Task Analysis: Remove Image Background in PS

My analysis of a video tutorial on the knowledge and skills needed to remove the background of an image in Photoshop. The video is about 6 minutes in length and available to view below (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6hvuUf2Smw).

To complete this task students need to identify three tools located in the Photoshop palette and their function.

  1. Quick Selection Tool: used to select portions of an image and looks to be done through a selection of similar colors in a given area.
  2. Polygon Lasso Tool: Another way to select an area of an image by creating a polygon shape.
  3. Erase Tool: used to remove/clean up the edges of the image after it was cut out.


  1. User needs to know how to use the quick selection tool. From the video this was done through demonstration by selecting the tool in the palette to turn it on and then using the mouse to select specific portions to cut out. The user also needs to know to use the subtract function of this tool, which was used to remove additional excess areas.
  2. Using the polygon lasso tool. This is done by selecting the tool and then using the mouse pointer to direct where the tool should draw the next edge of the polygon. Selecting a point where two edges meet will close the shape. In the video the subtract function was used to cut out specific portions inside the selected image.
  3. User needs to know how to take the selected image and move to a transparent background. This meant to create a new file and modifying the settings so that the background was transparent. User then moves the selected image onto the transparent background by clicking and dragging it.
  4. User needs to know how to save the image. (This topic was not covered in the video.)
  5. User needs to know how to place the saved image onto a new background. (Not covered in the video.)

What is your Burning Desire?

This activity is designed to identify your passion. I modified it from the course Bob Proctor Coaching. I rewrote the learning objective consisting of a condition, action, and standard. Also added questions to help with brainstorming and organizing ideas and bullet points for how assessment would be done.

Learning Outcome: Learners will have a clear idea of the burning desire that they want to achieve.

Learning Objective: In an environment free from distractions and through a process of self-reflection, the student will brainstorm, list, and filter the ideas by answering from a list of questions. At least 5 answers must be listed for each question.


  • Required items are listed for each question
  • Top two choices were highlighted among the list for each category
  • Burning desire is selected


  1. What knowledge and skills are you good at?
  2. What are things you wish to have in your ideal life?
  3. What are things you want to do in your life?
  4. What are things you truly enjoy that you would do for minimal or no pay?
  5. What is your life’s purpose?


  1. Brainstorm and list the ideas for each of the questions. Let go of any restrictions. Give each question serious thought because the decision will be a very important for your success. List at least five ideas for each question but more if you would like.
  2. Review your list upon completion of step 1. For each question category, highlight the top two.
  3. Among the highlighted choices, review, contemplate, and select your top choice.
  4. Write out your burning desire.

Creating Discussion Objectives

An objective states what a student is expected to demonstrate as a result of instruction or learning experience. Air Force ISD categorizes into three parts: knowledge, skills, and attitudes.

The objective has three parts. First is what the students will learn. The second is the condition under which learning will be performed, which includes the situations and the tools provided. The final part is the standard of performance which means the evaluation of what is considered acceptable performance.

In a discussion you want students to demonstrate the learning through speaking or writing. This means the instructional designer should review with the subject matter expert and identify the components of the learning. These can include key principles, perspectives, examples, connections, inferences, important skills, and attitude.

The condition will focus on the resources that they can use to demonstrate their knowledge. In a course this will be the textbook, suggested resources, and external resources chosen by students, which may include the source.

The third consideration of a discussion is to determine the acceptable level of performance. A major online university will usually provide this through a rubric which will consider multiple standards and the levels of performance that will be measured. For example one standard would be the quality of the content:

Excellent : demonstrates and applies in-depth, accurate knowledge of the material.

Good: demonstrates and applies accurate knowledge of the material

Unacceptable: demonstrates limited or inaccurate knowledge or inability to apply the material.

Here is an example of discussion prompt that has the three constituting parts of an objective:

Using the information provided in chapters 7 & 8 on emotional intelligence, give your own example that illustrates at least three of the author’s main concepts.



Air Force ISD: http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/edref/afman36-2234.pdf

Examples of Good Discussion Questions: http://www.uwosh.edu/d2lfaq/teaching-resources/discussions/discussion-question-tips-and-pointers

Example Discussion Rubric: https://it.cornell.edu/sites/default/files/Online%20Learning/Example%20of%20a%20Discussion%20Board%20Rubric.pdf

Example Discussion Prompt and Response: http://campustools.capella.edu/BBCourse_Production/PhD_Colloquia_CR3/Track_1/SOE/phd_t1_soe_u06a1_h03_evaldisc.html

A Plan to Stimulate Discussions in Bible Study

After attending several bible studies where the interaction between members was scant, I had an urge to ask the pastor to see if we could make some minor modifications. Fortunately he thought the idea was good.  I created a plan for improving the discussion in Google Docs consisting of two drafts. Draft one was a comparative study to see what another group was doing. Draft two was a comparison of what was currently occurring and the proposed plan. Click the links below to view the documents in Google.

Draft #1 Bible Study Discussion

Draft #2 Bible Study Discussion


Course Reorganization Idea in D2L

After reviewing the organization of the D2L Instructor Courses, an alternative design may prove to be beneficial. Instead of having three separate courses, one course divided into the major components Content, Grades, Quizzes, etc. could be used. Each topic would be like a multi-level course with conditions in-place to unlock higher level modules as learners move through the materials. At specific benchmarks, badges would be awarded and a certificate when they complete all components for that particular topic area. This will allow learners to direct their own learning based on their needs. For example if an instructor plans to use Discussions as a primary method for interactions and assessment, he or she may want to develop expertise with this tool and skip Quizzes entirely

This could be tested with one topic such as Content. A design document would be created to clarify the knowledge and skills, organize the modules, determine where to place the conditions and the type of badges to award.

Each module would also serve as a self-containing unit that can be used independently. This will allow custom courses to be created using modules as building blocks for specific individuals or groups after assessing their experience with D2L and determining their wants.

Click here to view the design document draft of the current organization of the modules on content.

Interactive Video Platforms

Interactive video platform refers synchronous lessons as mentioned in the article from eLearning Industries. They do have advantages as mentioned in the article and from my experience teaching online for four years but they put time constraints on the learner. I felt that my asynchronous graduate courses at Boise State provided plenty of interactions. This was usually done once a week through a discussion board but with many opportunities to view classmates’ comments and share thoughts. After participating for about a month you do get a sense of what that person is like. Sometimes VoiceThread was used instead of a dicussion board and I find this be an effective to personalize the discussion because it allows users to integrate images, audio, and video to communicate ideas.

If online learning is to occur on a global scale I don’t see how live interactions can support people living in different time zones. I see the future being based around asynchronous learning environments that includes different methods of interactions and a community established in their local area where they’ll have opportunities to connect with like-minded people in-person or through live video platforms, for example like an association.


Edtech 522 Module 3 Reflection

This week we learned about the symbiotic relationship in a community of inquiry and studied how online teaching tools can be used to support each of the roles within. Community of inquiry states that learning is achieved through a combination of instructor, social, and cognitive presence. The activities and interactions are set up to develop problem-based learning and critical thinking. To look at it from an instructional design perspective the module is a good example of effective learning in an asynchronous environment achieved through the way the module was organized and the application of community of inquiry. The module consisted of the following:

  1. Description of the topics to study and objectives to achieve. It included a YouTube video to introduce one of the topics. The video was a good way to add variation to a predominantly textual-based content.
  2. Reading content: chapters in the course textbook and supplemental journals that focused on online teaching tools. The selection was well thought out. The textbook provided an explanation on the contributing parts of community of inquiry and a chapter that explained using tools to facilitate the process. Journals provided additional examples of how tools were used in different learning situations, which could be further analyzed through the perspective of community of inquiry.
  3. Online tool presentation assignment to research a teaching tool and evaluate how well it could satisfy the community of inquiry and a sample lesson using the tool. The activity was interesting and effective. Each member could self-direct and choose a tool to learn based on preference and relevance. The activity added a social element by reviewing and commenting on each other’s works through VT. In essence we collaborated on the larger topic of online teaching tools but it felt like we were working on individual projects.
  4. Blogging to reflect on topics in a meaningful way.

I thought that using VoiceThread was an effective way to add variation to the discussion board. In the first two weeks, communication was done using text, but VT allowed users to add different forms of media to express their ideas. It added a personal connection, which is particularly beneficial for students studying at a distance. Both have advantages and disadvantages. I would say a discussion board is more efficient in having students interact, provide rich details, and develop high level of thinking.  VT provides a more pleasing presentation by stimulating the audio and visual channels, but may require more training and time to prepare in utilizing the other forms of media.

An experiment performed by the course professor and colleague talked about using a smartphone and Twitter to do microblogging. Students captured graphic design examples relative to their geographic locations and collaboratively critiqued their examples with classmates. The major of role of the instructor was to organize the activity and provide support when it was needed. The experiment brought up the idea of using mobile devices in an authentic context outside of class. The experiment showed that the power of mobile technology can have a strong influence in how learning is done. I feel that this is dependent on specific careers or activities that places emphasis on learning on the road. From a personal standpoint, I have used this method of learning when I took a trip a new area to use the map and learn about destination places and in general every day activities not related to work. In general when I consider myself to do serious type of learning, I prefer to be in one location, preferably my home using a laptop. It allows me to do deeper level of thinking due to less distractions. Also it’s more convenient to work on multiple applications and type ideas using a regular size keyboard mostly due to the nature of the job. I see the internet as the authentic environment in the future where people from different locations tap into it. There are advantages to contextualized learning and learning outside of class but some of those situations don’t require mobile technology. I see mobile technology primarily as a communication tool and organizer to collect bite size information.


Hsu, Y.C & Ching, Y.H. (2012). Mobile Microblogging: Using Twitter and Mobile Devices in an Online Course to Promote Learning in Authentic Contexts. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 13(4).