This web-based tutorial DVD is relevant to my degree in Computer Science, because I will use Flash to create the application interface and the relevant games. Also PHP will be used to create some quizzes. Human Computer Interaction methods will help me get feedback from users and make improvements to the functionality of the DVD, and also discover additional needs of the user. This will help users learn and also have fun in the same time while boarding on an aircraft.
I will follow a systematic procedure for analysing, designing and building an information system. I will perform a feasibility analysis with cost and benefit analysis in order to see whether it will be beneficial for an airline company to commercialize it. I will also perform software testing and installation.
- Project Proposal: Summarizes the scope of the project. It also describes general aims, objectives and motivation of the project.
- Target audience: Find the target audience for the application.
- Professional Considerations: The British Computer Society's Code of Conduct lists all the professional standards to be a part of the Society and Code of Good Practice describes standards of practice relating to the contemporary multifaceted demands found in IT. [http://www.bcs.org/server.php?show=nav.10967]
- Background studies: Content derived from web pages or articles to track down the complete understanding of the project topic.
- Requirements analysis and specifications: Description of the target audience needs from the application.
- System Design: Description of the design from the system's requirement using Model - View - Controller (MVC), prototypes and user group evaluation.
The aim for this project is to develop an interactive tutorial DVD for helping passengers to learn the safety rules and procedures needed during an emergency landing and evacuation of an aircraft. In addition it will provide some general passenger awareness of how to help other passengers in need during emergency situations.
The DVD will be interactive and have a friendly graphical user interface. It will be age sensitive; three age ranges will be used and depending on the group the information will be given in a different way thus making it more attractive and less boring. The DVD will be addressed especially to younger people, children. This will help parents to relax and enjoy their flight and also children will enjoy it, by playing with games on the DVD and also learning through quizzes, useful things for aircrafts.
The proposed DVD can be installed on the entertainment system of the aircraft and used on the plane before taking off and during the flight. In addition to this, it can be used by accessing the website of the airline. The DVD will start with a tutorial movie of what one has to know and how to use the DVD, second will have quizzes and game to examine what the passenger learned, and third an evaluation of the DVD by the passenger.
- To create an interactive web-based tutorial DVD that allows children to learn everything about aircrafts and safety on aircrafts.
- To provide quizzes for children to test their knowledge based on the reading they make from the tutorials.
- To provide entertainment for children while they board on an aircraft by including games on the DVD.
To provide overall results from the completed quizzes.
A target audience is the crucial group of people intended to use our application. The target audience are mostly children from 6-14 years old. In our days children between 6-14 years already know how to use computer and the possible reason of this is because they taught them in schools or at home. This range will also be divided to 3 sub ranges , first sub range will be 6-8 years old, second sub range will be 9-11 years old and third sub range will be 12-14 years old. So it will be more useful to understand something by clicking the area of their age. However for each sub range we have to write the same subject with 3 different ways, one for each age range.
From the Code of Conduct[http://www.bcs.org/server.php?show=nav.6030]
Examination of existing applications
In order to understand the project we have done some background studies on web sites similar and relevant to our project. This enables us to fully understand the given problem and also give us the chance to look at existing types of applications so that we could have a basic idea of how to construct the project and what problems or benefits could arise from such an application. We also read some relevant articles about children and computer tutorial applications. Some of the web sites that we checked are:
- CHILDREN AS DESIGNERS OF EDUCATIONAL MULTIMEDIA SOFTWARE (Yasmin B. Kafai, Cynthia Carter Ching and Sue Marshall) 1997.
- Digital Game-Based Learning (Marc Prensky) 2003.
- Literature Review (Douglas Clements) 1999.
- Evaluation of content activities in children's educational software (Norshuhada Shiratuddin, Monica Landoni) 2002.
- A dialogue-based approach of evaluating educational software (Luciano Meira, Flvia Peres). 2004
- The role of educational software as a support for teaching and learning conversations (Rupert Wegerif) 2004.
- The Design of Children's Technology- Chapter Two (Mike Scaife, Yvonne Rogers)(online book) 1998.
- F-Shaped Pattern For Reading Web Content (Jakob Nielsen) 2006.
When building a safety flash application for children used on aircrafts you have to consider many things. By examining some web sites with e-learning tools for quizzes the writer discovered that children have short attention and this is the reason many children are bored at school. Some studies with children found that they can easily confused with large contents as adults and prefer colourful designs but simple structure.
The article "Digital Game-Based Learning" reports that children prefer reasonable, helpful, results-oriented applications than going to school and reading books. If children do not interact with a game while studying then it is boring for them and harder to learn something. The best ways of learning is to find an attractive method to make children feel happy when studying. A motivation for children is to play a game and at the same time learn something new. This reason is relevant to our project, so to build a good tutorial application for children the main subject we have to consider is to give a motivation to the child. Why he must spend time with our application and how this will help him.
An article "CHILDREN AS DESIGNERS OF EDUCATIONAL MULTIMEDIA SOFTWARE" mentioned children as designers and talked about benefits of involving children with the design. This is a good way when you design an application. If your target audience can get involved with your design that means you will create something similar or the same application the user needs. Some other ways of doing the same thing is to build prototypes and test them to possible users and get feedback of what you have to change or improve. Also an article "Evaluation of content activities in children's educational software" mentions that the best ways of evaluation is the empirical method, testing with real users in a controlled experiment, and it is one of the most powerful methods of evaluating. We decided and believe that is better to create prototypes and evaluate them to your target audience than involve them directly to our design. The reason of choosing this evaluation method is to avoid neglecting some important things new users need. The reason of this is because children cannot realise what they really need when designing our application.
This article concludes that most children prefer a "Point and Click" application which means that less reading for them it is the best. "Point and Click" application it means that it has features like navigation menu, introduction page which explain what the application is for, buttons with related images and the most important, a feedback of what they did and how well they did. Also children did not mention anything about a help page. It is logical not to include this page because they had the opportunity to create an application so it is not necessary to have a help page, but for some new users it will be helpful to have a help page if they could not find something. In our application we will include navigation menu and buttons because children prefer them.
Furthermore in this article children suggested to divide the application to age ranges, like beginners, intermediate and expert. We decided our application will be divided into a range of ages, like 6-8/9-11/12-14. For example an interface for a 6 year child it will be fewer inputs for the user and more games for them but an interface for 14 year child it will be more input for them because they understand more than a 6 year old child. The reason of this division is because each range of ages realise the same subject in a different way. Also talking about divisions of ages we decided to add more than one feedback for the same question in the application because one child may not understand the first feedback completely and he may need to read it with other words.
One other article "The Design of Children's Technology- Chapter Two" evaluates some applications and suggests that multimedia applications are better because you can represent the change of something, like flower can feed rabbits and rabbits can feed foxes, and children can understand it better. If children just read this example it may understand it, but if this example was an animation the child could memorized it better and faster. The best way to make the children understand what you are doing is to show them step by step of your procedure to your result. When achieve this procedure the user can interact any time and find out what he cannot understand and get a different feedback of the procedure. This is the basic reason why in our project we will use animation.
The article "Evaluation of content activities in children's educational software" indicates that children learn in seven different ways and those are: verbal/linguistic, logical-mathematical, visual/spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal and intrapersonal. In the application the writer will build he will consider those different ways. Some examples of how those learning ways are going to be used are: for verbal learning writer could write a story for aircrafts, for visual it could be interaction with animations or pictures, for musical it could listen to music of add sounds to animations etc. Each evaluation should be based on mainly subjective perception, user interface and pedagogic.
"The role of educational software as a support for teaching and learning conversations" article suggests that a computer tutorial application can be at the same time tutor (interactive agents) and tool (learning environment).
A more general and different aspect to consider when building an application is how the users read through a web page. "F-Shaped Pattern For Reading Web Content" article tests and examine how the eye of a user interacts when visiting a web page. Statistics from an eyetracking studies support that a user scans through a web page rather than read the whole page. There are three different patterns user can do while reading a web page. The first pattern looks like an F, because user read the upper part of the content area and then covers a shorter area than previous and then reads again first two words of each line. The second pattern looks like an E, it is more like the F-shaped pattern but user covers more at the bottom content area because it might have a conclusion. The third and last pattern looks like inverted L and also it is like F and E shaped pattern but user reads less content this time. User most of the time try to find bullet points, search bar and pictures. They avoid reading through the whole page and try to find quickly what they need. The result of this study tells us that in your web page the first two paragraphs must state the most important information and also try to include important bullet point just to avoid your user to get bored. In our application we will use those statements and add important information at the top paragraphs.
Other general features that have to be considered in an application are colours. Most common colours you can use are white, yellow, red, green, black, blue. Children like colours but they do not have to be extremely shiny because user will get tired easily. Green is mentioned as a relaxation colour so it is better to use it as a background colour and probably is the colour we will use for the application.
To conclude in an application things we have to consider are: first what is our target audience, the different learning styles, how users think of software. Because we already found the target audience are going to be children between ages 6-14 we have to divide those ages to ranges and also have to consider that children have short attention than adults and they need more interactive stuffs to study. Also we have to give a good motivation to a child to make it dedicate to the application. Reward and feedback also needed for a child in everything they do in an application. Also considering the colours we will use for the application.
Design Principles comparison table is use to indicate best requirements for the layout of a webpage. On a webpage you have to make your buttons and links look visible and noticeable to users. For example if user clicks the help button will give them the conjecture that the page will reload and take them to the help page otherwise user will get confused. Other primary design aspect of web pages is feedback. We need to give feedback to user on particular operation, like when clicking a button or link. Some ways to give feedback to user are: text below buttons, sound when there is an error, highlighting links when visited. With constraints we help users to avoid selecting invalid option because of some restrictions. Mapping is basically the back and forward buttons which often refers to any animation content. Consistency principle regulates the size of the font in a webpage. Affordance principle has to deal with user's knowledge when links work correctly and produce the expected output. All these principles will be considered when designing the user interface and when programming their functionality and this is the reason of the web pages comparison, to conclude the best user interface.
Usability goal comparison table assist you to carry out the requirements of a user. Effectiveness is a feedback when user requests something. Indicates that requested task is completed. Efficiency principle is more about good use of the system, for example a good loading of a page and clear view where to click next to continue. Safety principle it is about putting restriction to users, this will help also constraints principle. Other important aspect we have to consider is utility principle which explains to users some examples of what they trying to learn. Users do not have to memorise what they have to do and keep it clear what they have to input and this could be done with learnability principle. The content of your application has to be acknowledged, to make it easier for the user. With those principles are going to be used as guidelines for the application design.
Visibility of system status has to do with keeping the user informed of what is going on with feedback. Language in any application has to match with the language of the user and this is what system and real world match principle does. User control and freedom for user is having in your application undo and redo buttons to help them. Buttons have to be the same for each page of your application to avoid confusion for the user. This is being considered for consistency and standards principles. Error prevention is for preventing a problem with an error message. Instructions for use of the application should be visible to the user and this is for recognition rather than recall principle. The application has to consider flexibility and efficiency of use which are shortcuts with possible pages you can visit. Also aesthetic design is important principle because is for the overall layout of the application. Help and documentation could be short instruction how to use the application or general help user nay need.
The application should be satisfying with giving always feedback to the user. Also it has to be enjoyable and rewarding when user has to input something. One important aspect this table informs is about creating an application to entertain your user. Also it has to be helpful and motivating and finally well organised.
This application we are willing to build is for children and it will have a welcoming video with the basic instructions when boarding on an aircraft. The next step of this application will have three buttons with age ranges (6-8, 9-11, 12-14) and each child will choose the appropriate button to access the tutorial. Then for each age range, the application will construct the same tutorial information in every range but with a different way of teaching safety on an aircraft. Also the application will have quizzes to test if the user understood the tutorial and learning games with subject aircrafts.
- Home page, introduction and explanation at the beginning of what the application is for.
- Video about safety on an aircraft.
- Choose button depending on your age.
- The application will include activities and quizzes to test knowledge.
- Also a well feedback will be received will explanation of any wrong answer.
- Error messages.
- Animation games (Learning parts of the aircraft, rescuing passenger from aircraft if they fall etc.).
- Navigation buttons will be obvious with the appropriate image of what they do.
- Navigation menu will be clear, simple and at the left hand side of application.
- Interface will be colourful and easy to use.
- Information should be explained in a clear language and no jargon.
- Error messages should be clear and show possible ways to solve the problem.
- Animation games will be used to entertain users and also learn them about safety on an aircraft.
- Good use of colours, background colour green, and text brown.
- User can view their score once completed.
- Statistics of the results of quizzes.
The comparative charts analysis indicates that using a good layout web site makes it more attractive and more enjoyable to the user. If application can give user satisfaction then user can avoid any minor mistakes. Pleasing the user is necessary. The application must be well designed to satisfy user needs. The subsequent features are:
- Interface should be clear and easy to use.
- Navigation should be clear and easy to use and understand.
- Including help if needed to anything, users will appreciate it.
- The application must be safe for the user.
- Users must have freedom to ignore or skip parts of the application.
- How to solve a problem with an error message.
- Correct any incorrect answers with feedback.
These observations will help formalize the application requirements and help to implement an effective safety flash application for children used on aircrafts.
Is the domain-specific representation of the data upon which the application operates. Domain logic adds meaning to raw data (for example, calculating whether today is the user's birthday, or the totals, taxes, and shipping charges for shopping cart items). When a model changes its state, it notifies its associated views so they can refresh.
Many applications use a persistent storage mechanism (such as a database) to store data. MVC does not specifically mention the data access layer because it is understood to be underneath or encapsulated by the model. Models are not data access objects; however, in very simple apps that have little domain logic there is no real distinction to be made. Also, the ActiveRecord is an accepted design pattern which merges domain logic and data access code - a model which knows how to persist itself.
Renders the model into a form suitable for interaction, typically a user interface element. Multiple views can exist for a single model for different purposes.
Receives input and initiates a response by making calls on model objects.
An MVC application may be a collection of model/view/controller triplets, each responsible for a different UI element.
MVC is often seen in web applications where the view is the HTML or XHTML generated by the app. The controller receives GET or POST input and decides what to do with it, handing over to domain objects (i.e. the model) that contain the business rules and know how to carry out specific tasks such as processing a new subscription.