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Primary Persona - Eilleen Otrovsky

Russian Art Professor
Resourceful Adapter


Eilleen jumped on the digital band wagon a few years back.  Since Eilleen teaches a sub-discipline, the 19th Century Russian Avant Garde art movement, there are not any text books that fit her subject.  Her students requested that she make her course images available online so that they wouldn't have to go to the Art History building's basement to view color plates.   She now provides her students with a website of images that supplement the material she presents in lecture and posts a digital course reader online.

Establishing her first course gallery was overwhelming. Eileen did not feel directly rewarded for the 25 hours a week she spent scanning and describing images.  Although a student helped her, she still felt that this activity was outside of her core interests. Eilleen is always in the process of publishing her "next book", and these extracurricular activities became a burden. 

After her first digital semester, she was scheduled to teach the same course the following semester. She realized that the large amount of images she amassed could potentially be reused with minor changes.  She started to collect more images, and started to search for images online to lessen the burden of digitizing her own images.  Her department has recognized the potential benefits, and has become more supportive of her needs by providing her with digital copies of copystand images requested for course use.

In the past few years her collection has grown past 1000 images. In order to organize her collection, Eilleen originally threw her images in folders representing broad categories. This approach had provided enough organization so that she didn't have to spend alot of time finding her images. Now that her image collection has grown, she has noticed that some images should live in multiple places. As a result, copies of her images live in separate categories and multiple powerpoint presentations. Although she has ample space on her hard drive she is concerned that she will eventually run into space problems. She has also grown wary of keeping track of her images' various locations.

Images are Eilleen's life blood. Unlike most other disciplines, the images determine the concepts and structure of her lecture. As she prepares for a lecture, she meticulously chooses and organizes her images and explores concepts and themes in her head as she works through this process. Once this process is complete, she concretizes her thoughts as lecture notes based on the images final arrangement.

Eilleen has now reached a point where it is easier to present her lectures digitally.   She has found that in some ways this approach is more flexible than the traditional slide projector. For example, many of her images are best compared horizontally due to their long widths. Using Powerpoint enables her to show images on top of each other as opposed to side to side.

Eilleen does not see herself as a "techie" and finds it amusing when her other colleagues comment on her advanced abilities.  In many ways, she still feels like a beginner. Before her first digital lecture, Eilleen went through a few dry runs in the lecture hall to become more accustomed to the technology.  It still causes her great distress when the projector flickers or her computer does not cooperate in the middle of a lecture, but her tolerance for these random distruptions has increased semester by semester.

Eileen has also taken great pleasure in sharing images with some of her gsi's. She views herself as their mentor, and has shared much of her collection with them as a way to bootstrap their own research. Her students appreciate her generosity and use her images in their own sections for teaching. She is very open to sharing but is afraid that one day she will get in trouble for owning and distributing images that are not hers. Although she tries to keep separate images that she has purchased or taken personally from those taken from other web sites, her diligence waxes and wanes.

  • Spend time on activities that support her research and writing.
  • Decrease barriers between her students and the content
  • Allow her students and TAs to leverage her collection
  • Inspire students to consider Art History as an intellectual pursuit
  • Easy access to relevant images.
  • Stay Organized
Level of Expertise

Office products, basic functionality image repository software, email, on-line shopping

  • Ppt for images
  • Word for "lecture guide"

Secondary Persona - Amanda Chow

Assistant Professor of History
Overwhelmed Adopter


Amanda is passionate about the preservation of Civil War battlefields.   She belongs to the Civil War Preservation Society and has witnessed the decline and disappearance of these landmarks as a result of development.  She hopes that her first book, "Endangered Heritage", will call attention to the historical value of these relics from America's past. 

This summer she traveled to Gettysburg and captured alot of images.  She has started a collection of a few hundred slides and is considering using them as illustrations for her new book.  Amanda keeps all of her photographs in a slide drawer and organizes them by location and by caputure date.

Amanda periodically includes a few slides in her lectures to help highlight ideas and intends to use some of her Gettysburg slides in her upcoming course, "US History: Civil War".   Along with her own slides, Amanda will sometimes use slides from the Art History Visual Resource Collection's photography from the Civil War to complement her own collection.  For one of her lectures, she will discuss the role terrain played in the disastruous infantry assault, Pickett's Charge.  She has taken many photographs of this site, and is eager to show them to her class. 

This past semester, Amanda started to include her images used in lecture as course materials on her online course site.  She asks her GSI to scan her slides into Powerpoint presentations and upload them into the resources area of the site.   Amanda would prefer not to have a course site, but her students find it convenient.   Amanda has considered buying a digital camera to avoid the nuisance of digitizing her slides, but she is comfortable with her "old school" Nikon and does not want to readjust. 

Although Amanda is interested in enriching her student's education, she is primarily concerned about obtaining tenure.  She'd like to do use digital images but she is concerned about publishing her book.  Amanda is not a natural at technology and finds that it takes her awhile to learn new things.  She hopes that once her book is published she can take more technology oriented faculty training courses. 

  • Accomplish tasks more efficiently.
  • Not feel stupid.
  • Easily find images that support her research.
  • Provide quality material that help her students learn.
Level of Expertise

Basic skills.

  • Office products
  • Web browser
  • Email