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Resources for Instructors

Summary:

This is a teaching guide for professional writing instructors who are teaching their students to write usability reports. It includes teaching tips, suggested deliverables and class activities as well as a list of resources. Although this guide is created primarily for English 420 (Business Writing) and English 421 (Technical Writing) instructors at Purdue University who assign usability report as part of the OSDDP (Open Source Development and Documentation Project) initiated at Purdue, you may find many of the tips and resources useful and ready to be adapted to your own classroom context.

Contributors:Jingfang Ren, Dana Lynn Driscoll, Elizabeth Angeli
Last Edited: 2011-10-19 02:14:00

Open Source and OSDDP at Purdue

Open Source Initiative: Open source definition, products, philosophy, and more.

Drupal: An open source content management platform, which can support a variety of websites ranging from personal weblogs to large community-driven websites.

Moodle: An open source course management system, designed to help educators create effective online learning communities.

GNU: An open source operating system, alternative to UNIX.

Wikipedia: An open source encyclopedia available in 10 different languages.

Open Office Suite: An open source multilingual and multi-platform suite, which is compatible with and can be used as an alternative to the Microsoft Office suite.

Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird: Mozilla Firefox is an open source alternative to IE and other commercial browsers. Mozilla Thunderbird is an open source alternative to Outlook and other commercial inbox organizers.

Open Source Development and Documentation Project at Purdue: OSDDP mission statement, press release, pedagogical rationale, sample projects, teaching tips, discussion forums.

Project Management Tips and Free Software

Project KickStart Website: Project management tips provided by consultants and trainers who helped develop Project KickStart, a project management software package.

All PM (Project Managers) Website: Specifically created for project managers in the workplace, has a large collection of materials ranging from glossary, articles and tips, white papers, to document templates, many of which can be adapted for classroom use. Also has a discussion forum where you can post questions about project management and get answers from project managers all over the country. Membership free.

MindTools' Guide to Gantt Chart: Offers a good conceptual explanation of Gantt chart as a project management tool.

SmartDraw Website: Free trial version of SmartDraw, a software program for creating Gantt chart and other charts, as well as Gantt chart definition/explanation and examples.

Usability Testing and Usability Report: Principles, Techniques, and Examples

Usable Information Technology Website: Primarily column articles, reports, and newsletters on usability by the website's creator, Jakob Nielsen, a former Sun Microsystems engineer and a well published usability researcher with expertise in website usability research, especially the heuristic evaluation method.

Information & Design Website: Tips on the design, analysis, evaluation stages of usability testing provided by Information & Design, a usability consultancy based in Melbourne, Australia. Sample testing materials also included.

CIF Guidelines — Common Industry Format for Usability Test: Guidelines for creating a usability report using the format, recommended sections in a usability report, checklist etc.

Design Technologies Website: A large collection of usability resources, including heuristics, methods, style guides, and links to other resources.

Microsoft Usability Website: Microsoft Usability Publications, including guidelines, techniques, and sample reports.

Dialog Design Usability Website: Standard report format and sample report, good in informal testing situations when testing needs to be done in a fast and easy way.

Gnome Usability: A good example of a formal report, when thoroughness is more important than efficiency.

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