Week 11, Project, Submitting Your 1500-2000-Word Instructional Manual Project

While we will be moving ahead to the final, collaborative projects in the class this week, I wanted to go ahead and provide you with instructions for submitting your 1500-2000-Word Instructional Manual.

Since we are running a week behind on the syllabus, your instructional manual is now due by Nov. 11. If anyone needs additional time, reach out to me at jellis at citytech.cuny.edu and let me know how much more time you need to complete the project.

To submit your Instructional Manual, please do the following (which I will also discuss in this week’s lecture).

First, you need to publish your Instructional Manual to the Web from inside Google Docs. This is a great feature of Google Docs that I wanted to make you all familiar with. Essentially, it allows you to quickly publish content on the World Wide Web from Google Drive (Docs, Sheets, and Present). To do this, follow these steps:

After opening your instructional manual in Google Docs, click on File > Publish to the web as shown below.

Then, click “Publish.”

Next, click “Ok.”

Finally, copy the link to your now published instructional manual and click the “x” in the upper right corner to return to Google Docs.

That completes the first half of this process.

The next phase is creating a post on our OpenLab Course Site that includes the link that you just copied. To do this, open another tab in your web browser and go to our OpenLab Course Site. Then, click the “+” icon to create a new post as shown below.

Then, add a check next to “1500-Word Instructional Manual.”

Then, type in a title for your post that includes your name and a descriptive title, such as “Jason Ellis’s Instruction Manual for Assembling a Skateboard.”

Next, add a sentence into the body of your post describing your project, such as “For this project, I created an instruction manual for assembling a skateboard.”

Then, highlight the part of your sentence that corresponds with “an instructional manual for [your topic].”

Next, click the icon above the text that looks like three chain links, paste your link into the box that appears, and click the “Enter” or “Return” line-and-arrow icon to the right of the link as shown below.

After reading over everything and correcting as needed, click the “Publish” button in the upper right corner of the page.

And, click “Publish” again to confirm.

To see if your post is live, click on the title of our OpenLab Course Site in the center of the page, click on down carrot next to Student Work in the left menu, and then click on “1500-Word Instruction Manual.” Yours should be at the top of the posts that appears.

Week 10, Weekly Writing Assignment

For this week’s weekly writing assignment, I would like you to use email to peer review your instructional manual draft with your peer review team. As with the previous peer review sessions on the article summary and expanded definition projects, I will begin each team’s email chain on Wednesday afternoon. Choose to Reply All, write a ask/offer email, and include a link to your instructional manual on Google Docs. Follow the directions below to get your sharable link that gives your teammates access for viewing but not editing your work–this is important so that your work is easily seen by others and no mistakes are made by haphazard peer reviewers:

Open your instructional manual on Google Docs and click on “Share” in the upper right corner.

On the screen that appears, click on “Change to anyone with the link” at the bottom.

Next, click on “Copy link” on the right, and then click “Done” at the bottom.

Then, go back to your email, find the email that I sent to you and your team about peer review for the Instructional Manual project, click Reply All, and write a professional and polite email asking for feedback on your work and offering to give feedback to your teammates. Paste the link that you copied from Google Docs into your message. Sign your name. Click Send. Remember to Reply All when you receive work from your teammates to review so that everyone in the team and I can see your responses.

As I point out in the lecture, it’s okay to not be completed with your instructional manual at this point. I would like you to receive some feedback on what you have done thus far. Incorporate the feedback that you receive as you continue working on your instructional manual for submission. I will detail how to submit your work on OpenLab next week. Stay tuned!

Opportunity, Self-Paced Learning with Lynda.com

As I discuss in week 10’s lecture, Lynda.com is free for anyone to access with a New York Public Library Card, which is free, too! Lynda.com is a resource of educational training videos about everything from communication skills to high technology. Access it with your NYPL card number and pin number here.

Week 9, Office Hours, Wed., Oct. 21, 3:00-5:00pm

Prof. Ellis' office in Namm 520.

Howdy, all! We’re already at Week 9! The end of the semester is quickly approaching, but we still have important work to do. If you have questions about the class, please visit my office hours from 3:00pm-5:00pm on Google Hangouts here [link removed after office hours].

If you can’t visit office hours, please send me an email with a request for another meeting time and let me know your availability for the next week so that I can find a time that matches both of our schedules.

Week 9, Lecture

We’ve made it all the way to week nine! Woo-hoo! Pat yourselves on the back for hanging in there thus far!

In this week’s lecture, I discuss grades, time spent on the class, the instructional manual project, and this week’s weekly writing project. Here are the time stamps for the major points:

00:00 Grades, Time Spent on Class
25:44 Instruction Manual Readings
45:39 Instruction Manual Examples
01:25:22 Weekly Writing Assignment

Remember to scroll down to see posts below on this week’s weekly writing assignment and more information about the instructional manual project.

Take notes from the lecture and review the materials that I reference before jumping into this week’s weekly writing assignment.

Visit office hours from 3:00-5:00pm or email me at jellis at citytech.cuny.edu with your questions!

Week 9, Weekly Writing Assignment

Use this week’s weekly writing assignment as a way to move your instructional manual project forward. In the spirit of the project, here are a set of instructions that guide you through completing this assignment.

  1. As discussed last week, you will need a Gmail/Google Drive account.
  2. Go to drive.google.com.
  3. Click on the “+ New” button in the upper left corner, and then click on Google Docs.
  4. In the new tab/window that opens, you will see the Google Docs editor.
    [It looks like most modern word processor software, such as Microsoft Word or Apple Pages. The difference being that this word processor runs as a web app and your work is saved remotely on Google Drive.]
  5. In the large white box where you see the cursor blinking, begin typing a memo with the headers: TO: Professor Ellis, FROM, DATE, SUBJECT: Instructional Manual Outline for X [where X is what you are creating an instructional manual for].
  6. Looking back at this web page, scroll down to the basic outline quoted below after the numbered list of instructions.
  7. Using your mouse, click-and-drag over basic outline below to highlight it, and then press CTRL-C (PC keyboard) or Command-C (Mac keyboard) on your keyboard to copy the text.
  8. Click on the tab for the Google Doc that you are writing, press “Return” or “Enter” a couple of times to add two lines after your memo header. Then, press CTRL-V or Command-V to paste the basic outline below into your Google Doc.
  9. Edit the basic outline in your Google Doc as appropriate for the set of instructions that you are designing.
  10. Between each point, add notes and keywords that will remind you what needs to be added, developed, and written for each section. Are photos, screenshots, or diagrams needed? Make a note of those. And, in particular, focus on the Directions section by listing out a basic list of instructions that you want to write. These do not have to be fully written out, but they should be a guide to you to follow when you turn this outline into your instructional manual.
  11. Before next week’s lecture, copy-and-paste your memo into a comment made to this post on our OpenLab site. We will discuss how to turn this into your draft instruction manual next week.

Basic Instructional Manual Outline

1.0 Introduction
1.1 Purpose
1.2 Intended Audience
1.3 Scope
1.4 Organization Description
1.5 Conventions (abbreviations, left/right)
1.6 Motivation (answers the “so what” question)
1.7 Safety and Disclaimers
2.0 Description of the Equipment
2.1 Illustration of the Equipment
2.2 Description of the Equipment’s Parts
3.0 List of Materials and Equipment Needed
3.1 Illustration of the Parts Needed to Carry Out the Instructions
3.2 Tools needed
3.3 Table of the parts with description of each
4.0 Directions
4.1 The Task These Directions Are Designed to Show
4.1.1 Step 1 (don’t write Step 1--write a brief statement on what the first step is)
4.1.2 Step 2
4.1.n ...Step n being some number (write as many steps--briefly--as you can think of--you can fill this list out later)
5.0 Troubleshooting
6.0 Glossary
7.0 Reference List

Week 9, Project, Instructional Manual Continued

During this week’s lecture, I will discuss using Google Docs to create your Instructional Manual. Google Docs gives us plenty of writing, layout, and multimedia-rich features that will support your instructional manual’s design. Additionally, Google Docs has a “Publish to Web” feature that lets you turn your instructional manual into a web site that you can easily share with others. This week, we will focus on the layout of your instructional manual and save the publishing features for an upcoming lecture.

I’ll discuss these examples that I made with you in this week’s lecture:

And, I’ll discuss these webpages for generating ideas about how to present relevant information in your instructional manual:

See this week’s weekly writing assignment with your next step in the project–to build an outline and a basic set of instructions or steps, and post that outline in a comment with a memo format. You can find it above!