Sunday, 1 March 2015

The Grey Ratsnake: Brock Ogilvie Project Proposal Critique (insert clever snake joke here)

Ok so time to tear apart a fellow student’s project proposal.  But before we start, let’s get this out of the way..

 Ok now that that’s been said I can talk about Brock’s project proposal presentation. I don’t think it is necessary for me to describe the different elements of his project or proposal in much detail as you can simply view his proposal write up at his blog at
 From my first impressions it sounds like a really interesting project. Obviously its content for me is extremely refreshing from the regular history fare I'm used to seeing throughout my undergrad. I think this project as an educational tool is really promising. I can appreciate that little information on grey rat snakes exists online besides the mentioned basic identification information. More to the point, I'm sure that many snake and reptile enthusiast would be very happy to see such a well laid out web site with thoughtful academic information rather than the more shoddy personal sites of random snake owners. Basically i see a real purpose and need for such a site and that i think in part what makes this project seem so interesting.
The idea of promoting the understanding of snakes, as animals that people generally fear, is both interesting and ultimately useful to the general public. I like how this project has a more personal feel to it rather than simply something that needed to get done for a mark and that was reflected in both the previewed website and the presentation itself.
As to the website shown in class, I was really impressed and it really made me think about how to lay out my own project. I especially like the use of drop down tabs and the visuals the menus incorporated. This site looks very professional and I wouldn't think twice about who made it had I not been in class to see the presentation. I would heavily encourage more similar visual aids to spruce up the website making it more inviting and interesting.
Alright enough of the compliments now for some critique. I would really like to see this project expand on the history of the park and the snakes themselves. I think that would really put this project on the next level.  A good historical context for viewers I think would really drive home the message of understanding and conservation.  I think that the visual component mentioned in the presentation is a key element of the site that has not yet been fully implemented. I think that good visuals in tandem with the basic information on the grey rat snake would be an ideal teaching resource for a very wide demographic. I realize that given the limit of ten minute presentation we didn't get to see all information pertaining to the history of the park and snakes but still I would personally like to see that aspect in full in the finished project, so I'm hoping it is in the works.
I found it hard to give much critique or suggestions within this post because in all honestly I think Brock has a very good grip on the information and direction he wants this project to go in and also is well on his way to implementing that into a finished product. All in all, this was a very well done presentation. Clearly Brock is well on his way to producing what could be one of the more interesting or different course projects.

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