Reflective Journal


My proposal and design for the course content I’m planning on doing has been handed in.


Due to working on other assessments, I am a bit behind in my production plan.


  • E-Commerce Powerpoint framework without information.
  • Part of the Flash presentation without the videos – background, headings, some buttons.


  • The rest of the Flash presentation without the videos – some buttons and actionscript.
  • E-Commerce representative image


Had a play in Photoshop CS5 to create my E-Commerce representative image. After trying different things, I ended up just using brush strokes to create the following image.


In my design I had this formated as a jpg, but to keep the transparent background it is formated as a png image.


I have created my Mail Merge representative image in Photoshop, which is a combination of rectangle and triangle (found in Custom Shapes) shapes with different fill colours. The opacity of the rectangles were reduced to 94% to allow the triangles to be seen. The triangles for the yellow and orange envelope were kept red (but behind the rectangles). The triangle for the red envelope had to be darkened, as it wasn’t initially showing as expected.

Mail Merge

In my design I had this formated as a jpg, but to keep the transparent background it is formated as a png image.

NB: The noticabilty of the triangles seem to change from Photoshop, to an image on my computer, to uploaded online – I’ll have to redo this later.


OK, have changed the fill colour of the Mail Merge image triangles to black, and decreased the opacity of the rectangles to 90%.

It doesn’t look any better in this blog. It may have something to do with the black background of this blog?

Mail Merge screen

Here’s what it looks like from a screenshot of the WP dashboard.

What a hassle this seemingly simple image has been. The triangles now sit on top of the rectangles (at 80% opacity), both are the same colour, and the triangles have a bevel blend.

Mail Merge

It works for both black and white backgrounds now.

Most of the Flash presentation (minus the videos) is now complete – just have a little more Actionscript for some of the buttons to do.


Went over the comments received from the final design with Ken today. He’s suggested using a darker red on Moodle, so that it doesn’t look ‘angry’. We linked up my laptop to a projector and had a look at the PowerPoint – we both thought the red used for the headings worked well with the black background. We also agreed on Micheal’s suggestion of creating two layout versions of the material in Moodle. Ken also thought the Flash presentation is looking good.

Also, Owen, who takes the Packages paper which includes Mail Merge, mentioned today that he would be interested in getting hold of the Mail Merge tutorials for use in his paper.

Here’s the icons I’ve made in Photoshop to represent (left to right):

  • To Do
  • Multimedia
  • Resources
  • Activities

Various icons

These icons were made from 30×30 pixel rounded rectangles filled with a red gradient, layered on top with various shapes and brushes (and eraser for the video reel sides). They have also been saved as PNG files to keep the background transparent.

The Mail Merge .doc, .xls, and .mdb data files have been created. The .xls data was entered first, then copied to a .doc file and imported to a .mdb database.


The button actionscript for the Mail Merge flash presentation is complete – so this is now complete, minus the videos.

About half of the information for the E-Commerce powerpoint lecture has been completed.

I’m still running behind in my scheduled plan.


  • Analysis (Proposal) and Design
  • E-Commerce representative image
  • PowerPoint without information
  • Flash production without videos
  • Mail Merge representative image
  • Moodle link icons
  • Moodle front page (needs some touch ups), and other pages created
  • Mail Merge documents
  • PowerPoint information gathered and incorporated (half done)

Not Completed:

  • PowerPoint information gathered and incorporated (half not done)
  • PowerPoint uploaded to Slideshare
  • Mail Merge videos captured


Have captured my first Mail Merge tutorial video (using the 30 day trial version of Camtasia), and have been doing a bit of editing – in particular zooming in and out. Had to delete a couple of initial tries, as I mixed up my words a couple of times. I probably need to add more variation to my voice too – for future reference.


Four out of the six video Mail Merge tutorials have now been captured, with a few outtakes due to messing up my words, and in one case a loud saliva swallow. A bit of editing on my Moodle sandbox has also been done. Still haven’t quite finished adding all the information to my E-Commerce PowerPoint. Will get there, hopefully.


The E-Commerce PowerPoint is nearly complete, just have the summary to do. I have decided to leave out the Activities slide of the PowerPoint, because this will be included in the To Do section in Moodle, and is not applicable to anyone reading the slides at Slideshare. A 10 question Moodle quiz for E-Commerce has been completed.


My E-Commerce PowerPoint is finally finished, and uploaded to SlideShare.

Now have to finish my Mail Merge video tutorials.

Just added my SlideShare presentation to Moodle. I also updated the Moodle icons with the ones I created – for some reason my Mail Merge image is now not floating to the far right as it is meant to. The HTML code looks alright, so not sure what has happened here. OK, have had a play around adjusting the E-Commerce and Mail Merge image sizes – they look as they should in the fullscreen editing section, but once it is updated, the Mail Merge image persists in aligning itself left / centre. This is so frustrating, I’ll leave it for now, as I’ve got more important things to do.

Have 3 Mail Merge tutorials uploaded to YouTube, and embedded in the Flash presentation.

Here are the videos so far.

Have 2 other videos captured and ready for editing, with one more to be captured tomorrow.

The code for embedding these videos into flash has come from a tutorial at I’ve run into a security issue where the .swf file run locally won’t allow youtube to be accessed – this is apparently a common issue, and you have to change your flash player settings to trust the file (by clicking Settings when the message pops up, and then following the instructions). According to this is common, but apparently using an .exe file instead doesn’t have this issue.

I am now nearly up to date with where I planned to be at this point in time, with just the remaining 3 tutorials not having been fully completed, uploaded to YouTube and incorporated into Flash.

OK, my 4th tutorial has been completed, uploaded to YouTube and incorporated into the Mail Merge Flash presentation.

I’ve confirmed that using a .exe file (moved to a different folder) does not throw up the security message that the .swf file did.


My other 2 mail merge tutorials are now up on You Tube.

The Mail Merge Flash presentation has been finished, and put into Moodle. However, the presentation has reduced in size – I think this may have been set in the Administrative settings of EIT’s Moodle environment judging from comments made at (there is a potential work around that works in Firefox only).

The Google account for the Information Systems Principles paper has been set up for the lecturer. The Mail Merge files used in the video tutorials have been uploaded, as well as PowerPoint and PDF files of the E-Commerce lecture. Also, a class document has been started, where students can add examples of the different types of E-Commerce websites.

Possible questions and answers for the Theory Test and Practical Test and Assignment have been created and uploaded to a Lecturer’s section in Moodle.

Was in the process of setting up the linked icons and section headings in Moodle – got the E-Commerce section completed, and then got a Database reading error when trying to update for the Mail Merge section – will get this done tomorrow.

Also for tomorrow:

  • The To Do list for the Mail Merge section
  • Refine the Mail Merge Activities section

I think everything else has been done on my proposed Plan, except for the poster.


I have completed my Moodle Course material (I hope). I have included instructions for the lecturer on how to set up the linked section icons and headings, so that hopefully they’ll be able to set up their own for the remaining sections of the ITSP5.01 course on Moodle. If this proves too difficult, an alternative layout has been explained, where the icons and headings can be used as section headings, followed by links to pages and resources as normal.

I’ve also given them the Google Account login details for the paper, so that documents can be edited, added, or removed as appropriate in the future. Also, the To Do list template has been uploaded for the lecturer’s future use.

Further video tutorials could be done for the paper, exploring other practical aspects covered (eg Pivot and Data tables in Excel, creating Forms, Reports and Queries in Access).


2 responses to “Reflective Journal

  1. Pingback: DLT Project Progress. « Damian Plimmer

  2. After viewing Adams Presentation I have seen that a lot of work has gone into this. It was quite interesting that while discussing it with Adam he had mentioned he had to research all the e-commerce material himself on top of building the learning material. Although I can relate to this mine is not on the same scale as Adams.
    The functionality is there which is great and seems to have followed some form of pedagogical approach ;). Each section had an expected learning outcome, teaching material, resources and evaluations. A consistent theme was maintained throughout and form was followed week to week.

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