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H810 – Tackling descriptions (A21.1)

November 8, 2010

Back again,

I know I already wrote that a couple of times, and I try hard to avoid these gaps, but when I am in the middle of writing an essay, I am so immersed into the subject, that I forget anything else and I can simply just focus on one subject. Even my work is sometimes an unwelcome diversion. I handed in my first TMA for H808 and would actually need a break after all the night shifts, but  there is simply no time realising that the next TMA for this course is already on the near horizon and again I am running behind. This time I just thought I jump in directly the actual week and move backwards.

Again this is a pretty interesting activity to describe the an (online) learning resource from my own context that has plenty of visual content that might need to be described for a visually impaired student.

I am working in the health section and I found it would be really difficult to describe  e.g. describe organs systems like the circulatory system, or e.g. the heart with its four chambers, etc.. The following questions came up: Where do you start, do you describe clockwise, what about colours, directions, describing the size, etc. I found that really difficult to describe and I guess the result is less convincing, probably more confusing as helpful and definitely too long. I think it is not impossible, but I think it requires a lot of practice to be so precise and straightforward that a visually impaired student could picture it.

Think about if somebody ask you for direction, next to the fact that you normally don’t find anybody who can give you directions, most people give you long-winded directions which are not helpful either. I like to do one activity with my students where they have to give clear, precise description. Two students work together. They are separated with a dividing wall. One student constructs a building using building blocks. They came in different shapes and colours. This student describes than his building, the position, shape and colour to his fellow student, so he can recreate the same building. The two students finally remove the dividing wall and compare their buildings. Then the student change roles. Finally they discuss what they found difficult and what might have helped them to improve their description.

Let me tell, I already found it quite difficult to explain this activity 😉

Sylvia

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