Learning Styles?

10 03 2008

So I’ve been slowly realizing that women and men learn very differently. I’ve really been noticing this in my Maya class. So many times I ask my friends (male friends), how they learned how to use the program so well. And they all tel me the same thing….they just played around, OR they bought a book on it and just started to do tutorials. Now I’ve talked to a few females learning Maya and they all seemed to agree that even though they learn from doing tutorials, it would be so nice to have just a resource available that lists what EVERY button or action does. And maybe even a video of it too.

A few quarters ago, I took my Advanced Survey of Computer Art Applications class online. And I learned soooo much more than I have in any in-class….class. What was great is that the professor had videos posted of, I assume him, going through the assignment using the program and all. So not only did we get a close look at what EXACTLY he was pressing, but we could pause it and copy his moves, or rewind when we forgot how to do something. And he was talking and saying exactly what he was doing and why. I’ve NEVER had this in an actual class.

So I was thinking….I’d really like to start compiling a bunch of videos. If I could get students, who know what they’re doing in Maya 2008 to use one of those recording programs and basically go through what each button does, that would be sooo helpful. And then I could compile the videos into one thing, with labeled chapters (ex: What the Smooth Icon does) and that way people don’t have to go searching the internet like crazy, trying to find the information that can be buried in huge paragraphs that only take up time instead of helping. AND the videos with help with the explanation because you can actually see what the person is doing. I know there are plenty of tutorial videos on YouTube and other 3D sites, but I don’t know of any ONE source that goes over EVERY button and EVERY action possible in Maya. It would take a LOT of people and a LOT of time, but wouldn’t it be great to at least get SOME of it done?

Another thing would be to have a written source as well to go along with the videos. A dictionary of all the buttons and actions, what they do, a picture of them, where they are usually located, example to when a good time to use them would be. So many times I wish I could just open up a reference book and get all that information in 5 seconds. In most books I’ve read, you have to go to the index, find the term or at least something similar to it, go to the page, find it in the chapter, try to figure out how it relates to what you’re doing, etc.

Learning something like Maya or 3Ds Max has been such an overwhelming idea for so long that I was too intimidated and got frustrated when I couldn’t understand it. Now that I have been learning it, I wish I had a reference book to check in on, instead of 50 books to search through, search engines to comprehend what I’m talking about, and YouTube videos that are too blurry to see what the person is clicking on.

Soooo…..problem problem, solution? I think I’d like to tackle managing a team of people to get at least the basics of the tools of Maya 2008 videos and written info on them together. So if anyone feels like volunteering, email me at GoMunster@gmail.com

Help me brainstorm.

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One response

17 03 2008
Brian Shurtleff

Yeah, women typically learn in different ways from men. Men are more willing to hop in and explore new processes for themselves, and women more typically prefer to watch someone else do something and learn from their experience before they get their hands on the gears themselves.
You should try reading Sheri Graner Ray’s book on designing games for women if you haven’t already, and talk to her too if she comes back to SCAD for WIGI at GDX again this year, as I think she is if I remember correctly. =)

As for your video project, eh, talk to senior level people who work with Maya and modeling and all that. Never worked with Maya and although I technically teach 3DSMax for my summer job, I am probably a bit rusty at it and should get back in shape for that. In any case, I don’t really consider myself a modeling person or anything.
And then if you know anyone in film/television they could probably edit any videos together.

The real trick is getting anyone interested enough to invest the time for this, heh.

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