Microlearning Project

GravitDesigner_Lander

The Tool: Gravit Designer

Gravit Designer is a graphic design tool focusing on vector design that works on a range of systems (Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome); it can be accessed via the app stores for different systems as well as through the Gravit Designer website.

I picked this tool because it’s one that I started learning to use a few months ago while taking LDT 200x, but have used much more heavily in this course, which has required me to get to know Gravit Designer much better. During this course, I’ve honed my ability to create shapes and lines the way I want them, as well as arranging text, and I’ve also learned better how to use the transparency function and how to fiddle with backgrounds.

Examples of my use of Gravit Designer can be found among my portfolio components. In particular, I used Gravit Designer to create my Cognitivism-Connectivism graphic, and to create the scoreboard mock-up for my Complex Learning Project.

The Learning Theories

Two learning theories could be used to describe my process of learning Gravit Designer better: Piaget’s version of constructivism and andragogy.

My learning has been constructivist because I have been building on my past experience with graphic design programs (Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Paint, the Gnu Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) to get started with Gravit Design, and then have simply explored and experimented with the program to move beyond that base knowledge. I specifically see this as Piaget’s version of constructivism because I have not made use of an MKO; I have basically been discovering the capabilities on my own recognizance, not even, so far, using the “Help” menu or a tutorial. I would definitely learn faster if I took advantage of an MKO, but for the moment, my limited capabilities have been enough, and I haven’t needed to push further.

Andragogy also applies to this learning experience because my interaction with the program can be very accurately described with Knowles’ 5 Assumptions (Pappas 2013):

  1. My engagement has been self-directed and independent; I was not required to make use of Gravit Designer, but instead discovered the tool on my own.
  2. My existing knowledge and experience have provided a base for further learning; there were elements of the program that match other programs I’ve used, and those let me get started quickly.
  3. I was focused on using the program for very specific purposes; it was not just a “let’s play around with this because it’s neat” learning experience.
  4. My goal was to immediately apply the program to my graphic design needs for my coursework, not to learn it for potential future uses.
  5. I’m interested in continuing my work with Gravit Designer even beyond this course because I know that its use is a skillset that will serve me in my career.

I did not specifically go into the experience intending to “use” andragogy, but it certainly describes my process well!

I have a hard time saying that these approaches were “effective,” exactly, because I didn’t use them on purpose—they were simply the most automatic approaches I used. I have always been a pretty independent learner; I prefer to start exploring on my own before approaching someone else for help so that I have an idea of where I may need help. In this way, I suppose, you could also describe my approach as connectivist, as I am a “know where” type as much as a “know what”/“know how” type. This works for me, though, since it lets me cut past the instruction that I may not need to identify the instruction that will be most helpful in learning the material quickly.

Reference

Pappas, C. (2013) The Adult Learning Theory—Andragogy—of Malcolm Knowles. e-Learning Industry. Retrieved from https://elearningindustry.com/the-adult-learning-theory-andragogy-of-malcolm-knowles

Image Credits

In order of appearance.

Heckel, N. (2018) Gravit Designer Webpage Screenshot.

Heckel, N. (2018) Cognitivism-Connectivism Graphic.

Heckel, N. (2018) Scoreboard Mock-up using Sil_verblue (2017 [Pixabay. Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/birds-lady-animal-kingdom-poultry-3187657/]) as background.