EDTECH 506 – Instructional Comic


I wanted to create a comic that I could use in my work with instructors, teaching them the importance of building accessibility into their curriculum early in the process instead of as an afterthought. I chose to use an analogy in communicating this message.

Attempt #2 – Creating Panels

  • This assignment is to focus on layout and organization. In tradition with other comics, I created a sequential set of panels that are read left-to-right.
  • The name of the comic is #EdTech4All, combining Educational Technology and Accessibility (also known as A11y in digital shorthand).
  • The name of this specific comic is “if we built homes the way we create online courses”.

Attempt #3 – Adding People

  • I was unsure of how to create unique people (a friend taught me how to do this in AI after I finished the assignment). I used a Custom Shape, learned from a previous assignment.
  • I chose to leave the stroke at 50px to create a solid shape color. There was probably a better way to do this though.
  • I had to resize the people for them to fit in the panels easier, as well as be similar in size.

Attempt #4 – Adding Callouts

  • I began to add text by creating a callout shape, also a Custom Shape in Photoshop.
  • I learned a fantastic tip to add text that is shaped within a shape. Select your shape, add in a text box, and let your cursor change to an I-beam with a wavy line. The text will then fit inside the shape, and will resize appropriately.

Attempt #5 – Changing Sizes and Masking Shapes

  • A friend taught me how to use the Rectangle Marquee Tool to create a mask of what you want to keep. Game changer! I removed the undesired parts of the man in panels 3, 4, and 6.
  • I also wanted the “punchline” to be similar to an emoji, expressing surprise, anxiety, and astonishment. These are often emotions of instructors once they learn of an accommodation request because their curriculum is not accessible-born.

Attempt #7 – Final Version with Shapes and Text

  • Overall, this comic is simple and clean and is clearly organized.
  • Admittedly, it is not quite “comic” enough. There needs to be more colors, more artistic drawing, and less linear shapes. The lack of facial expressions in panels 1-5 also do not help.
  • Hopefully, the message is well received. However, the message is dependent upon the text, not the graphics. The analogy of building a house, and applying it to accessible course creation may have been too confusing.
  • Note that the main characters’ names are a reflection of Educational Technology (Ed) and A11y (Ally).

Peer Reviews

  • What a great analogy to use for such an important topic.  Your message comes through loud and clear.

  • The conceptual work you include with your comic does well in showing the considerations you make for your instructors. One suggestion that I would make is the use of color, as you mention as well. Color might make the comic more attractive and inviting to readers.

  • I love that you used the bathroom people for you characters what a creative idea. I like that simplicity of the black and white color scheme and it ensures that the colors don’t distract the viewer from your cartoons message. My only suggestion would be to put the text in the last panel in a thought bubble instead of just inside the box. Nice work!