Last week, at the WWW2013 conference in Rio de Janeiro, I gave
tutorialwithin W3C's tutorial track. I met one of my online
students who told me how good the course was. That made my day,
believe me :-) In the picture, from left to right: Marie-Claire
Forgue (Head of W3C Training - W3DevCampus), Michel Buffa
(trainer), Rivka Niesten (online student of the HTML5 March 2013
training course). Photo Credit: Jessikah Niesten.
I'm Michel Buffa, professor at the University of Nice, in the
south of France, and researcher in the WIMMICS group from I3S/INRIA
laboratory, which research is focused on Semantic Web and Linked
Data. With this blog post, I want to share my incredible experience
I have been teaching HTML5 to my master students since 2010, and
after my HTML5 tutorial at last year's WWW conference, Marie-Claire
contacted me to develop and run a W3C
online course, as part of the W3DevCampus program.
I started to write this course in September 2012 and it actually
took a lot of time to complete it. I had to turn the material I had
been using at the University into a full featured and structured
course and suited for online learning, develop many new interactive
examples (nearly 90 of them, most running on the jsbin.com online
IDE). I did my best to cover the HTML5 specification with the W3C
staff helping me stay tuned with regards to the latest
The course started on 13 March 2013 and lasted 6 weeks. It was
my first course with the W3DevCampus, and while I was hoping it
would meet everybody's expectations, I discovered what a good
reward it was when I started to interact with the 80 registered
students. At the beginning of each week, a new chapter was made
available, and during this week students read the course content,
ran the examples, and interacted in the forum. Each time someone
posted a message in the forum, I got an email alert. I did my best
to help students but students also helped each other.
HTML5 is composed of new elements, new attributes but also new
beginning but soon I made sure to propose different assignments to
ensure students would be able to keep up. Three out of the four
In the new version of the course, that will start on 3 June 2013
register asap!- there is one week left), we also added a new
be helpful - no worries, it will take less than an hour to get into
it. Also, some courses will have different difficulty indicators.
For example, if you are interested in HTML5 client side
persistence, but are not going to write applications that need a
transactional database, you might jump over the IndexedDB part.
Again, no worries, this will not make you fail the assignment as
we'll provide another subject more suited to your
There have been around 300 posts in the forum, I got nearly 100
personal emails which I tried to answer promptly. It took me a lot
of time but I really loved the experience, having instant feedback
from the students.
At the end of the course, students had to fill in an evaluation
form. We took into account many of their suggestions, such as
seems that everything went really fine. Some students even opened a
thread to thank me about how awesome a teacher I have been (thanks
so much guys, I had such a big smile for the whole day after
Some comments told us that some chapters have too much content
while some others said they really appreciated the full coverage of
the HTML5 features in those same chapters. So we decided to add
some online help to guide students such as "you might jump over
this section if you do not need that...", etc.
Next is to send the certificates of completion to students who
successfully passed all assignments. Quite a nice success rate. I'm
now looking forward to the
next course session ,
to start next week!.