Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the McCown's

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men." - Luke 2:14

Photo by Stacy Schoen

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Android app course wrap-up

As the semester has come to an end, my Android App Development course finished with a showcase last week displaying the 8 Android apps that were developed by 17 computer science and 11 graphic design students. I'm including a brief description of each app below to give you a feel for what was created this semester.

None of the apps have been made available yet on the Android Market, but a few teams have allowed me to share links to the their apps below. Before you can download and install them, you'll need to change your settings so your phone or tablet can install non-Market apps.

Bison Live: This is your one-stop destination for all things Harding. See your grades, look up contact information, and read the latest news. Download

Red Zone: Design offensive and defensive football plays. Save them or email them to your friends. Download

Dream Log: Keep track of your dreams with the aid of recorded video, photos, and tagging.

RallyPoint: Invite your friends to rally to a central location.

Ultimate Wedding Planner: An app to help you plan the ultimate wedding.

Terra Explorer: A game to help you improve your knowledge of geography and country flags.

Acorn Maze: Guide your acorn through a multi-level maze to reach the flag.

Searcy Info: Find out the latest news, weather, and places to dine in Searcy, Arkansas. Download

Here are a few photos taken by Stacy Schoen from last week's showcase:

In order to determine the overall success of the course, I asked the comp sci (CS) and graphic design (GD) students to complete a survey when the course was finished. When the CS student were asked if they were pleased with how their project turned out overall, three quarters of them said they agreed or strongly agreed. Nearly three quarters of the CS students said they would like to continue working on the project even when the course was over. 82% of the CS students enjoyed working with their graphic designer counterparts, and the same number thought their project was made significantly better because of the GD students.

The GD students were somewhat less positive about the experience. 64% of the GD students were pleased with how their design was implemented by the CS students, and about half expressed interest in continuing to work on the project after the semester was over. The GD students expressed even more interest in porting the project to the iPhone which perhaps reveals an underlying platform preference between techies and artsy people.

Unfortunately, only a third of the GD students expressed an interest in working with CS students in the future. Communication seemed to be a problem for a few students, and one complained that the CS students just picked what they wanted from her design instead of adopting it completely. The CS students also complained of communication issues and other difficulties, but in general they seemed to come out of the experience with more positive feelings. Perhaps this is because the CS students felt more ownership of their projects and had more control about what went into the apps.

We are planning on running this experiment again in a future offering of the Android course. Hopefully we can devise a way to engender more positive feelings for the GD students.