Author: Laura Ridings, TELT
‘I never let my limitations get in the way of being creative.’ This is the rule that I live and work by and something that was never more apparent than collaborating with Amanda Taylor-Beswick, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, Care, and Community at UCLan.
I first spoke with Amanda over video chat through Microsoft Teams and she explained a tool that she currently uses and how she would like to see this tool developed for future use. The tool was a relatively straightforward paper-based task named ‘Digital Professionalism Mapping Tool for Social Work’, a resource that was ‘to enable social work students, practitioners and educators to review their technology usage and presence online; as related to the professional standards and ethics of the profession’. (Taylor, 2018) This was where the initial problem laid, this was a resource that was reviewing technology and online presence whilst being an activity paper.
The paper-based tool had been used successfully by Amanda and received positively across the profession, but Amanda has always had an issue with it being a paper-based task. ‘Regardless of the enthusiasm expressed about its usefulness, I have never been quite satisfied with how it is accessed. I have always been niggled by the fact that it was predominantly a paper-based activity that ironically reviews presence and activity online. And whilst that has been ‘ok’, I wanted to offer a more accessible alternative.’ (Taylor, 2018)
This is where I come in, I listened to the wants and needs of Amanda and I firmly believe in listening to the “client” and coming up with ideas that tick the box of everything they want within a timely manner. I initially worked on utilising the e-learning authoring packages Adobe Captivate and Articulate Storyline but kept coming up with the same issues with both which naturally was frustrating for something that on the surface wasn’t too complex.
After stepping away and making a cup of tea (the answer to everything!) I thought I’ll just create it from scratch and then host the resource as a web page in Adobe Connect. I had already created all the assets I needed using Adobe Illustrator to make the Icons and Map axis. I created the web page utilising the draggable objects code snippet in the jQuery UI library.
This process was relatively quick but from hosting the resource in Adobe Connect I then placed it inside an Articulate Rise project with an introduction and help guides to the tool. Since this tool has been shared out across the education community it has received some awesome feedback including the academic, David White, who wrote the theory the tool was based on.
Taylor, A. (2018). Here, There and Everywhere: The Arrival of the Digital Professionalism ‘Interactive’ Mapping Tool for Social Work Students, Practitioners and Academics. [Blog] Available at: https://amltaylor66.wordpress.com/2018/10/23/here-there-and-everywhere-the-arrival-of-the-digital-professionalism-interactive-mapping-tool-for-social-work-students-practitioners-and-academics/ [Accessed 3 Dec. 2018].