Desk Crits

Desk Crits (Given)


Administrative Intern Training for Office of University Architects

Administrative Tasks Part I

  • Might add voiceover instruction for Navigation demo screen at the beginning. It took me a second to figure out what was going on
  • You may want to use a Nav bar widget in place of the stock navigation bar
  • You may need CC for this to be compliant with UGA training standards, but maybe not…..just a thought
  • Objectives….may want to sync bullets with VO a bit
  • Like the photos/graphics! You might extend the transparency box across the entire screen of each slide, so that the edges of the background images don’t show w/o transparency. I think it would make the screens flow a lot more.
  • Good narrating voice! Sound quality or recording is good too. You may want to re-record parts with background noise (sounds like a truck or something in a few slides). If you need good free software for audio editing, check out Audacity.
  • “Answering the Phone” slide: greeting shows up during mouseover during first few seconds, but later it doesn’t show up. Maybe adjust duration of the mouseover text on the slide
  • Use of videos is really good! Screenshot videos of computer tasks might be good too.
  • Voiceover instructions for the screen to take you to either questions or continue to next section
  • Voiceover instructions for OUA info screen at the very end. Not sure what’s supposed to happen here.
  • Should there be a “continue to next module” option from the “Congratulations! Completion of Module” slide? Just curious. Maybe it can take you back to the other slide that allowed you to review the material or continue on.


Administrative Tasks Part II

  • Sync bullets with VO
  • A couple of slides in Validation Pass section advanced on their own
  • May want to make TOC collapsible in Captivate
  • I failed when I missed one question….oh well!



GACE Training

Each module has approx. 15 slides. You mentioned that it maybe a little boring, or not interactive enough. It also has to cover a lot of material.

How about adding audio voiceover to the slides? Adding more photos and illustrations to the slides may be another way of making it more interesting.

Slides aren’t very interactive, and don’t represent the way you tend to teach. Maybe multiple choice with different videos explaining different historical positions? It may be a bit overkill at this point, but any kind of video can break up the static nature of the other slides.

Overall, a very good project and great concept! Looks like you’re helping serve a real need where you work.



SEC Training for Parents of Children in Special Education

This training module is to help prepare parents of children that are involved in special education.

• Good narrating voice!

• What is IEP? I realize that parents or others taking this training may already be aware of some of the terminology, but it might be helpful to spell out some acronyms the first time they’re mentioned.

• This seems like a pretty unique topic. I think this is an interesting subject matter to cover. This is something that few people would think to address, but has obvious application for a select group of people. You clearly understand the need for this type of training, and I like the concept behind it a lot!

• You don’t have any Closed Captioning. You might want to add this as I’m sure that it would be required to be compliant in a real-world situation.

• I like the graphics, especially the brownish banner at the bottom of the slides. You may want to be more consistent with you font choices, as they seem to change a bit over the course of the module (although this may be a function of my browser…..I’m using Firefox.) I’m not a fan of Times New Roman, but that’s just my own opinion. I’d recommend san serif fonts (fonts without the little flourishes on the ends of them), such as Arial, Verdana, Calibri, and Trebuchet.

• I found myself wanting to collapse the TOC, but that may not be a critical issue (this is easily done in Captivate if you want that option).

• It may not be completely necessary, but you might also include voiceover narration on the Acronym Definition section.

• On the “Behavior Related” slide (and others after it): I wasn’t completely certain what the objective of this section was. Also, the rollover function is not working. I wonder if it might be better to actually say what the acronyms mean in the voiceover as you put them on screen. I got a bit lost in all of the acronyms.

• The voiceover volume level was different from slide to slide, and sometimes it was a bit difficult to hear. You can solve this with the “normalize” function in the audio editing section of Captivate. This will raise volume.

• On the “School District/School Related” slide, the onscreen text wasn’t synced with the voiceover audio. Also, the header disappears towards the end of the voiceover.

• Knowledge Test – got a question wrong but no indication of it being wrong; no feedback

• Millionaire Game: cool music! I like the game….very engaging. I wish there was a way to “restart” the game. Once you miss one question, the game is over. May need some navigation to instruct the learner/user on what to do after that. I had to hit the “back” button I think.

• May want to have more clear navigational tools instead of the stock Captivate navigation bar. I liked it when you had a “Continue” button or had really specific instructions on when to “Hit Play” or other navigational items.

• Some slides have content that disappears a bit too soon (such as photos or text). I run into this all the time! In Captivate, there is a “Display for Rest of Slide” option in the Timing properties for any given object (text, image, etc.)

• I like the dramatized dialogue as an illustration in the “Parental Rights”! I also like the external links for the section. That’s extremely helpful. You might have those links open in a new browser window, as it disrupts the training module. When I go back, it takes me to the beginning of the “Parental Rights” section. Also, you might think about specifying on the link that it will take you to a separate web page or document. Right now it’s not entirely clear. Also, when I select either of the two options, it doesn’t always advance to the next slide. Not sure what’s supposed to happen after the audio plays. Seems like it just automatically advances to the explanation slide in this section.

• I really like the glossary! I would mention this earlier in the module, and make more use of it!

• The Table of Contents won’t allow me to get to the Certificate Completion slide. Glossary slide won’t allow me to advance from there, either.


Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Program

Overall, a very good presentation! I found the slide layout very attractive to look at, and pretty engaging. I learned a lot! I’m not sure how you’d divide the material down any more, but there was a LOT of material, which seemed a bit overwhelming. I’m not sure how much I retained. But otherwise, this is a great presentation! Below are some thoughts on specific components of the presentation:

  • Directions were for the most part clear. I found myself thinking that some kind of a prompt (maybe a “please hit advance to continue”) might be helpful, but this is minor.
  • Help menu items were either obscured by on-screen items (text, photos, etc.), or didn’t show up at all.
  • Nice photos and graphics. Look of the slides is nice and clean. Good colors. Not crazy about the fonts, but they are clean and easy to read.
  • I found I could get around most of the time, but often it wasn’t clear when/if I was supposed to advance the slide. Seems like a minor thing.
  • I didn’t always get feedback on questions (i.e. identify parts of the plant)
  • Take off stock Captivate navigation bar. Would be helpful to have some kind of direction (text or VO) on the very first slide to indicate what to do. It’s not implicitly clear that I need to hit “play”. Might be good to have some kind of prompt to indicate when to go to next slide.
  • Narration is very good! Background noise was often distracting, especially the sound of what seemed to be the sound of the computer’s fan running. I thought it was my own computer fan.
  • VO narration cuts off at the end. Really like the video!
  • Help menu is hidden behind other images on some screens. Also, help menu wouldn’t work under Seed Dormancy slides.
  • On topics page for Sexual Plant Propogation, direction on how to proceed would be helpful (something indicating that you can go to any of the topics listed….)
  • Item D seems to be incomplete
  • Video on sowing seeds would not play. Skipped automatically to next slide.
  • Slide VO says to “move on to asexual propogation” but nav bar does not allow you to advance.



Desk Crits (Received)


This is all review – I just typed up the notes I gave you last night so that you would have a record in case you wanted it for your PM site. Your project is looking terrific!
  •  Will learners watch all of this? What will they use most? If you think that most of this will be something they go through once, but some of it will be a quick resource (like the references page) you should definitely make that page easily accessible from the beginning or throughout.
  • Try adding a skip button during the instructions presentation so that visitors who have been to your site before or prefer to figure it out on their own don’t have to sit through instructions  – that way you will not be at risk of losing them.
  • This is a very good idea, because since all the information they would need is here and available, this at least serves as an accountability check. You don’t have to deal with the constant excuse “oh, I didn’t know…”
  • For your volume slider – you can always experiment about cracking into the code on Captivate. You could easily create one in flash or edge, but if Captivate will not let you place it, it might be wasted effort. The alternative is trying the plug-in for the one that was the wrong color and see if you can crack into that code. Look for the <img src=> tags and see what image it is pointing to. If you can edit it, just rewrite the code to point to an image you upload to captivate yourself.
  • On the videos, 2 minutes or less is probably the best length to aim for. He says great stuff, but your learners will only be willing to pay attention for so long. If they hit one 6 minute video, they may be unlikely to start the rest of the videos for fear it will take them too long to watch.


This module is for those joining the band as new members that need to understand basic fundamentals of being part of a professional band. From etiquette to being the character appropriately for the band.

5 Topics are provided thus far…

Code of Conduct (Corporate Culture)
Rehearsals & Performance
Travel Tips
Day of Show

Soundtrack and topics should be accessible from the “home” page
Add a succinct Do and Don’ts slide that gets more in depth with band preferences
Average age of applicants 22 – 50…
Content is coming partially from client and partially from Pat’s personnel experience regarding the code of conduct portion Patrick Strawser – Almost Elton John New Band Member Training
Write out a course map, it will help orient your module and then you can digitize it for the learner to follow it through the module map
Sorting of the appropriate to inappropriate areas could be used as an interaction slide….along with why the actions are correct or incorrect

Initially, full screen video, perhaps have content and video on the same slide, this would help prevent monotony…


Thank you so much for letting me do a desk crit on your project. It was so good! I loved your project. You did an awesome job with all of the video and audio that you included in the orientation. Your design was clean, organized and creative. I like the way you hid your table of contents but made it available in your play bar at the bottom. The little things can make a big difference. At first glance I would have said the learners need to see how they are progressing and how much further they need to go but I like the way you made it an option. They can see it if they want but it doesn’t have to be in the way during the entire run of the course.


Your training had a lot of content and you laid it out very nicely throughout the project. I would have like to have seen more interactions, just so that the learner is not just watching, but participating in the session as well. It would attend to other learning styles if the learners were able to get more involved in the tutorial.


I like the document downloads. That is a great way to make resources available to the learners. Great idea! You have covered a lot of ground in your project and I thought it was fabulous!

I feel like I have learned so many new things from looking at your project.


PROJECT: Almost Elton John Orientation Program
AUTHOR: Pat Strawser
DATE: 14-21 APR 2014
REVIEWER: C.J. Doherty
For future implementation. You probably won’t be able to complete for showcase, but FYI.
This is a good primer for a creative performance context that has reputation among some (audience and players both) of being capricious (read: “flakey”).
This introductory module really sets a professional tone giving a great example to follow.
Really ***** work, Pat. I can stress this enough.
My only suggestions to improve (over time) are below (mostly in the first 3 sections).
Please let me know if you need anything else.
Again, great work,
1- Splash page:
Great opening! It really sets the stage (pun intended) that the training has a performance and entertainment context.
2-Intro mugshot video:
I would spell Craig A. Meyer’s name as a caption in his introduction.
3-How to navigate page:
Great intro. Good concrete objectives. Seems like a great primer for new bandmates. Jus the treatment gives a level of professionalism no matter what what is being covered.
On my Safari, the pop-up menu doesn’t appear. Rather, it takes me to the first navigation slide. Probably a Flash / HTML 5 bug beyond the scope of this review.
UpdateL I see the TOC link in the nav bar… if there is a way to replace the “Index” button with the TOC functionality, I think that would be better.
5-Intro Slide:
Great CV! This is an impressive resume. I think it commands respect for past experience. I’m not sure if titles should be italicized (or ALL CAPS for movie titles is used in scripts), but quotes is the next best thing.
6-Mission Statement:
I think this could be maybe be expanded to feature other objectives beyond “cover band”. The Rocket Band seems just a notch more special than that. Jus’ sayin’
Got it. I think this could be combined with previous slide. Nice pic, BTW ;-)!
8-Contracts Intro:
It may be nice to have a key frame in the video window instead of black, but otherwise good.
9-Contracts Page:
Great page! Going back takes me to first slide, though, so I have to navigate back to that slide (again, prolly HTML 5 bug). Also another “Contract” as file name should be more detailed (e.g. “CAMEG_Contract-20140401”)
10-Rider Page:
Good intro and sample list. No change.
11-Rider Page 2:
Good intro and sample list. No change.
12-Rider Page 3:
Good intro and sample list. No change.
Good. No change
Hmm. Repeats previous slide. Maybe delete this page.
15-Do’s & Don’ts:
Haha! Glad the titles are there, tho. No change.
Very important. Good inclusion of summary to reinforce message. Really nice clip from CAM. No change.
17-Ideal Employee:
Also good. These clips are good reflections of CAM. No change.
18-Problem Employees:
Good for contrast & to know what to avoid with exact examples. Hopefully can avoid before hiring. No change.
19-How to play:
Great resource. Good link. No change.
Good intro.
Seems self-explanatory, but worth mentioning for the record. No change.
Again, seems self-explanatory, but (again) worth mentioning for the record (corny jokes ;-). No change.
23-Travel Intro:
Good. No change.
24-Travel Tips:
Again, seems self-explanatory, but (again) worth mentioning for the record. No change.
25-List of Travel Tips:
Again, seems self-explanatory, but (again) worth mentioning for the record. Medallion! No change.
26-List of Travel Tips 2:
Again, seems self-explanatory, but (again) worth mentioning for the record. “Rocket Band” scrutiny.
26-List of Travel Tips 2:
Again, seems self-explanatory, but (again) worth mentioning for the record. No change.
27-Day of Show Intro:
Good. No change.
28-Flow of Show Intro:
29-Flow of Show Intro 2:
Good recap. No change.
Good recap. No change.
Good. No change.
No sound? No change.
No sound? No change.
34-Assessment Intro:
No change.
35-Assessment 1:
No change. Easy peasy.
36-Assessment 2:
No change. Easy peasy.
37-Assessment 3:
No change. Way to wreck the curve, tho.
38-Assessment 4:
No change. Easy peasy.
39-Assessment 5:
No change. Easy peasy.
40-Assessment 6:
No change. Easy peasy.
41-Assessment 7:
No change. Easy peasy.
42-Assessment 8:
No change. Easy peasy.
43-Assessment 9:
No change. Way to wreck the curve, tho.
44-Assessment 10:
No change. Easy peasy.
46-Assessment 11:
No change. Easy peasy.
46-Assessment 12:
No change. Easy peasy.
Nice conclusion. Really great work, Pat.


Your project on Almost Elton John set the bar for Captivate in our class this semester.  Granted the subject matter is a winner, but you executed the Orientation for the band with the same panache as Elton himself.  It opens with a bang, with a well-selected riff and engaging pics from the band, and it continues to be engaging throughout, with the use of video and interactive features.  Your speaking voice is very clear and guides the project, and your video from the band-leader, Craig Meyer, is effective at laying out the expectations for the band in a fun and friendly way.  I have one suggestion to improve some slides with a lot of text (Background on Craig): try to use shorter text, perhaps as bullet points, to compliment what you’re saying, rather than simply reading a long text that is fully visible.  Kudos to your for all your efforts on this.  I’m sure Craig is stoked and he will see less turnover in the Rocket Band as you’ve effectively set the tone for the band here.


Great presentation. Excellent graphics and good balance….great photos don’t overshadow the content. Good language use and should fit your target audience. Gives a good foundation for the basics.

I went straight thru, took the assessment and completed the eval.
I only noticed a couple of glitches….
-the intro slide went by kind of fast, i was still reading it when it changed…but i was really looking at the graphics intently, so maybe i was just slow.
– in the code of conduct video section, there was a ghostly image and navigation bar in the middle…maybe a remnant of another video clip that was removed?
-assessment, contracts….”reresponsibility” think that’s a typo
-on the evaluation, the first set of multi-choice…poor/needs work/acceptable/good/ excellent seemed a good scaling method. However, the next batches of multi-choice…had good/acceptable switched….which seemed to be a less standard gradation from poor to excellent. a little bit confusing for me.
On the whole, looks very polished and professional. Clear goals and covers content in appropriate manner.

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