Positioning document for web ed learning material

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How a course works

Students will start doing a course because:

  1. They are passionate about web design and development.
  2. They have identified it as a definite requirement of stepping stone towards doing what they want to do, career wise.
  3. They can't see any courses that are exactly what they want, or they are not sure what they need to do, to learn the skills for what they want to do, so they choose something that sounds in the right ballpark. This is often where propspective web designers and developers fall, because few courses exist that are a perfect fit.
  4. They really haven't got a clue and are picking something that sounds interesting.
  5. They just want to do a course as it will keep them from having to get a job for another couple of years. They are picking something that sounds easy.
  6. etc.

Teachers will teach a course because:

  1. As an ICT teacher in schools/colleges, what you need to teach students so they can pass exams and have officially recognised qualifications is set out by exam boards in official curricula.
  2. They want their institution to teach such courses to remain current and draw students in.
  3. They want their students to get jobs after they have graduated.
  4. They are passionate about web design and development.

This starts to fall down with web education because many courses are out of date or just plain wrong, and do not teach what students need to know to get a job in the web industry. This is because many courses were written years ago, so are out of date. Teachers often do not have the time or knowledge to update the courses and make them right. Teachers that do have the knowledge don't have the time, or the support of their faculties, a lot of the time, to make the necessary changes to put things right.

This is where the Web Ed Community group resources come in. We can provide the resources teachers need to update curricula and teach lessons, the right way.

Typical teaching tasks

These are in no particular order, and not all of these will apply to every course being taught, as courses can differ greatly. But here I wanted to outline the types of task teachers

  1. Curriculum is set
  2. Teacher has to do background reading to learn the subject in depth, so they can do a good job of teaching it. They need to stay current, and they want to know the best resources that will allow them to do this.
  3. They also have to gather together materials to use in the course:
  • assignments
  • examples
  • exam questions
  • reading lists
  1. They also need to create materials to teach the lessons to the students. They need slideshows showing the basic syntax and concepts in quick digest format. Most students (and web professionals!) have a short attention span, so long tutorial articles are no good.
  2. they need to give students reference material to go to, to research details for assignments

Our material can help for most of these points

  • In point 1, our curricula can help out.
  • In point 2, our tutorials and reference documents can help out
  • In point 3, our curricula can provide a lot of these materials, although I am wondering whether we need to open this up and have a bank of sample assignments and exam questions, examples, etc.
  • In point 4, we don't have anything right now, so I am going to write some slideshows to satisfy this need. Some students will learn from tutorials, but most will not be bothered to read them.
  • In point 5, we have our tutorials and reference material!

Looking at a sample curriculum and how this translates to the teaching tasks above

  1. Web design 1 - http://www.w3.org/community/webed/wiki/Interact/Web_Design_1 (currently being updated by Virginia DeBolt)
  2. Background reading for this course available at http://www.w3.org/community/webed/wiki/Interact/Web_Design_1. The curriculum specifies more accurately which articles to read, although this still needs updating.
  3. http://www.w3.org/community/webed/wiki/Interact/Web_Design_1 provides:
  1. SLIDESHOWS - NOTHING AT PRESENT. I NEED TO CREATE PROTOTYPES BASED ON THE COMPETENCY LIST AT http://www.w3.org/community/webed/wiki/Interact/Web_Design_1#Competencies
  2. AGAIN, http://www.w3.org/community/webed/wiki/Interact/Web_Design_1