Description of the pilot course
Nowadays education plays a very important role in human life. With the help of education, people become able to get proper work, earn money, and achieve all those professional and personal goals set. Due to such a significant role of education, it becomes urgent to develop several programs which aim at improving the current situation, children’s attitude to education, and the results of the programs offered. Master IT Design is the company that introduces the program that helps to improve student education and make it possible under different conditions so that education may be possible either at schools, colleges, and universities or home. The IT software for the Microsoft Publisher is the key element of this paper.
To clear up the strong and weak sides of this program, it is necessary to define how this program may be used by students, what kind of knowledge may be gained, and why the chosen program is better than other programs. Using implementation that is conducted by ICT facilities, the Microsoft Publisher package is offered to students as a training program that requires evaluation, analysis, and attention.
The Microsoft Publisher training package is characterized by several advantages which help to improve students’ education and outcomes of learning processes; its development takes a certain time and people have all chances to realize what other positive sides of this program are; the main disadvantage of such program may be those difficulties which appear during the process of implementation because not every student can use this program correctly, this is why some steps to explain the essence of this project should be taken.
Course location within the program
IT department 3rd-year students are involved in the development of this program. They are future information administrators and technologists who take courses called ITEC 217. It is their second semester of education. These students aim at getting their higher diploma so that they need to evaluate the peculiarities of this Microsoft Publisher program and define how the implementation of this project may influence their learning process. Their training process consists of several stages, and each of them has to be performed on a high professional level to realize how one single program can improve students’ education and provide them with a chance to get high education and train their professional skills at the chosen sphere.
Description of the Current Delivery
As the required skills are important for the normal progress of students as well as for their future occupation, it is necessary to make sure that the knowledge and skills students acquire are sufficient in terms of theoretical background and practical implementation. At the moment students acquire appropriate knowledge and skills about their progress and future relevance and importance of the acquired skills.
As a rule, different types of assessments can be used to estimate the delivery of the chosen learning outcomes. Thus, it is possible to carry out surveys to come to know about the students’ progress in learning the required skills. Another way to evaluate the level of the skills acquired by students is to give assignments and set tests that would demonstrate the students’ progress in different areas.
As the training packages are introduced to students to enable them to study some materials regardless of the learning strategy and requirement, it is necessary to estimate the effectiveness of incorporation the learning of the college program into self-tuition at home. As the company which provides the students with the software programs aimed at developing professional skills individually has set a course that deals with the learning and implementation of these programs, it is obvious that the theoretical part of assignments is supported with the practical exercises and further assessment of skills acquired.
Consequently, the students are learning how to work with software programs, suchlike the Microsoft Publisher and can apply their knowledge and skills including individual practice at home which develops students’ confidence and allows considering the Microsoft Publisher related to the college curriculum at home.
Problems of the current delivery
The current approach can be considered rather effective and normally operating about the assessment of knowledge and skills acquired by students. Though it was disputable whether the students will be able to adopt the new learning course aimed at the development of skills related to the work of a Master IT Design, the learning outcome turned out to be rather effective as there were established new requirements as every student should have learned the operation of the Microsoft Publisher using certain steps for each function and aspect. Some students cannot realize the importance of the step-by-step operation of this software program.
However, the current approach is aimed at developing students’ skills in a certain software program. The whole course was created to teach the students how the Microsoft Publisher works, its easiest functions, and the most difficult ones which can be used after completion of the course; the course also describes opportunities of this program and their implementation into the learning process. Different assignments, suchlike comparison and contrasting of data in terms of various criteria can help students learn different functions and opportunities of the software program. As the multimedia approach was incorporated into the learning process, it is necessary to analyze the difficulties encountered by students in the course of learning the structure, functions, and use of the software program.
Opportunities for improvement
The delivery/learning process can be improved with the help of the multimedia training package incorporated into the college curriculum via a specific course aimed at developing the students’ skills in terms of work with the Microsoft Publisher. As soon as the multimedia approach is incorporated into the learning process, the students become more interested in practicing different assignments, especially when they are enabled to practice the work with this Microsoft desktop application at home.
Moreover, the students are interested in practicing the acquired skills because the theoretical background should be supported with the practical implementation as well as tutors and instructors. Thus, the multimedia approach can be considered effective in terms of students’ engagement in work.
In this respect, students are motivated to learn the theory and use it in practice because a lack of theoretical knowledge may affect the practical use of the software program. Being aware of the importance of some skills does not mean being interested in the acquisition of certain skills. Alternatively, when students learn the theory to use it immediately and check their knowledge and skills, they are motivated to consider the material thoroughly and practice the implementation of the program at home as well as during classes. So, motivation and interest can be considered the main strong points of the multimedia approach. In addition, would-be professionals should know all possible difficulties and opportunities of the software application to be able to cope with appearing problems.
Features and functions included
The multimedia approach presupposes the use of some additional templates and equipment which can be useful while working with multimedia applications and products. So, the use of a combination of such performance issues as graphics, text, sound, and voice, animation, and video contributes greatly to the effectiveness of the educational package incorporated into the learning process. The first feature of the educational software package is the duplication of the text on the desktop with the voice messages because the type of memory of every student is unique; some students have an aural memory, while others have a good visual memory, which is why it is necessary to provide students with different types of recognition and memory with equal opportunities in acquiring knowledge and skills.
Choosing one of the popular publication styles is the first step in working with Microsoft Publisher. As to show the approximate structure and format of the training programs in the package, students should consider the stages of the lessons conduction on the example of the business card creation, the card design, page options, color, and font schemes can be considered the second essential feature of the education software package. Thus, the educational software package has all features that are necessary for the successful incorporation of this software program into the educational course which is aimed at developing the students’ skills in working with the software desktop applications.
In addition, students will be able to format brochures, business cards, calendars, or other publication materials and make alterations by students’ desires and preferences. As students will acquire knowledge on the skills of assisting, combining, and editing targeted mailing lists within this educational software application program from different sources, such as Excel, Assess, and Outlook. The individual lessons will help students pay more attention to the options they like. Turning to the more complicated functions of the Microsoft Publisher, the pilot package will be aimed to teach students to manage marketing campaigns using Microsoft Publisher 2007 use.
Phases, activities, and tasks
The project can be completed with the help of certain tasks performed by the team members in a certain period. Thus, it is necessary to decide upon the activities and tasks performed by each team member and the time that will take the performance of every activity in terms of consecutive or simultaneous phases.
Work Breakdown Structure.
|Phases and activities||Phase one||Phase two||Phase three||Phase four||Phase five|
|Phases||The first phase presupposes that the project should be planned, so, all issues that should be considered before the development of the software program and its incorporation into the educational process should be performed during this phase. The first phase includes preparation and planning.||The second phase presupposes the establishment of the design and searching for the best software and hardware that could be implemented.||The third phase should focus on the development of the design and development of the software educational program.||The fourth phase presupposes maintenance of the software package because after installation students should be informed about the work of the program and provided with tips.||The fifth phase includes evaluation of the results reached by the team members and the program’s effectiveness in terms of the educational course.|
|Activities||Project planning, the establishment of the operations involved, consulting of the team about the current situation, establishing a financial plan, defining cost efficiency of each stage.||Informing about the best services and equipment that could be provided for training package design; keeping pace with recent modifications||Establishing design; incorporating security issues; providing a package with protection programs; adapting the program for particular users; design and implementation; development of options and hardware.||Modifying hardware and software and searching for resources conforming to the company’s strategies.||Evaluation of the results reached by the team; evaluation of the effectiveness of incorporation of the package.|
Task duration estimate
The duration of each task depends on the effectiveness of the performance of other team members. As the first phase of the development and implementation of the project presupposes that the project should be planned, it is necessary to consider issues relevant for this phase before the development of the software program and its incorporation into the educational process should be performed during this phase.
Thus, project planning, the establishment of the operations involved, consulting of the team about the current situation, establishing a financial plan, defining cost efficiency of each stage can last up to four weeks. As it is necessary to develop a logical plan and take into consideration all issues, four weeks would be enough. As the second phase focuses on the establishment of the design and searching for the best software and hardware that could be implemented, it should last for about three weeks. Besides, the beginning of the second phase can coincide with the third week of the first phase. Options like informing about the best services and equipment that could be provided for training package design and keeping pace with recent modifications are included in the second phase.
The third phase includes the development of the design itself; the software and hardware compatibility should be taken into consideration. This is the major phase of the project, so, it should last for seven weeks. As the fourth phase focuses on maintenance of the software package because after installation students should be informed about the work of the program and provided with tips, it should last for about three weeks to make sure that the package is successfully implemented. The fifth phase dwells on the evaluation of the results reached by the team members and the program’s effectiveness in terms of the educational course. The assessment can be fulfilled after the end of the fourth phase.
The key milestones are the adoption of the plan (project plan and financial plan); development of the most appropriate strategies in terms of the software and hardware; beginning and the closing stages of working on the design, establishing supportive websites with useful information on the package operation, incorporation of security issues, design of communication devices, implementation of the new software program, maintenance and evaluation of the program’s effectiveness.
The company will provide a software package in a widely spread format to enable users to install and maintain the package without any difficulties. Therefore, ADWC students should be provided with a computer with DVD drivers. DVD players cannot be applied in this case, as it enables the student to look through the training package for using Microsoft Publisher rather than working on different assignments designed within the program frames.
However, it is possible to use some DVD carrier for the software packages to be able to use it at any place. In case the students are going to work at home that should also be provided with software security programs to roll them in random-assess memory. Apart from hardware carriers, ADWC students should be familiar with all common Microsoft Office programs (Excel, Access, and Word) and other known formats of data storage.
They should also be able to transform the information from one format to another. As a student of the IT department will work at home, they should have an online connection to be able to consult their professors and other web applications for fostering the learning process. Besides, they can also exchange information with each other online to share the experience and difficulties occurring during the training program implementation. So, the computers, DVD drivers and Microsoft Office are required for normal operation of the training package.
The system programmer will perform project planning, and operations involved, will establish the financial plan, and define the cost efficiency of each stage; moreover, he/she will consult the team members. The computer administrator and coordinator will research the best services and equipment that could be provided for training package design and establish the design of the communication devices.
The software programmer will establish the training program design and keep pace with recent modifications; in addition, he will incorporate the security issues, provide a package with protection programs, and adapt the program for particular users including a specific description of the program operation. The computer engineer will establish the design and implementation of the program, develop options and hardware. The web developers will provide users with useful websites containing relevant information on the program. The R&D manager will evaluate the effectiveness of the program and its operation.
In general, the main purpose of the project is to evaluate the peculiarities of the Microsoft Publisher program and define its effectiveness is achieved. Taking a certain number of stages, the program under consideration has been presented to students to be tested on different levels. Visual pictures, voice messages, and textual information promote a clearer understanding of the project.
The results of the project seem to be rather promising and successful: first, students get a wonderful opportunity to develop their skills and try themselves in creating different documents within a new format, second, their involvement in development improve their skills and achievements, and finally, the introduction of a new program should considerably influence the current state of affairs in the industry of education so that any student who prefers to study at home or visit public classes will be able to get the necessary level of education due to the developed software. However, it is also necessary to remember that any program requires some improvements and changes with time, the idea to develop this software by technological progress and human requirements will be always under consideration and in demand.