Beezley Product Report Final

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Beezley Product Report Final

  1. 1. Earthguide Online Identifying an Effective Strategy for Dissemination PRODUCT REPORT BY Heidi Beezley May 20, 2009 EDTEC 795A Dr. Marci Bober-Michel
  2. 2. Table of Contents Executive Summary ................................................................................ ii Introduction to the Challenge ................................................................... 1 Purpose/Intent ...................................................................................... 2 Impact of the Literature and Course Materials .............................................. 4 Google Rankings and Search Engine Optimization .................................................. 5 Managing Cognitive Load ............................................................................... 6 Website Design Principles .............................................................................. 6 Methodology/Approach............................................................................ 7 Overview .................................................................................................. 7 Challenges ................................................................................................ 7 Limitations............................................................................................... 10 Evaluation .......................................................................................... 10 Conclusions/Recommendations................................................................ 11 Works Cited ........................................................................................ 13 Appendices......................................................................................... 14 Appendix A: Earthguide Contract ....................................................................... 14 Appendix B: Log of Hours................................................................................ 14 Appendix C: Instrument #1 – Science Resources Survey (surveymonkey.com)................... 14 Appendix D: Instrument #2 – Earthguide Websites Usability Tests ................................ 14 Appendix E: Instrument #3 – Animation Usefulness Interviews .................................... 14 Appendix F: Instruments #4 - #7 ....................................................................... 14 Appendix G: Earthguide Analysis Report .............................................................. 14
  3. 3. Executive Summary Earthguide, an educational media development in the Geosciences Research Division at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, has produced numerous animations, websites, and other instructional resources. The staff at Earthguide, managed by Memorie Yasuda, has developed two Earthguide websites that aggregate the Earthguide resources for educational as well as general use. Because Earthguide has a small and ever-changing grant-funded staff, it has not been able to invest either time or funding to find ways to publicize these resources beyond those audiences specifically prescribed by the grants despite the general value of the resources. Although the resources are displayed on the two Earthguide sites, this alone has not resulted in either a high volume of use or prominence in search engine query results. Thus very few educators are using the resources despite their value across a number of curricular areas and grade levels. Earthguide asked that I analyze why Earthguide resources are not appearing in prominent positions in Google searches and identify strategies for increasing Google ranking. The analysis revealed that resources Earthguide created were equal or superior to those appearing at the top of relevant keyterm searches. Yet, the Earthguide resources were not backlinked, had a Google Page Rank of zero, had fewer important keywords on the page, and displayed on a difficult to navigate site while the higher ranking animations excelled in these areas. Therefore, the strategy for increasing ranking was one that aimed to close these gaps. Although the task is not complete, an extensive front-end analysis has been completed that has pinpointed areas for improvement. This has led to a number of promising strategies for creating backlinks as well as increasing keyword prominence on the page. Once complete, Earthguide will have a blog and YouTube channel that will be updated with movie versions of their animations. The blog will automatically feed to a twitterfeed. Thus by inserting the same information into two different locations, Earthguide will create three new backlinks with the potential for many more by viral dissemination. Also, by simply inserting links into articles in Wikipedia, Earthguide will generate backlinks from a website that Google considers prominent. These combined solutions will cost Earthguide very capital. Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report ii
  4. 4. Introduction to the Challenge Earthguide is has developed numerous web-based educational materials under the management of Memorie Yasuda. Earthguide also maintains two websites of the same name that aggregate their resources related to the field of earth systems. These resources were developed at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography by a team of undergraduate students, staff, and scientists representing a variety of fields ranging from scientific to graphics design, programming, and earth science specialties. Each of the websites for aggregating and repurposing resources has a different target audience. One website, Earthguide Online Classroom <http://earthguide.ucsd.edu/eoc/>, is targeted at educators in the Southern California region. Resources at this site are organized by California state standard. The intention is that these resources will be used by K-12 classroom teachers and their students. Dissemination efforts are currently under investigation through pilot efforts coordinates with SDUSD and COSEE. The other website, Earthguide <http://earthguide.ucsd.edu/>, is for a broader audience that includes educators and as well as others. While Earthguide resources have been established over time, new animated diagrams within Earthguide Online Classroom do not have as much visibility on Google. Earthguide would like to investigate economical and sustainable methods of increasing teacher use of these resources through methods such as informing their audience about new diagrams. Since Earthguide is a very small organization and funding for Earthguide’s work does not come from the audience nor is it tied to the general use of their products, the day-to-day resources Earthguide can expend on promotion are very limited, even though it is a significant priority. Earthguide’s audience priorities are - teachers, students and the general public in that order. The focus of this internship has been on providing an analysis of the poor performance of new animations in Google search results and on designing a collection of strategies for improving performance. Two specific animated diagrams are targeted as test cases for this project. The two diagrams used are on the topics of subduction <http://earthguide.ucsd.edu/eoc/teachers/t_tectonics/p_subduction.html> and seafloor spreading <http://earthguide.ucsd.edu/eoc/teachers/t_tectonics/p_paleomag.html> – both are key concepts in plate tectonics. Earthguide would like to promote these animations to increase their usage. Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 1
  5. 5. The majority of the internship was spent in performing a detailed front-end analysis before determining what course of action would most effectively bring about the desired outcome. A number of instruments were used in order to conduct gap analysis, audience analysis, and causal analysis. Purpose/Intent Since Earthguide is a small collaboration and its funding targets the development of materials rather than the dissemination of them, any strategy for broadening the use of their assets had to be free or cost very little and must not require a significant investment of time on behalf of Earthguide staff. My task was to analyze why Earthguide resources were not appearing higher in Google searches based on relevant key terms and design an appropriate set of strategies to ameliorate the problem. The major stakeholders in the effort to disseminate resources are: Role Stake Earthguide staff These are the decision makers. They want their resources to be more broadly used and available Science Educators (customers) These are the users. They will benefit from Earthguide’s ability to effectively disseminate resources In order to better understand how science educators locate resources, what types of resources are most useful to them, and what features bring them back to websites again and again, a survey was administered to science teachers in the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD). The results of this survey indicated Google searches were the most common method of locating resources but that teachers rarely search past the third page of results in order to locate resources. In addition, teachers indicated that interactive animations were the primary focus of their resource searches. This information showed that the resources Earthguide provides are a good match to teacher needs, but since Earthguide resources were not appearing in the top 300 results on common keyword searches, it is unlikely that teachers will use them. Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 2
  6. 6. An additional analysis was done to ensure that the Earthguide resources were not appearing low in search results because of a lack of relevance or usefulness. Educators were asked to view the top three hits as well as the corresponding Earthguide animation for the topics of subduction and seafloor spreading. They were asked to rate each site by the following criteria on a scale of one to five: • How visually pleasing is the animation? • How easy is it to understand and read? • How well does it illustrate the concept? For both topics, the Earthguide animations received the highest overall score. This indicated that the Earthguide animations were of equal or higher quality than those resources appearing at the top of the Google searches. There were other causes of their low rank. Once it was clear that the resources were a good match to teacher needs but that their standing in Google search rankings was a large part of what kept them from being used, an extensive causal analysis was performed in order to determine what features of Earthguide might be limiting the ability of resources to climb up Google rankings and/or what features of Google ranking criteria could be further exploited by Earthguide. Because Google’s formula is complicated and contains a number of factors, it was not possible to pinpoint a single cause of the animation’s low rankings. Several possible causes were identified: • Lack of backlinks to Earthguide animation URLs • Low Google Page Rank Score • Infrequency of keywords both on the web page and within the metadata of the page • Design of the Aggregating Website Usability tests also revealed that even when teachers located the Earthguide website, the navigation was confusing. Teachers took up to 10 minutes to perform tasks and some gave up before successfully completing the task. Based on these findings the following recommendations were presented to Memorie Yasuda of Earthguide: Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 3
  7. 7. Goal Strategy Increase Backlinks, which would in turn • Create an Earthguide blog with sample increase Google Page Rank animations embedded • Create an automated feed to Twitter from the blog • Add links to animations in Wikipedia and request to be catalogued with other resource clearinghouses • Create an Earthguide channel on YouTube where animations could be posted with links back to the website Increase the frequency of keywords on • Include keywords that would be used animation pages by teachers to locate these resources both in the body of the page and in the metadata • Include common misspellings and variations in the metadata Make the Earthguide websites more user- • At a minimum redesign the navigation friendly by their target audiences of the front page of the Earthguide websites to streamline the amount of content and create a clear navigational structure Impact of the Literature and Course Materials Our readings both this semester and in previous semesters had a significant on the success of this project. Two course readings that proved to be of considerable use were Efficency in Learning (Clark, et al. 2006) and The Non-Designer’s Web Book (Williams & Tollett 2006). Other readings that proved significant in identifying strategies for increasing usage were Google’s Webmaster support articles and other web-based resources on SEO. Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 4
  8. 8. Google Rankings and Search Engine Optimization Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a strategy used to increase traffic on a website by raising it's rank in queries among major search engines. Search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and others use a complex formula for ranking websites when returning the results of a query. According to Google (2/19/2009) when a user submits a query to Google, most of the work has already been done. Googlebots, called crawlers, comb the web before the user ever performs their search looking for new content, updates to sites, etc. These Googlebots do their crawling according to a formula that directs how frequently they crawl, how many pages to retrieve from a site, etc. Another part of the Googlebot's process includes referencing the site map that is submitted to Google by webmasters to guide it's search, but also includes searching any links off of pages within the sitemap. Once the Googlebots complete their crawl, the new information it collects is added to the Google index. This index catalogues the words that the bot finds on the page as well as its location (i.e. in headings, body text, metatags, etc.). However, the Googlebots cannot process certain types of data such as media. Finally, when a search is done using Google, the index is consulted. Google utilizes a complex formula that uses over 200 factors for ranking search results according to relevancy to your search criteria. One of these factors is Page Rank, which is defined as "the measure of the importance of a page based on the incoming links from other pages" (Google 2/19/2009). However even Page Rank is based on a complicated formula where links from larger or prominent sites are of given greater importance. Because there are so many factors that are used in determining page rank in a Google search, it is important to determine identify what adjustments a webmaster can make to create a dramatic change in ranking. One of the most prominent recommendations by Google is to increase the number of high-quality sites that link to a website targeted for SEO (Google 2/25/2009). The information on Google search criteria and SEO provided critical information that informed the causal analysis and the design of strategies to meet Earthguide’s needs. Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 5
  9. 9. Managing Cognitive Load As I observed educators perform tasks during the usability test, I noticed that the task of locating the resources carried with it far too much extraneous load for it to easily be done without additional help. The website was far too complex because there was little logical hierarchy to guide them through their task. Any redesign or additional web presence would need to significantly decrease the extraneous cognitive load required to perform the tasks. The front page and other products should: • Include enough information to direct a search but not so much that it is overwhelming • The information on the front page should be logically sequenced and hierarchically displayed • Irrelevant cognitive load such as lists of resources and news items should not be displayed on the front page, but instead by displayed on the first click off of the front page if resources or news is the focus of their search Website Design Principles Four graphic design principles; alignment, proximity, repetition, and contrast, should be used in order to help users navigate a website and identify its structure. The current design of the Earthguide websites not only imposes a significant extraneous load to users locating information due to large amounts of text, but also imposes additional intrinsic load because of the design. Any redesign of the website and/or additional web-based products should: • Use a single alignment strategy in order to create a unified, orderly, and easy to navigate look • Use proximity of text, images, and other elements to group items into categories/areas of emphasis • Use a repetition of color, font, size, etc. that identifies pages as belonging to the site rather than seeming separate • Use contrast (i.e. large headings, smaller body text) to indicate areas that should draw the user’s eyes first upon entering the site Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 6
  10. 10. Methodology/Approach Overview Project work-flow: • Initial discussions with the client • Audience and Gap Analyses • Cause Analysis • Designing a Strategy for Dissemination Challenges I faced a number of challenges in order to accomplish the goals of this internship. The first challenge was overcoming my limited knowledge of SEO. In our initial meeting, Memorie Yasuda explained her goal of increasing the Google ranking and use of Earthguide’s animations. Some immediate strategies came to mind, but I wasn’t sure that they would be effective, since I only knew a limited amount about how Google ranks websites and what strategies can raise your rank. In order to overcome this shortcoming, I spent a considerable time researching Google’s formula for ranking query results as well as reading what others have shared about SEO. This led to a number of tools that proved useful throughout the internship such as the discovery of a backlink checker that allowed me to check what sites were linking to Earthguide and other more prominent animation sites. Probably the most significant challenge of the internship dealt with the difference of opinion I had with the client about the importance of updating/re-designing the site. Usability tests of the two Earthguide websites revealed startling data about how long it took users to complete relatively simple tasks such as finding animations. Users exhibited clear frustration and took an average of seven minutes to locate the resource from their first task. Every usability tester mentioned that they would have left the site before they found the resource had they not been looking for the resource as part of a usability test. Based on this and other data, I made the recommendation that Earthguide redesign the front page. However, whenever I would steer the conversation this way, the client would refocus the conversation on the idea of raising the Google ranking of particular pages within Earthguide stating that in her experience users did not locate resources from a search of the Earthguide site. In order to find ways to address this concern with the client, I consulted Dr. Marcie Bober-Michel as well Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 7
  11. 11. as colleagues at the SDUSD Edtech Department. Despite trying several of strategies suggested for opening the client up to this possibility, I was never successful in making a redesign a strategy of focus. Project Work-Flow Audience & Gap Analysis The first phase of the process was to better understand the audience for which the materials were being developed. The following primary questions were developed: • What types of resources do teachers look for on the web? • How do teachers locate these resources? • What features of websites bring teachers back again and again? From these overarching questions, a fourteen question survey was developed and administered to middle and high school teachers in San Diego Unified School District. The goal of this analysis was to provide insight what a successful strategy for dissemination might look like. Once the audience analysis was completed, a clearer idea of the gap emerged. The survey results indicated that Google was the most common method for locating resources and that teachers would most likely not search beyond the first three pages of results. Therefore, the ultimate goal of the dissemination techniques would be to move Earthguide resources to within the first three pages of keyword searches in Google. At the outset of the internship the Earthguide resources did not appear within the top 100 results, or first 10 pages. The dissemination strategy must move the resources up at least seven pages of Google search results. Causal Analysis In the second phase of the process possible barriers were identified that could be the cause of Earthguide’s low rankings. The following possibilities emerged: Potential Barriers and their Implications for Action Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 8
  12. 12. Possible Barriers Implications Page Rank – One of the major factors in In order to increase Page Rank, Earthguide Google’s formula for determining what items would need to increase the number of sites are returned on a query is Page Rank. The linking back to it’s animations. Solutions may biggest factor in determining a site’s Page include creating a blog that feeds a twitter Rank score is how many sites link back to it. account to promote this, advertising One possible barrier to Earthguide appearing animations on YouTube, emailing a link to the higher in Google search results could be it’s site and to specific animations to websites Page Rank that act as resource clearing houses such as FREE <http://free.ed.gov/> Keywords – Because the two target pages To increase the keyword density on a page, have flash based animations on them, another common keywords that might lead an possible barrier to appearing higher in Google audience member to this site could be added searches could be that the keywords that to the animation page both in the meta data people use to search for these animations do and in the descriptions on the page. These not appear enough on the page for GoogleBots keywords would then be more prominent in to associate these pages with those keyword the Google Index for those animations. queries Animations/Resources – Another possible If the animations/resources are not perceived barrier is the usefulness of the animations and to be as useful as those animations that resources. If teachers and other audience appear in the top of the search results list, members didn’t find them as useful as then some work may need to be done to re- animations and resources that appear higher design some of the animations so that they in the ranking, then they would not continue compare more favorably. to get hits that would increase their ranking Locating Resources on the Site – Another If the organization is shown to be a barrier, possible barrier could be the ability of then a solution may be to streamline the teachers and/or GoogleBots to find resources layout of the homepage and improve once they are directed to the site. If navigation. teachers/GoogleBots cannot locate resources, they are less likely to use them and come back to the site. Time – Many of the older Earthguide The only implication is that over time the animations, do appear near the top of Google animations will continue to rise over time. searches for keywords, such as the Water Cycle. Therefore given enough time, the newer animations may begin to climb in the search returns The analysis revealed that of the possible barriers, only three required action. Time was not a possible barrier that required action, and the animations were evaluated as equal or superior to the competitor animations. Of those three, only two were a priority: problems with locating resources on the site and page rank. Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 9
  13. 13. Animation evaluation interviews with teachers were conducted. Teachers were asked to rate the animations on a scale of one to five on three criteria. In addition to the Earthguide animations, the teachers were asked to rate the animations that appear at the top of Google search results. The results of this evaluation showed that Earthguide’s animations were equal or superior to the competitor animations. Therefore, no action was needed on this component. Usability testing revealed that the website was in need of redesign in order to be user- friendly and allow users to quickly locate resources. Limitations As is often the case with data collection, the quality of the data is affected by a small pool from which to draw. This proved true with every measure that required human participation. For example, the science resources survey was sent out to over 200 science teachers in SDUSD. Yet only 56 individuals responded to it. Also, in the case of the usability testing and animation evaluations that were done to provide qualitative feedback on the Earthguide animations and websites, only five individuals provided feedback. This was in part due to a lack of volunteers and in part due to the poor timing of these measures being completed on either side of spring break. A larger sample size would have resulted in more reliable results. Despite developing a number of strategies in order to increase Google ranking, the approach is more of a shotgun approach rather than a surgical strike. Because the Google’s formula is quite complicated, there may be some redundancy or irrelevancy in the plan. It might be preferable to implement the strategies one at a time and measure the effect of each one in sequence or to implement the strategies in a different order on each resources. That would allow Earthguide to pinpoint those strategies that provide the biggest “bang for the buck.” Howver since none of the strategies cause a significant investment in time and no investment of money, the shotgun approach was selected. A more methodical approach would require an additional investment of time in order to keep close records and a timeline of implementation. Evaluation Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 10
  14. 14. As the project is still in development, evaluation is not possible at this time. However, the measure of effectiveness is straightforward. Success of this project will be determined by how high Earthguide’s two target animations rank in Google search results for natural keyterms. If those resources experience a significant jump in their ranking among search results, then the strategies used will be deemed successful. When this project began, neither of the two resources showed up in the top 100 results. An additional measure of success would be whether the number of hits on those two animations increases as a result of our strategies of dissemination. Due to some unknown quirk with the Google formula, it is still possible that Earthguide resources will not appear high in Google search results. If the animations do begin to receive a marked increase in hits, then the strategies will still have been partially successful. Had the recommendation to redesign the Earthguide website been implemented or if it is implemented in the future, additional usability testing will provide the evaluation of that element of the design. The redesign will be assessed as successful, if teachers are able to perform basic tasks in less than a minute and have positive comments about the organization and look and feel of the websites. Conclusions/Recommendations This internship has been eye-opening regarding both knowledge and skill. First of all, I have learned a significant amount about search engine optimization (SEO). Understanding SEO was instrumental in determining an appropriate solution set for Earthguide’s dissemination of resources. Knowing that a key factor in determining Google Page Rank is backlinks to a site and knowing that Google Page Rank is a major factor in ranking search results in a Google query, made one of Earthguide’s needs crystal clear. This knowledge will be of continued value since “getting noticed” on the web is of increasing concern as more and more people produce content. In addition to this knowledge, several aspects of this internship have allowed me to hone my skills as a consultant as well. Probably the most challenging aspect of this internship was a conflict that I had as a consultant. The data show that there is an Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 11
  15. 15. acute need to redesign the Earthguide resources. Though the strategy we designed may help raise the ranking of individual pages, the main page is still quite difficult to navigate. Despite the data, Memorie Yasuda of Earthguide was resistant to the idea when I made my recommendations and chose to focus on other solutions that reflected her initial hopes for the internship rather than addressing a found need. As I on several occasions attempted to make the case for a redesign, I walked a fine line and was patient. Because it is important to maintain a strong relationship with the client, I found that it was necessary to hold back and focus on the goals of the client. Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 12
  16. 16. Works Cited Clark, R., Nguyen, F., & Sweller, J. (2006). Efficiency in Learning: Evidence-Based Guidelines to Manage Cognitive Load. Washington D.C.: Pfeiffer. Tollett, J., & Williams, R. (2005). Non-Designer's Web Book, The (3rd Edition) (Non- Designer's). Berkeley, CA: Peachpit Press. Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 13
  17. 17. Appendices Appendix A: Earthguide Contract Appendix B: Log of Hours Appendix C: Instrument #1 – Science Resources Survey (surveymonkey.com) Appendix D: Instrument #2 – Earthguide Websites Usability Tests Appendix E: Instrument #3 – Animation Usefulness Interviews Appendix F: Instruments #4 - #7 • Google Position Tool • Keyword • Page Rank • Backlink Checker Appendix G: Earthguide Analysis Report Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 14
  18. 18. Appendix A: Earthguide Contract Earthguide Online Classroom Efficiently Increasing Teacher Usage Through a Systems Approach Memorandum of Understanding February 10, 2009 OVERVIEW The following document establishes a Memorandum of Understanding between Earthguide, the client, and Heidi Beezley, the consultant, regarding a project to be completed as partial fulfillment for ED 795A, a capstone practicum that students enrolled in SDSU’s Educational Technology master’s program are required to complete. This document includes (among other things) a summary of the project and its major goals or outcomes, services the contractor will provide, and project deliverables (and appropriate due dates). PARTIES Parties to this MOU are Heidi Beezley, the consultant, and Memorie Yasuda, representing Earthguide. PROJECT SUMMARY & GOALS Earthguide is an educational media development group in the Geosciences Research Division at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. Earthguide also maintains a website of the same names that aggregates their resources related to the field of earth systems. These resources were developed at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography by a team of undergraduate students, staff, and scientists representing a variety of fields ranging from scientific to graphics design, programming, and earth science specialties. Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 15
  19. 19. Staff with Earthguide have been developing two websites for aggregating and repurposing resources. One website, Earthguide Online Classroom <http://earthguide.ucsd.edu/eoc/>, is targeted at educators in the Southern California region. Resources at this site are organized by state standard. The intention is that these resources will be used by K-12 classroom teachers and their students. Dissemination efforts are currently under investigation through pilot efforts coordinates with SDUSD and COSEE. The other website, Earthguide < http://earthguide.ucsd.edu/>, is for a broader audience that includes educators and as well as others. While Earthguide resources have been established over time, new animated diagrams within Earthguide Online Classroom do not have as much visibility on Google because they are new. Earthguide would like to investigate economical and sustainable methods of increasing teacher use of these resources through methods such as informing our audience about new diagrams. Since Earthguide is a very small organization and funding for Earthguide’s work does not come from the audience nor is it tied to the general use of their products, the day- to-day resources Earthguide can expend on promotion are very limited, even though it is a significant priority. Earthguide’s audience priorities are - teachers, students and the general public in that order. Two specific diagrams are targeted as test cases - one on subduction and the other one on seafloor spreading – both key concepts in plate tectonics. We would like to promote these animations to increase their usage. Specifically, the following two goals have been identified for the purposes of this project: • Analyze possibly drivers and barriers to use of new Earthguide animated diagram resources • Based on analysis data, design and develop strategies for increasing usage by the targeted audience and rapidly informing them about new resources SERVICES & METHODS The consultant will perform the following tasks: • Review pertinent literature on online teacher resources, strategies for general dissemination in cases where there is not a direct district partnership, Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 16
  20. 20. • Conduct an analysis of current Earthguide users, with a focus on how they locate and use resources within Earthguide, how they locate online resources generally, how they use these resources to teach, and what they look for in resources that they come back to again and again, • Conduct an analysis of potential teacher users of Earthguide through survey and interview on how they locate online resources, how they use online resources to teach, and what they look for in resources that they come back to again and again, • Interpret data from analysis, • Provide recommendations for implementation strategies (i.e. promotion, feedback, organization), • Design a prototype for one or more of the recommended strategies • Develop a working prototype of one or more of the recommended strategies. The client and consultant will meet regularly – both in person and via weekly email summaries. DELIVERABLES The consultant will provide Earthguide with the following materials: • Analysis: This will include a review of current literature on online teacher resources, strategies for success, and how they are disseminated as well as the results of a needs assessment to examine teacher use of online teaching resources. • Design Document: This will identify specific objectives, outline a strategy, and a brief justification for design decisions for one or more of the recommendations that emerge from the analysis. • Preliminary Prototype: This will include creating a rough model of how the strategy will be implemented. ROLES The consultant’s responsibilities are as follows: • Maintain proactive and open communication to ensure a positive outcome, • Schedule meetings and distribute agendas and follow-up meeting minutes, • Seek approval from Memorie Yasuda for all final decisions, and • Adhere to the confidentiality agreement as stated later in this document. The client’s responsibilities are as follows: • Maintain communication by delivering materials and approvals in a timely manner, • Ensure employees are willing to assist the consultant in achieving the goals outlined in this contract, Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 17
  21. 21. • Provide access to people and information necessary to complete the defined deliverables, and • Adhere to the reimbursement and compensation agreements as defined in this contract. TIMEFRAME The consultant will follow a timeline including milestone dates based on the length of the semester (February 10, 2009 to May 21, 2009) and the academic requirement of 85-100 hours of work. The following is a tentative schedule for transfer of deliverables: Week of April 3, 2009: Analysis Week of May 1, 2009: Design Document Week of May 15, 2006: Preliminary Prototype COSTS All costs related to the production of materials will be the responsibility of Earthguide. Earthguide will reimburse the consultant for costs related to the project upon receiving receipts. There are no expected costs on this project, and should any arise, they will be agreed upon before expenditure CONFIDENTIALITY & RIGHTS The consultant understands the sensitive nature of the services provided by Earthguide and guarantees that all information collected will be kept confidential. All materials, both interim and final, used or created as a result of this project will be the sole property of Earthguide. However, because this project will be completed for academic purposes, the consultant may choose to use developed materials as professional portfolio pieces. STATEMENT OF AGREEMENT We, the undersigned, do hereby agree to the terms and conditions as outlined in the preceding document. As representatives we agree to abide by these terms and conditions. Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 18
  22. 22. Both parties enter into this agreement on February _____, 2009. Client: Consultant: __________________________________ ____________________________________ Memorie Yasuda, Heidi Beezley, Earthguide Graduate Student Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 19
  23. 23. Appendix B: Log of Hours Date Task Time 1/20/2009 Initial Meeting with Memorie Yasuda 1.5 2/9/2009 Began to draft Earthguide Contract 1 Completed first draft of earthguide 2/10/2009 contract 2 2/18/2009 2nd meeting with Memorie 1.5 Wrote up minutes from meeting and 2/19/2009 sent it to Memorie Yasuda 0.25 Revised contract based on conversation 2/19/2009 with Memorie Yasuda 1 Began researching how Google ranks and identified where Earthguide ranks 2/21/2009 on a number of keyword searches 2 Searched for the target resource using various methods in order to identify a 2/21/2009 starting point for improvement 3 Began work on drafting survey questions 2/22/2009 and interview questions for teachers 3 2/22/2009 Completed Project Briefing 0.25 completed research on how Google 2/28/2009 ranks 0.5 Completed first draft of survey 2/28/2009 questions 2 Completed first draft of interview 3/1/2009 questions 1.5 3/2/2009 Discussed project with Marcie Bober 0.75 3/2/2009 Constructed survey in survey monkey 1.5 Continued research into Search Engine 3/4/2009 Optimization 2 Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 20
  24. 24. 3/6/2009 Tweaked the Survey Monkey Survey 0.5 Completed analysis of page rank and backlink for Earthguide and the top 3 3/7/2009 hits with comparative animations 4 Continued research into Search Engine 3/8/2009 Optimization 2 Completed Keyword analyses of Earthguide's two animations and the top 3/8/2009 3 hits on both topics 3 3/9/2009 Tweaked the Survey Monkey Survey 1.5 3/15/2009 Drafted email and sent the survey 0.5 3/16/2009 Began to conduct Animation evaluations 2 Began to draft analysis and review of 3/17/2009 literature 3 3/21/2009 Began Usability Testing 2 3/22/2009 Continued Usability Testing 2 3/23/2009 Continued Animation Evaluations 2 3/24/2009 Began preliminary review of survey data 0.5 Drafted an additional email to request survey responses from high school 3/25/2009 teachers 0.5 3/26/2009 continued review of literature 4 4/5/2009 continued to read relevant literature 2 4/6/2009 continued to read relevant literature 1 4/12/2009 drafted an additional page of the report 1 4/13/2009 Continued Animation Evaluations 2 4/14/2009 Continued Usability testing 2 4/15/2009 Final Usability Tests 2 4/15/2009 Compiled Data from Usability Tests 3 Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 21
  25. 25. Analyzed data Drafted several pages of 4/16/2009 the report 4 4/16/2009 Met with Memorie Yasuda 1.5 Continued to write up report in a 4/18/2009 version that was deliverable to Memorie 5 Continued to write up the report for 4/19/2009 memorie (lots of data to compile) 3 Created the Earthguide Blog at 4/20/2009 Wordpress 2 attempted to create Earthguide YouTube channel, twitter account, and twitterfeed, but was unable because I 4/20/2009 needed an email for each 1 Finalized the Earthguide Analysis 4/22/2009 Document 2 5/1/2009 met with Memorie 1 Total Time Spent: 83.75 Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 22
  26. 26. Appendix C: Science Resources Survey (surveymonkey.com) Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 23
  27. 27. Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 24
  28. 28. Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 25
  29. 29. Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 26
  30. 30. Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 27
  31. 31. Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 28
  32. 32. Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 29
  33. 33. Appendix D: Website Usability Testing Website #1, <http://earthguide.ucsd.edu/> Usability Test Interview script: Hello, I'm going to ask you to look at a website and perform a few tasks in order to test the usability of a website. I would like to use the Think Aloud method, which means that as you perform the four tasks that I ask you to do, I would like for you to narrate what you are thinking both positive and critical. All responses are helpful. (If the subject asks a question say, "We can talk more about it after the Think Aloud." As subjects look through the website, make notes about how long it takes them to complete the task, what they say, etc.) Find an animation on subduction Find an animation of the three different types of faults: normal, strike/slip, reverse Search for an Earthguide animation related to the topic of your choice Give tester time to search through website Based on your overview of this website, what is its purpose? What opinions do you have about the site? Thank you so much for helping me with this site. Website #2, <http://earthguide.ucsd.edu/eoc/> Usability Test Interview script: Hello, I'm going to ask you to look at a website and perform a few tasks in order to test the usability of a website. I would like to use the Think Aloud method, which means that as you perform the four tasks that I ask you to do, I would like for you to narrate Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 30
  34. 34. what you are thinking both positive and critical. All responses are helpful. (If the subject asks a question say, "We can talk more about it after the Think Aloud." As subjects look through the website, make notes about how long it takes them to complete the task, what they say, etc.) Find a resource for high school students on wind waves Find an animation on seafloor spreading Search for an Earthguide animation related to the topic of your choice Give tester time to search through website Based on your overview of this website, what is its purpose? What opinions do you have about the site? Thank you so much for helping me with this site. Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 31
  35. 35. Appendix E: Animation Usefulness Interviews Script: You are going to look at four animations on subduction and four animations on seafloor spreading. For each animation you are going to rate it as to how well it does the following: How visually pleasing is it? How easy is it to understand and read? How well does it illustrate the concept? You will rate on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 meaning it is so poor that it shouldn’t even be published on the web and 5 meaning that you can’t imagine it being better. Subduction animations: <http://earthguide.ucsd.edu/eoc/teachers/t_tectonics/p_subduction.html> <http://www.classzone.com/books/earth_science/terc/content/visualizations/es0902/es090 2page01.cfm> <http://www.wwnorton.com/college/geo/egeo/flash/2_9.swf> <http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/03fire/logs/subduction.html> Seafloor Spreading Animations <http://earthguide.ucsd.edu/eoc/teachers/t_tectonics/p_paleomag.html> <http://www.wwnorton.com/college/geo/egeo/flash/2_5.swf> <http://education.sdsc.edu/optiputer/flash/seafloorspread.htm> <http://www.uwsp.edu/gEo/faculty/ritter/glossary/s_u/sea_flr_spread.html> Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 32
  36. 36. Appendix F: Instruments #4 - #7 Instrument #4 - Google Position Tool: http://www.ventio.se/seo-tools/google-position/ Instrument #5 - Keyword Density Checker: http://www.webconfs.com/keyword-density-checker.php Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 33
  37. 37. Instrument #6 - Page Rank Tool: http://www.pageranktool.net/ Instrument #7 - Backlink Checker: http://www.iwebtool.com/backlink_checker Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 34
  38. 38. Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 35
  39. 39. Appendix G: Earthguide Analysis Report Beezley/ED 795A Spring 2009: Product Report 36

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