How about a tutorial rating system?

Blender documentation projects, tutorials, translation, learning & teaching Blender

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android-originals.com
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:11 am

How about a tutorial rating system?

Postby android-originals.com » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:07 pm

Anyone who writes a Blender tutorial should be encouraged register it at a specific site here, and submit it for rating by the users. The site should have a clear table of contents and topic index, with links, not a just a search engine.

Current production software allows anyone to make something and call it a tutorial, whether it is any good or not. What I miss here is not only a good index to all the available tutorials, but a rating system like those used by dot-com online merchants like amazon, sears, harborfreight and tigerdirect. One that might rate different educational values, perhaps like:

Did it get to the point efficiently, without hemming and hawing.
Was it easy to understand.
Did it proceed logically from point to point.
Did it explain all the necessary tools to solve a problem.
Did it solve a problem using the tools it explained.
Or was it like cheap porn, all production value and no acting or plot.

Too often, one has to wade into a video tutorial and spend time only to find out that it covers only a few basics, or it doesn't cover the topic claimed, or the hemming and hawing and verbal ticks of the author (though he or she may be a very nice and well meaning person) are deadly frustrating, or the author didn't bother to do the exercise ahead of time and continually had to retrace steps. Anyone claiming to present a video tutorial should, for example, practice the exercise ahead of time, write a script and stick to it.

Written tutorials, by contrast, can be evaluated much more quickly, don't require one to proceed at another's pace, and don't need an exacting knowledge of the video slider positions to go back and double-check one's understanding. It's a lot easier to skim some pages and figure out whether the author is imparting knowledge or ego. A written tutorial with both a good table of contents and linked index, if it is of any length, is even better.

The Community should publish standards for writing tutorials. Technical educators have specific standards for addressing age and education levels which would be useful. Consider these examples of good tutorial writing:
Adobe PhotoShop manual
Dodge D150 truck series shop manual
Chilton vehicle manuals
Tektronix oscilloscope technical repair manual
Part of the high cost of these things goes into a serious effort to make them easy to learn and use so that customers will choose them over things that aren't. Are you not here to prove that these things can be done just as effectively by an open-source community? Not if you don't set some standards, or at least expectations, and rate the results.

Tehrasha
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Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:21 am
Location: Iowa

Postby Tehrasha » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:41 pm

Sounds like a great idea, and you have a good grasp on how it should be done. As part of the community, feel free to get started!

android-originals.com
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:11 am

Postby android-originals.com » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:05 pm

Tehrasha wrote:Sounds like a great idea, and you have a good grasp on how it should be done. As part of the community, feel free to get started!


So much for constructive criticism. I'm 66, living on U.S. Social Security and trying to ignore illness while using Blender to create patents to start a company to get out of Social Security limitations. That's enough challenge for the rest of my life, and that was not a useful response.

android-originals.com
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:11 am

"Modifier cannot be applied to Mesh with Shape Keys&quo

Postby android-originals.com » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:15 pm

I was just trying out the Boolean modifiers, and tried to take a big chunk out of the starting cube with a cylinder. Taking a small chunk worked. But I got an error for the big chunk, "Modifier cannot be applied to Mesh with Shape Keys". What's a shape key and what does it have to do with anything? So I went to the online 2.63 manual and fed "shape key" into the search engine. I kept getting links to various "Void page"s, with "Proposed fixes: none". I can see the point of setting up a structure of things that need to be explained, but linking to them without warning that they are still useless is not helpful.

3D_V1P3R
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:48 pm

Postby 3D_V1P3R » Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:10 am

I like your idea. A centralized site where people can submit links to tutorials and then have them categorized, rated, and commented upon would be very beneficial for the Blender community. I won't make any promises however I will do my best to put something together and post a reply here once it is online.

stiv
Posts: 3646
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2003 7:58 am
Location: 45N 86W

Postby stiv » Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:58 pm

Sounds like a great idea, and you have a good grasp on how it should be done. As part of the community, feel free to get started!


In a nutshell, this is what makes the Open Source process work. There is no shortage of good ideas. What is in short supply is people to work on them.

android-originals.com
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:11 am

Postby android-originals.com » Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:05 pm

stiv wrote:In a nutshell, this is what makes the Open Source process work. There is no shortage of good ideas. What is in short supply is people to work on them.


Did I mention that I'm taking so many meds that I can no longer do higher math and computer programming reliably? The nausea and dizziness tend to intrude, and render my hard-won PhD essentially useless. As for learning Python, C++, Java or whatever, so that I can do the work you suggest, fuggedaboudit.

I've been having such a hard time with the Blender interface that for the time being, I've gone back to PhotoShop 7 to make drawings for a patent application. I've known that interface for about 12 years and learned it before the meds made thinking so much harder. For some reason, I have found the Adobe manuals and tutorials much easier to use. The difference in approach might be instructive for setting up Blender docs and help files.

Quite often, I've used only a small amount of the full capabilities of a package, say like Lotus 1-2-3 or MS Word, to get what I need done. Having help and doc files organized so that I can find just the tools I need when I need them is very useful. Then I can always expand my knowledge along with my needs.

There's an old Win95 CAD package from Softdesk called QuickCAD. It has three different levels of capability, Beginner, Advanced and Expert. After running afoul of "shape keys", I'd like to turn off some of the capabilities of Blender that I don't yet need.

Unfortunately, suggesting other approaches from my own experience is all I can do.


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