December 9, 2019

From Gerald R. Lucas

Fall Semester 2019: What I Learned; or KISS


A couple of years ago, I had a new media student tell me to my face how much my web site sucks. This site. After asking her a couple of questions, I figured out what her frustrations were about: its complexity. Links and words and more links. What’s a girl to do?

OK, I think she has a point. I had a similar complain this term: the links just led down a “rabbit hole” of information that he felt overwhelmed. I can see that. Wikipedia has done the same thing to me. Ironically, I try to make the copious information on Wikipedia more accessible, but I’m not sure I’m succeeding. For some, I’m obviously not.

I need to try to keep it simple. What would be a good strategy? I could try to cut back on my link usage, or put all the necessary links in one location. I’m not sure that would help. Maybe limit each page to five links? Ten? When I run out, it’s time for a new page? Again, I’m not sure that will help. I try, too, to supplement the written sections with other media, like audio. Helpful for some, but I simply cannot do it all.

I think my web site is pretty organized. I know some of the frustration derives from impatience and cursory reading. Yet, I don’t think anyone would complain about a simpler site.

Yes, my NMAC 4460 and HUMN 447 syllabi were too dense this fall. The students had too much to do. I realized that well into the term, but I think I compensated for it with my final evaluation.

I will try to KISS while designing my spring 2020 syllabi. Whatever that will end up meaning.