I had the opportunity this week to get out of my home office for a day and a half. This is a rarity, because it always takes a terrible toll on my stamina, and I’m feeling it this weekend. But, sometimes yuh just gotta git outta Dodge anywayz!
I got to see some old friends, meet some new people who have similar interests, and spend time in a peaceful, scenic place where I could just relax and reflect. I really needed that. Keep your nose to the grindstone for too long, and your eyes get filled with grit and block your vision. Mine had. I’d stayed too close in to my work. Getting away gave me perspective, and a chance then to iron out the last long-term, big-picture problems I’ve had: How to divide up this mountain of material into sometime manageable for readers … how to make all this complex, interconnected material accessible for them?
I’d been using a three-part framework for what “accessible” means to me:
- The language is understandable, meaning use shorter words that are more common, and put them together in shorter sentences more often than not.
- The content accommodates different learning styles, which is why I include words, pictures, movies and historical case studies, charts, discussion questions, group activities, etc.
- There is a consistency in format and structure that creates a type of predictability that makes things easier to digest, and easier to refer back to later.
I’ve done pretty well on the first two points, despite it taking a lot of time. But, the third part has been the bugaboo. There is so much material, and so many different kinds of it, that it’s felt impossible to figure out how to fit pieces together in a way that is both accessible and an “elegant,” creative, best-fit solution. I’ve tried multiple ways of dividing things up, but it kept being too complicated.
But, this week, it finally just clicked. I feel like I’ve got the structure accessibility strategy I needed to finish sorting out what goes where! Here’s what I came up with. Continue reading