  • Project documentation. Once the formative evaluation report is completed, need to collate this into a single document and (time permitting) reconstruct that page on the team website.

Week 13: Concerns/Recommentations

  • I recall Dr. Brescia mentioning something about his receiving the documentation for the project. I'm not sure if he is looking for a paper document.... If so, I believe the collated "project documentation" from our website will be that piece, together with screen prints and the job aids. I need to touch base with him to see what his expectations are. Perhaps tomorrow night at the Showcase (if I can remember amidst the lower duck flutters).

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Week 12: ending April 14, 2008

Week 12: Accomplishments

  • SME feedback. Received brief feedback from Dr. Brescia on the website; he had difficulty getting the sounds to play, and I responded with some tips.... he was on the road toward the end of the week and I've not heard back from him. I need to contact him first thing Monday about this.[100]
  • Wrote and posted personal and team 15/5 reports. [100]
  • Ray and I got all the changes made to the website based on our eLearning expert time for Angela to use the "improved" site for the next phases of the evaluation and in time to get the newer/cleaner look off to Dr. Brescia. [100]
  • Team meeting on Sunday: Chaired the 90 team meeting in which we discussed results of the formative evaluation phases and agreed on what we were going to do as a result of it. Angela and I discussed the parts of the evaluation report we need to put together. I, unfortunately, had not yet drafted my parts (I've been working on the comp question which is due Monday night). We also tried out Ray's job aid and were able to suggest some ideas about including the "rules" about category and drug id numbers. Brainstormed about what we wanted to say for the Showcase, but none of us had come up with any design templates, as we've all been busy with other parts of the class work. [Meeting: 100]
  • I was having trouble getting ANY audio to play on my work laptop running Windows XP and Firefox browser (works fine in IE). Firefox couldn't find the plugin and said I had to manually install it. I went through the download and install process twice, once with Angela watching to make sure I was doing what I needed to... but it still didn't take. I FINALLY got it to work, but it had nothing to do with downloading the plugin. (What baffled me was that I'd go to Firefox/Tools/Options/Content/Manage. The "wav" file type wasn't listed, so I couldn't associate it with any plugin.) What worked? I put a wav file on my desktop, then right-clicked it and selected "open with." I browsed the list to find QuickTime, and then not only selected it but checked the option box that designated using QT as the default to open this type of file. Wondrously, when I got back into Firefox, not only was 'wav' file type there, but the association with QuickTime was too. It worked!)

Week 12: Pending Items

  • Project showcase. Need to move this along... may need to exchange ideas and drafts via email since the showcase is a week from tomorrow. [50]
  • Job aid and product revisions. I need to create the downloadable job aid for the product and insert links on the web page. Once I get all this done, I need to both upload it to ed-u-cate and send the files to Ray via email so he can put them on the library web site.
  • Telephone Dr. Brescia to get closure on his audio issues from when we tested the product. Also ask him about whether he wants us to deliver the product with only the autonomic drugs (as contracted) or with the records for all 700 drugs (even though they don't have audio links). This would save him a ton of data entry time once they get ready to expand the product to include more drugs. (They'd only need to insert the audio link and the phonetic pronunciation guide. We don't feel this is our decision to make.

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Week 11: ending April 7, 2008

Week 11: Accomplishments

  • SME Formative evaluation: provided experts with link to website, collected their feedback, shared with team, and reviewed what I thought we might do, for consideration in Sunday's team meeting. [100]
  • Wrote and posted personal and team 15/5 reports. [100]
  • Extensive team meeting: Extended team meeting (5 hours) to review SME feedback and make changes. Lots of exploration needed, but we finally got it looking the way we wanted. Rewrote the prose on the home page as well as the illustrated guide. Recaptured screen shot for use on the guide sheet.[100]
  • Correspondence with client. Emailed Dr. Brescia with status report on upcoming SME evaluation and offered him the URL for his own review. He asked that I wait to send it to him on Monday, and to leave the video "in place" so he could see it. (We'd planned to remove it before the students review it.) Also acted as intermediary regarding scheduling the small group reviews by the M1's, because Dr. Brescia was about to leave and be out of the office for several days.[100]
  • Project Evaluation Report. Prepared a table for team members to report their actual times spent (compared to budgeted times), to get ready for our final report. Pencilled in my hours from my database. [100]

Week 11: Pending Items

  • Project showcase. We need to plan this in tomorrow's meeting. We have two weeks before this is due. [0]
  • If the small group evaluations reveal the need for a plug-in check on the web page, we will need to add that. [0]

Week 11: Remarks

  • Sunday's meeting to revise the web pages gave me a chance to get into the backend of the style sheet I'd created, and figure out that we needed some new div's to deal with the special presentation on the ePharm page.
  • Although some of the SME remarks were hard to hear, it was good to get an outside opinion of our work.
  • One of our SME's couldn't get the audios to play. But this was because he viewed drugs that weren't in our audio-enabled list. We discussed this by phone, and he offered some ideas. In the end, the team decided to have our product give just the drugs we were contracted for (Autonomics); and have the "full" set (sans audio) held in reserve, just in case Dr. Brescia wants us to install that instead.

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Week 10: ending March 31, 2008

Week 10: Accomplishments

  • Web site: Undertook and completed the website (re)design together with guide showing final screen shots of working prototype. The week began with a powerpoint "concept" presentation that quickly migrated to a full-blown css-enabled series of web pages. We consulted with Dr. Grant about the overall look and feel, paying attention to the css version of the website. Pages uploaded to our ed-u-cate page and sent to Ray to post to the remote host. Tweaking the style sheet was aided by another CSS book by Eric Meyer; also by searching the web for tips on iframe inclusions and horizontal navigation bars and color coordinations.[100]
  • Formative evaluation: Procured Drs. Mims and Martindale's agreement to participate in the evaluation on April 2. [100]
  • Wrote and posted personal and team 15/5 reports. [100]
  • Students for formative evaluation. Communicated with Dr. Brescia about volunteers for the one on one and small group evaluations. He had no success with M2 or M3s, as both classes are engrossed in exam preparations. I suggested he solicit help from M1's, which yielded two volunteers.[100]
  • Personal professional development with CSS: rather than "finish a book," I put what I had gleaned from my study to immediate use in the creation of our web page. Given this practice, I believe reworking my personal web page using CSS is not called for, especially given current time constraints.[100]

Week 10: Pending Items

  • Conduct the expert review this week with Dr. Mims and Dr. Martindale. [0]

Week 10: Concerns/Recommentations

  • Amazingly, there is a sense of peace. May be the calm before the storm, as we are sure to get some feedback from the evaluation that will require revisions. But it is a good feeling knowing that we could hand this off "as it is" and have met our major hallmarks for success (as outlined in our plan).
  • We may have a problem with the site Dr. Brescia wants us to use for the formative evaluation. It seems it is a new lab built specifically for testing. According to Dr. Brescia, it does not have speakers. I let Angela know so she could be prepared by bringing speakers or headphones. Speakers would be better, as it is important for the observer to see and hear what the students are seeing. Hard to tell if they have trouble playing the audio if we can't hear what they are hearing.
  • We may need to add a "check for plugins" feature to the web site, in case the user machines don't have it. In the future, this is something to find out from the client before undertaking a project. Hindsight is 20/20.

Week 10: Remarks

  • A friend shared a YouTube video with me that sings drug names to the tune of the Modern Major General from Pirates of Penzance. A much needed bit of comic relief. It could be one of our "war stories."
  • I had trouble with the horizontal nav bar displaying in IE, and spent time hunting for alternate methods. As it turned out, it was the negative margin of the date element that was beneath the navbar that was messing things up. Once I removed that, IE displayed everything just fine. So, no need to recode the navbar!

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Week 9: ending March 24, 2008

Week 9: Accomplishments

  • Client feedback: Communicated with Dr. Brescia regarding progress; he requested a paragraph to share with M2's about the evaluation protocol. I sent it to him on Friday (before we received approval of the evaluation plan). Sent the approved plan on Sunday (3/24) in pdf. [100]
  • Formative evaluation plan: Received approval from Dr. Grant with suggestions to add a rating scale to Appendix A and to delineate how we would deal with expert feedback of sufficient severity/pervasiveness. Made those changes and uploaded to team website. [100]
  • Wrote and posted personal and team 15/5 reports. [100]
  • Storyboard/style: Prepared a working powerpoint prototype with working wav file (save both to the same folder) for the web site that includes home page, instructions, and resources information. Has a working tabbed menu bar. Shared with team as suggestions for final product. (Ray is responsible for this, but the technical side is really overwhelming, so I thought this might help.) [100]
  • Team meeting: distributed agenda for Sunday's meeting which Angela and I attended. [100]
  • PHP, database, etc: Googled for help on the interactive database/website issues we're experiencing. Found potentially useful ws3schools site ( and shared with Ray... hopeful this may help us out of our conundrum. [100]
  • Stalled in final chapter of Meyer's CSS Web Site Design training package, but ordered and received the CSS bible by the same author. Expect this will be a useful professional resource. [50]

Week 9: Pending Items

  • Contact Dr. Mims and Dr. Martindale to ask them to be our eLearning experts for the expert review part of our project formative evaluation. [0]
  • Complete personal professional development on cascading style sheets. [50]
  • Redesign personal webpage using CSS (expecting to mimic the Meyer samples to some extent). [0]

Week 9: Concerns/Recommentations

  • Continue to worry about technical aspects of product, but hopeful that the ajax/mySQL/PHP references I found may be helpful.
  • Unsure where we stand with the visual presentation. Difficult to get a handle on this, with the database piece still so unresolved.

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Week 8: ending March 17, 2008

Week 8: Accomplishments

  • Team meeting: Held 3/16 team meeting following the agenda distributed 3/15. [100]
  • Formative evaluation plan: Submitted to Dr. Grant; using Word documents for data collection instruments (no response one way or another to my question about this). Reviewed the plan with the team during 3/16 meeting. I'll take care of getting the eLearning experts "on board." [100]
  • Wrote and posted personal and team 15/5 reports. [100]
  • Have completed 9 of the 10 chapters in Meyer's CSS Web Site Design training package. Feeling considerably more comfortable with the concepts of CSS. Developing a strategy to put what I've learned into practice for my personal project web pages. [50]

Week 8: Pending Items

  • Contact Dr. Mims and Dr. Martindale to ask them to be our eLearning experts for the expert review part of our project formative evaluation. [0]
  • Waiting for Dr. Grant's feedback on the evaluation plan; will undoubtedly need to revise, then submit to Dr. Brescia.[0]
  • Email Dr. Brescia with a weekly update (I missed this last week). [0]
  • Complete personal professional development on cascading style sheets. [50]
  • Redesign personal webpage using CSS (expecting to mimic the Meyer samples to some extent). [0]

Week 8: Concerns/Recommentations

  • I have some worry about the graphic design/visual elements of our project. The technical aspects have been very challenging, and we believe the critical issue is to get a functioning product. Fancy appearances have to take a back seat. Would prefer this not to be the case, but it seems to be the necessary reality.
  • I asked Ray during our Sunday meeting to help me understand the overall approach he's taken to put the product together. There have been several starts, stops, and redirections. "If you were to start it from scratch, knowing what you know now, what process would you follow?" was the question I put to him. I feel if I can come away with that conceptual framework, I will have a primitive understanding of what he has done. It certainly won't be enough for me to replicate it, but at least I'll have some viable pointers in the right direction.
  • When it's time to write our formative evaluation report, I am hopeful that the evaluation plan I wrote will make this fairly straightforward. I think the report is a recapitulation of the evaluation questions we posed, a presentation of the data collection method, and the results of each step of the evaluation, together with the changes we made along the way. As a result of the modifications, we should be able to report to the client (and our sponsor) the final findings regarding each of the questions. There may be some further recommendations as well. (I'll be looking for some confirmation of this in upcoming class discussions.)
  • Angela mentioned that Dr. Grant shared several ZOHO applications during the class that I missed due to illness. It seems I've only scratched the surface of what this tool might be able to do for us. I wonder to what extent it would be worth pursuing further. (As it is, we really use ZOHO's project management tool, and that only to post messages in the forum and to upload documents.)

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Week 7: ending March 10, 2008

Week 7: Accomplishments

  • Client meeting: Angela and I went to UTHSC to meet with Dr. Brescia at his request. Notes regarding the meeting will be posted in the team 15/5 for the week. [100]
  • Formative evaluation plan: I drafted the evaluation plan and designed the several data collection instruments which I posted on zoho for team review. Requested permission to post instruments in Word instead of html. [50]
  • Posted personal and team 15/5 reports (later due to personal out of town travel) [100]
  • Shared some thoughts about product specifications and big picture statement with Angela. [100]

Week 7: Pending Items

  • Get team feedback on formative evaluation plan and submit by due date of March 17. [50]
  • Continue personal professional development on cascading style sheets. [50]

Week 7: Concerns/Recommentations

  • As project manager, I continue to be concerned about our meeting our deadlines and being creatively productive.

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Week 6: ending March 2-3, 2008

Week 6: Accomplishments

  • Project Plan and client feedback: Dr. Brescia acknowledged the plan and requested a face to face meeting, expressing concern that we are not using the videos. I phoned him Friday morning and scheduled the meeting for 11 a.m., March 3. Shared concerns with Dr. Grant, who advised we carry on. [100]
  • Acquiring Content: I was able to get pronunciations and audio files for 90% of the 89 drugs on the preferred list using the UMM website and the Merriam-Webster medical dictionary (the latter only gave phonetic spellings). Am burning them to CD to hand over to Ray, together with the URLs and filenames. Noted: this is more than the 30-50 we "promised" in our charter.[100]
  • Permission to use existing content: contacted webmaster at asking to use wave files. They prefer we link to the files rather than store on our local server, but if we experience difficulties, we can contact them to discuss other options. Contact person is Ed Bennett at 410-328-0771. [100]
  • Updated timelog categories to match the budget/time categories in our project plan and adjusted existing entries. (The model I used at the beginning was a good generic start, but won't be helpful when we try to reconcile budgeted to actual for our final project report.) [100]
  • Created separate (ppt) (prototype using alphabetical user selection because I noticed several drugs appear in several categories. Was also concerned that learners needed too much pre-existing knowledge just to find out how to pronounce a single drug name. Posted on ZOHO for team review. Discussed with team during Sunday's meeting; we decided to stay with "categories" as originally planned; could add an alphabetical interface later, if needed and if we have time. [100]
  • Held team meeting on Sunday--good to see everybody again!. Confirmed upcoming tasks and Angela reminded us we don't have class on March 10. She and I got our game plan together for our Monday meeting with Dr. Brescia. [100]
  • (I was out sick for the majority of the week, and this put a big wrinkle in my production for the week.)

Week 6: Pending Items

  • Start work on evaluation plan [0]
  • Return videos to Brescia on Monday (Ray gave them to me on Sunday). [0]
  • Started Eric Meyer's book on css, determined to convert my personal project pages to my own css version so I'm not beholden to the team css. [50]
  • Gantt chart still isn't updated. [50]

Week 6: Concerns/Recommentations

  • Technical challenges of getting a working database are the major stumbling block for us. We are relying on Ray to get this ironed out with Matt Grayson at UTHSC library.
  • I'll be anxious until after our meeting tomorrow with Dr. Brescia regarding use of videos. Angela had the perfect talking point: given course constraints, we couldn't process them and generate the required product within the time frame. We were advised that good quality audio was the key issue, and so we sought alternate sources of that.

Week 6: Comments

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Week 5: ending February 24-25, 2008

Week 5: Accomplishments

  • Project Plan: Edited the plan in accord with Dr. Grant's feedback we received on Thursday. However, this took a lot longer than the 60 minutes he estimated for it (more like 5 hours). Calculating budgeted time and hours, as well as recasting the WBS (to fit with our modified expectations gleaned from our 2/18 meeting w/ Dr. Grant) were part of the reasons. Sent to Dr. Brescia for review that same night via email, promising to phone him Monday to discuss. Did not get to update the webpage for the plan until Sunday. This too took a lot of time (2.5 hours). The biggest hassle was getting getting bulleted items to "look right" and getting the tables appropriately formatted. [100]
  • Change management and revision history: Although our plan has these tables embedded in the plan (and we are expected to keep the revision history on the web), this is not a practical approach for me. So I set out separate word documents which I can use to jot the appropriate notes and then use to update the web presentation. [100]
  • Scheduling and tasks: Finally faced the fact that I was spinning my wheels trying to input tasks and milestones into the zoho project management site. This was wasted effort because until we actually built our project schedule (when we wrote the plan), it was all subject to change anyway. Last week I'd shared a printout of an outlook calendar with the team with the tasks (from our first draft of the plan), and this seemed to be a more useful reference document. So after I revised the project plan, I reworked the outlook calendar to reflect the changes. I also discovered outlook's Tasks feature, and used this to add each task and it's due date. I printed it to pdf in portrait, with the tasks showing. Brought it to Sunday's team meeting, and Angela indicated she finds this easier to use. So, unless Ray wants the zoho version, I don't see any reason to use its function. I have purged all the tasks and milestones from zoho, so that we don't get confused. [100]
  • Scheduled meetings (web page): I updated the team's "archived meetings" web page, and posted the date for Monday's meeting on the home page.[100]
  • Team 15-5s: This task took much less time than it did last week. I fussed a lot about formatting, but finally think I've worked with it enough to remember for the next time. Was able to bring a draft to Sunday's team meeting with question marks on things for which I needed input. Pencil markups captured the notes and I updated and uploaded when I got back hom. [100 for this week]
  • Rapid prototyping: Started reading Michael Allen's "Creating Successful E-Learning: A Rapid System for getting it right first time, every time" book with sections on prototyping (Dr. Grant shared in response to my query about rapid prototyping). Have ordered my own copy for my library as well as its sequel. [50]

Week 5: Pending Items

  • Monday phone call to Dr. Brescia for feedback on Project Plan. [0]
  • Start harvesting phonetic spellings and wav files from the web; record in the spreadsheet for Ray. [0]
  • Go ahead and update the Gantt chart I set up in Excel, using the new schedule. [50]
  • I need to update the time categories in my Access database I'm using to log my time. Use the categories from our plan's WBS, to which our budgeted time is attached. (Originally used the categories in a model Dr. Grant distributed, which is probably very useful "in the real world," but doesn't fit our project exactly.) Will need to study current entries to see what may need to be recoded. [50]

Week 5: Comments

  • I still want to get "inside" the database connection process for our project. Maybe if I help with the job aid for Dr. Brescia's department, I'll get some insight.
  • I still need to tackle CSS. I've got Eric Meyer's book ("CSS Web Site Design") that I bought last semester. To make it stick, though, I need to set out to use it with something tangible. Perhaps I should revise my page from OJS.... it really doesn't have to use the same layout as our team home page.... but it probably won't be ready for prime time right I'll need to keep the current index going until that happens.
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Week 4: ending February 17-18, 2008

Week 4: Accomplishments
Project Charter: Although it took 3 tries on Monday, I had a positive phone conversation with Dr. Brescia about our charter.  After Monday’s class, I emailed him requesting approval in writing.  Still haven’t heard and so I need to follow up again.  He reiterated how important it is for us to contact the IT person, and I passed this information on to Ray.

Project Plan:  I worked continuously on the project plan so I could bring it to the 2/17 meeting to discuss with the team.  I am still having trouble with budget, staffing, and procurement pieces.  But I posted it anyway, hoping for some useful feedback from Dr. Grant.  I discovered that the WBS and the schedule pieces are like two sides of the same coin.  This version of the plan is ready for sponsor review, but I’m sure there will be a lot of revisions.  I got frustrated because I used legal style numbering for the WBS which was easy in Word, but had to drop back to bullets under a numbered list in html. I also started putting the schedule with the WBS numbering into excel so I could generate a Gantt chart.  But held off finishing because we adjusted some of the dates during the meeting….

ZOHO: I used zoho project to post intermediate sections of the project plan so the team could review.  This wasn’t really necessary, and I subsequently deleted those posts.  During Sunday’s meeting, I said I would fix the calendar/tasks/milestones in ZOHO to reflect the schedule that emerged in the project plan.  To do so, I plan to delete the miscellaneous “stuff” I posted there, since it’s really all over the map.  I haven’t started that revision yet, since I needed to get the final draft of the plan into html and posted to the web.  So this is a 50.

Team 15-5: I took notes from the team Sunday night so I could summarize the team 15/5 for the website.  This week, I was able to put the document in html and upload directly to the team website.  This was a better distribution of labor, as Ray has been working in the depths of the technical/database part of the project.  Going into Sunday’s meeting, I planned to offer getting the page from the website, updating it and then uploading to my folder for the team webpage.  Then I’d get Ray to change the link on the tabbed pages.  However, he went ahead and gave us access rights for the root directory. 100% done (for this week).

Team web page: After Ray gave us access to the root directory of the team website, I set up a separate website in DW so I could maintain the plan page and the 15/5 team page.  I had defined my own personal pages as a separate site, and I didn’t know how to expand it upward to the root directory, and I was afraid of destroying other pages on the team site.  I spent a LOT of time Sunday night getting it “right,” and it wasn’t easy (for me).  The result is purely utilitarian, and definitely for internal use only!

Research references: I asked Dr. Grant for the citation he referred to in an early class about the contribution video makes to learning, as compared with audio.  When he sent it, I make copies for the team.  I also spent some time in JSTOR trying to find references about audio and visual inputs for learning, and really wasn’t very successful.  Seems to be a lot of material on learning second language pronunciations, but it’s a stretch to see a connection.  I’ve been looking at the authors’ references to see it something pops out.  I also asked CREP’s PI for the literacy group if she knew of any references regarding teaching people how to pronounce technical terms.  She said she’d look.  Finally, I had an interesting conversation with my son-in-law, who’s a pediatrician with nearly 5 years of practice under his belt.  He said learning to pronounce the drug names just never was an issue, and said “I still don’t know how to pronounce lots of them.”  He said he uses a handheld software ePOCRATES all the time as his ready reference for drugs.  He also took medical pharmacology as an M2, and created quite a stack of notecards about each drug, which he still has.  This helped me realize that the most critical part of the M2’s goal in the course is learning what the drugs are used for and the various adverse reactions.  How to pronounce the name of the drug is far far down on the list of priorities.  I also asked Alan about the academic majors of his classmates.  Of his study group of 35, about 60% had life science majors in college; the others ran the gamut, from psychology to religion to humanities.  However, he said that in order to pass the MCATs to get into medical school, students who not have a science undergraduate major absolutely have to take additional courses.  He specifically mentioned organic chemistry and physics.  From this I concluded that it’s probably safe to assume that the learners for our project do have significant exposure to technical terms (chemistry is full of them). 

Week 4: Pending Items

  • I need to re-connect with Brescia to pursue getting sign-off on the charter.
  • We’ll get feedback from Dr. Grant on the project plan, and I expect to have a lot of revision work to do.
  • Email Brescia with a forecast of communications from team members for the week.  I.e., Angela for analysis report; we’re delighted with receiving 40 M2 surveys; Ray will be in touch with Matt early in the week; Ray will be sending our compiled drug list with categories if Brescia could get an SME to review/approve it.  The project plan is forthcoming, pending Dr. Grant’s review.
  • Enter the schedule into an outlook calendar and print the pages to pdf to share with team (I asked folks this afternoon if it would be useful and they said yes; easier to have a hard copy in your work documents.)
  • Get the Gantt chart set up in excel.

Week 4: Comments

  • My anxiety level has calmed down quite a bit this week.  I think having to do the project plan forced me to squeeze some clarity into the process. 
  • I still want to learn more about the “rapid prototyping” process; I may have used this process unwittingly in other work, but just don’t recognize the term. 
  • I also want to be able to understand what Ray is doing with the database.  I don’t want to hinder him in his work, but I sure would like a chance to share what he knows. 
  • I’m really delighted with the response rate to our second survey and really proud of Angela for undertaking it.
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Week 3 (ending February 11, 2008)

Week 3 Accomplishments
Project Charter: On Sunday (2/3), presented to team and we worked 2 hours together reviewing the charter draft, with minor edits suggested.  I needed team input on the “estimated hours” section, because I was grasping at straws to come up with those numbers.  After revising the document, sent to Ray for posting on the web. Not all the formatting transferred smoothly to the website, so when we got Dr. Grant’s feedback, we needed to make the adjustments.  Dr. Grant provided feedback mid-week, with no substantive changes needed; I updated the document, sent to Ray for the website, and then sent the formatted Word version to  Dr. Brescia (2/6/8, 7:46 pm) inviting a phone call to discuss questions.  Emailed again on Friday morning, and he said he had not yet reviewed the document.  So I set up a Monday phone call to get his feedback.  So, this means the project charter is still at 50% (awaiting client signoff).

Tasks/assignments & Project management: In Sunday’s team meeting, we charted out the next deliverables; Angela volunteered for the Analysis Report; we discussed using Ray’s SurveyMonkey account to put together a survey for learner characteristics. Ray also volunteered to do the Project Plan, and Jerry will take the Content Analysis. 

Project management: Gantt chart. Spent considerable time during the week exploring the milestone/task features in Zoho Projects, but struggled with getting a viable graph. Not entirely intuitive, and I can’t figure out what’s driving the Gantt chart, although I did discover you can right-click the chart to save it as an external file (saves in PNG format).  Emailed Grant who sent resource links for excel-generated Gantts.  Gave zoho one last try before exporting to Excel (which I did NOT use to generate Gantts). Re-keyed in Excel and produced simple chart for major milestones.  Other than giving a “nice” visual display, I don’t see Gantts as particularly useful, because it misses subtasks indicating micro steps.  Asked Grant’s advice (again) and he commented that the software isn’t the answer: do it manually with post-its.  So toward the end of the week, I set up a one-page-per-milestone document outlining the requirements and the generic tasks, to use as macro-level organizers to manually post micro-level tasks on them, then organize from there. I shared copies of the macro-organizers with the team in our Sunday 2/10 meeting, along with postits.  Maybe we can brainstorm on this Monday night.  But it might be that this is my job as manager.  I’d really like team input, though.  Another tactic is once somebody is in charge of a specific deliverable, have them responsible for outlining the tasks and keeping track, etc. I’d put this at a 50 for now.

Supporting the team members: Asked Angela 2/6 if she needed any help with Analysis report.  I also volunteered to help Ray update the team website.  I gather both are fine with what they are undertaking, so no other action is needed. This is a 100.

Monday night team meeting (2/4):  Class was cancelled, and since we had plans for the pre-class meeting, I emailed team asking if we wanted to meet in person or virtually; no answer, although Ray earlier reported he was in the Mac lab.  So I went to Ball for the 5:30 mtg, met with Ray, and Angela joined later (she hadn’t gotten the class cancelled email).  We worked together to put together a learner survey for the analysis report and came up with a plan for administering it.  Since I’d be giving Brescia an update later that evening, I promised to mention the survey to him and solicit his help in sending out the notice, after Ray sends him the link later in the week.

Individual website: Last week I modified my page to put the 15/5 links in a table at the bottom of my page instead of in right content.  I got the hex color code from Ray I could color the cell background to match the team website banner.  In our team feedback from Dr. Grant on Wednesday, he asked us not to make him download a document for the 15/5s.  So I am revising my approach to use a single web page arranged in reverse chronological order, with anchors for each of the weekly reports.  Checked with Grant, and he said this would be ok.   This will be a 100 before week end.

Team Week 3 15/5:  I drafted this and shared w/ team in 2/10 Sunday meeting, having converted the format to the same approach used in my individual website.  Ray says he’s ok with copying the word content directly into DW and posting to the web.  100.

Learner analysis survey: We spent 90 minutes Monday creating this using Ray’s SurveyMonkey.  Ray sent us the links for final review and text.  It works; although I’d have preferred avoiding dropdown options.  Set plan in motion for Ray to email Dr. Brescia; survey to start Tuesday, end midnight Thursday. I actually took the survey (which I shouldn't have done). Turns out my response is the ONLY response we’ve gotten.  (I thought Ray was going to delete the test entries….oops!) The effort is a 100, but the result is a 0 (no data).

Team website: I drafted content for each of the page tabs on the website and sent it 2/4 to Ray asking him to post.  This is a 100.

Client communication: Re charter and learner survey. On 2/4, emailed Dr. Brescia to let him know the charter will be coming, and that we wanted his help in distributing a surveymonkey address to M3s as part of our learner analysis.  Asked how many students (c. 150 in each class; he also said class composition was representative of state demographics) and whether classes are typically comparable to each other (they are). Brescia asked why we were surveying M3s, when the target group is M2s (he reminded us that the M3s were the “talent” who recorded the videos). I replied that we wanted to get perceptions of people who had already completed the class.  After sending the charter late Wednesday night to him, followed up Friday morning for feedback and scheduled a Monday morning phone call to discuss. For the week, a 100.

Personal time management.  Time logs: I’ve added additional categories to the database I use for time trackingt, using 0.x for the “Initiating” phase of IPECC, and 9.x for course assignment tasks that don’t funnel into chargeable time for project. 

Week 3 Pending Items

  • Phone conference Monday 10 am w/ Brescia re charter feedback.
  • If possible, get the prioritized list of drugs from Dr. Brescia.
  • Let Brescia know we got 0 responses from the survey, and may need to redo, but this time with M2s.
  • Come up with a better way of managing team tasks
  • Get ready for my section of the documentation: content analysis.

Week 3 Concerns
I’m posting lots of stuff to zoho (documents/forums), but I can’t get a sense of whether this is being used.  We discussed on Sunday making sure we posted an acknowledgement to the zoho posts, but so far I haven’t seen any.  It’s tough having to run through all of them each day to see who’s gotten them.  The team communication plan needs to be better.  Recommended action:: maybe just wait and see.  Not sure what other approach to take.

I’m still really worried about Dr. Brescia’s response to our charter.  I wish we’d discussed this with him before we came up with our plan.  How could we have handled this differently?

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Week 2 (ending February 3, 2008)

Week 2 Accomplishments

  • First team meeting held before class on Monday; team photo (sent to webmaster); wiki and videotape and Maryland drug list reports;  Ray demo’d setting up a database on his web host; discussed plan for project charter (but this got changed once we got more info in class about the charter-everybody will work and bring ideas to Sunday meeting) [100]          
  • We scheduled off-class team meeting for 2/3/8 at CREP office [100]
  • Discussed with Grant the formative evaluation of a performance-type product; got some feedback, but resolution is still a future issue. [100]
  • Discussed scope of project with Grant who recommended 50-60 drugs of the client’s choice, but need to know where client wants to house the system. [100]
  • Followed up with client to “keep in touch” and ask about communication preference.  Client wants weekly updates/meetings; shared this with team [100]
  • Asked client about host site for product: UTHSC server or public server.  Brescia will investigate: does not have permission from the talent to publish on public web; professor may have preferences; sees some value to posting on public site [50]
  • Tried setting up ZOHO notebook for collaborating on project plan; but it did not seem to work; abandoned in favor of zoho documents & forums to let people know. [100]
  • Worked on project charter; having trouble with resources and approach; hope collaboration will help solve this.  Not sure what “approach” means [50]
  • Drew up project-wide task list and post for team to consider for sign-up; to get volunteers/make assignments at today’s meeting  [100]
  • Continued to fine-tune my own time log system in Access; added a 9.x set of categories that related to class assignments that might not be considered “billable”.  Using the 0.x series of categories to relate to project management type tasks.  Refined 2 reports that calculate time in hours/minutes: chronological; by category.  I’m going to use this for my personal record keeping, instead of the time records in ZOHO [100]
  • Successfully researched additional websites that provide drug name pronunciations[100]
  • Posted agenda for 2/3/8 meeting on zoho/forum/meeting [100]
  • Asked a clinical pharmacist who precepts for new pharmacists in a hospital setting about using “Pharma Phonetics” as the name of our project.  She reacted negatively because non-pharmacists like to call pharmacists “pharmas”, which is offensive (sounds like farmers, I guess??).  I countered with “isn’t there a field called pharmakinetics?  She said the field is “pharmacokinetics”.  So what about “Pharmaco Phonetics,” I asked.  She thought that was good, particularly because it sounded like a bona fide field. [100]             
  • Modified personal website to put links to my 15/5’s in a grid.  Need to find the hex code for the color background (asked Ray). [50]

  Week 2 Pending items

  • Determine client preference for system host [50]
  • Volunteers for project tasks [0]
  • Need to update pages in project website [0]
  • Feedback from Grant on charter draft [0]
  • Submit charter to client; schedule meeting to discuss?  (phone conference?) [0]
  • Need to explore css some more for personal website (Grant wants the tabbed menu system to look like tabbed file folders, so the bottom part of the screen needs to be in a box) [0]

Week 2 Concerns

  • Project scope will continue to be a concern until we discuss our charter with the client and get his feedback on how we want to approach the problem.Recommend: Try to restrain our urge to get ahead of ourselves
  • I’m concerned about how we are going to use the videotapes.  Recommend: Will continue to be an issue until we get client sign off on charter
  • How are we going to do a formative evaluation of a performance system? Recommend: Research; ask Grant.
  • We seem to be getting ahead of ourselves in discussing details about the database system; while this is important, we still have a lot of preliminary work to do before we get to the point of answering these questions. Recommend: Try to restrain our urge to get ahead of ourselves.
  • I need to figure out what being the “project manager” means.  From last class, I’ve deduced it’s not the same thing as being a project manager at CREP.  But what IS it? Recommend: Get team feedback; confer with Grant???

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Week 1 (ending January 28, 2008)

Week 1: Accomplishments

  • Accepted role as project manager [100]
  • Set up project management tool and enrolled team members (  Added course benchmarks to timeline [100]             
  • Edited personal website from template created by Ray [100]
  • Contacted sponsor, scheduled meeting, drafted interview protocol, participated in meeting, compiled notes and posted to zoho; followup email with sponsor. [100]
  • Identified alternative audio sources for drug list that includes pronunciation guide. [100]
  • Transferred powerpoint list to Word, confirming it matches the hard copy [100]
  • Agenda for 1/28/08 team meeting [100]
  • Built Access database for recording my own project time [100]

Week 1: Pending Items

  • Establish management plan; clarify project manager responsibilities [0]
  • Formalize team and client communication plans [<50]
  • Define team member roles & responsibilities  [<50]
  • Write project charter: due Feb 4 [0]
  • Define scope of work [<50]
  • Conduct Performance/Needs analysis (expand on initial meeting) [<50]
  • Define where and how the product will be used [<50]
  • (And all the subsequent course/project deliverables that flow from charter) [0]

Week 1: Concerns/Recommendations

  • Project addresses a performance problem; may be difficult to assess given limited access to learners. Need to brainstorm as team as well as consult with Grant.  Access to learners for product evaluation will be difficult, per client’s statement; cannot have face-to-face access to observe usage in action.  Can we use an online survey on usability of product once we have beta version posted?
  • SCOPE concerns: Sheer volume of drug list and client expectation to have ALL drugs in the final product: is this doable in the timeframe of this course?  --Recommend discussing with Grant for ideas on how to negotiate this; probably need his intervention
  • Database backend seems called for, to enable client to add to product after delivery; this adds complexity and requires that we delve into online database management—for which we may not be prepared.  However, Ray seems conversant with this; need to confer with UTHSC IT dept.
  • To what extent will/should/must the client have access to the project website?  Weekly 15/5’s need to be mindful of which way this is determined.

Week 1: Comments

  • Thanks to Ray for team website using prescribed “tabbed” format and css!
  • Zoho as project management tool seems going well
  • Thanks to Angela for investigating wiki/uTube; attempting transfer of drug list to Word.
  • Thanks to Ray for negotiating videotape duplication process

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Page Last Updated Sunday, April 27, 2008 11:51 PM