Monday, May 3, 2010

ATEC Presents Feedback

The following message was sent to ATEC Present fans via Facebook

Title: ATEC Presents
Hi ______,
My name is Christie Wright and I am working on a group ATEC project. Our main goal is to further examine existing ATEC student resources.

Since you are a fan of ATEC Presents I would love your feedback. Please feel free to be as brief or detailed as you would like.

What functions do you like about ATEC Presents?

What functions would you add or improve on ATEC Presents?

Other comments:

Thank you so much for your help,
-Christie Wright
MFA Candidate

Here are the responses I received:

(Philip's comment below in legible format)

What functions do you like about ATEC Presents?

Ever since Michael and I designed AP we've been thinking about more things to put into it. I guess in terms of the things that I like that I think turned out successful would be the gallery. We slaved for a long time trying to come up with the most practical gallery showcase that would lend itself to most all general ATEC projects and I think this one fits the bill.

What functions would you add or improve on ATEC Presents?

1. I think first and foremost it would be great if it could serve a greater purpose to the academic portion of ATEC. Initally when we first built the site we used a system called Drupal, and I had configured it so that users could upload their own tutorials whether text or video and the idea was that students could learn off of one another and learn much more outside of class. It never really caught on, but I think that the primary reason was because we couldn't any instructors to get on board with it and submit instruction material. I think Todd Fechter is the only professor who uses streaming videos in conjunction with his classes, but it's entirely hidden unless students are aware of its presence.

2. In a way, I guess I wanted it also to do what WebCT/Orion was supposed to do (and failed at), but more geared towards ATEC/eMac students only. That would ultimately include things like class assignment tracking, a working chat tool, a whiteboard system, forum, etc. but these would all be seamlessly integrated with the gallery. You might picture it as a sort of ATECized DeviantArt meets Facebook. Of course none of that would ever come to fruition because Facebook already exists.

3. This is big dreaming but. I would LOVE... LOVE, to have some way that we could implement a web based game player like Unity3D or Torque 3D. This would greatly rely on the fact that game development students create work using these engines, but I think it would be an extremely powerful and impressive component. ATEC currently does not have a means of showing off virtual world/game projects outside of the classroom, unless its prerecorded video which no students or teacher takes the time to bother with.

Other comments:
I'd be lying if I said I've enjoyed working on ATECPresents. It has been an uphill battle. Now in my senior year I've convinced myself that its a type of conceptual project that sounds great on paper but can never really work practically because it requires every student being a consistently active member. If the students collectively posted as much information into AP as they do Facebook it would be a flourishing wonderland of art, creativity, and knowledge. They don't however and as I've talked to students again and again throughout my years the dialog with everyone seems to be the same. We are not being taught the ways of this industry properly. Students constantly come to me with stories of consistent disappointment with the level of depth to their ATEC classes, and I think that it's that sort of morale killer that changes their perspective from getting involved to simply getting a degree and getting out.

The future for AP looks pretty bleak actually. Michael and I are the only two students we know that decided to grab a hold of our education and get the most out of it we possibly could, and that included trying to get this showcase going and getting a bigger picture of where ATEC's standing is as a department, but we are both graduating now. That being said we don't know of other students that want to take the reigns to keep AP alive, so if you know someone who needs a web burden let me know :)

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