July 28, 2004

How the A.C. was created

Creating the Assignment Calculator was a team effort with people from across campus.

As User Education Coordinator I pulled together a working group in 2001 that included the Student Writing Center and the Center for Teaching and Learning Services. We also consulted with other librarians, staff in the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of Writing, and then worked closely with our IT staff to design and implement the site.

After consulting a number of books on writing research papers, we pared down the research and writing process into 12 steps (yes, a bit tongue-in-cheek) and identified percentage allocations for each step. Next we identified services and resources available at the U and beyond that would help them during those steps.

Our IT staff pulled together the interface and the programming.

The tool has done fairly well in usability testing with the exception of the buttons for the email reminders and printer-friendly version which are not entirely visible to our test participants.

We are currently creating a much more elaborate version of the Assignment Calculator for dissertators: "The Dissertation Calculator."

For a nice break-down of steps and time allocations for the research/writing process see Writing research papers : a guide to the process by Stephen Weidenborner, Domenick Caruso.

Posted by jveldof at 12:18 PM