After reading David Hargreaves piece dealing with sharing knowledge in education (created together with the UK Department of Education and Skills) I’ve been thinking more and more about how innovation and collaboration networks within TAFE might enable better courses and further learning amongst it’s facilitators like me!
I’ve since tried to contact other Web Design facilitators within TAFE NSW and we managed to form an email group with around twenty members. But when one member (Tony Lorriman) suggested collaborating for resource development (using Moodle), there seemed to be only one other member who was keen on the idea (that one other member being me ).
I did try setting up a “TeachingWebDesign Wikispace” to see what might be involved, but given the amount of work involved in creating something like this, together with the effort of keeping it up-to-date (webdesign grows and evolves at quite a rapid pace), I started to realise that it’s not feasible for the two of us…
What if it was possible to create a ‘course’ with a much larger collaborative audience (ie. worldwide) while still linking this course to our own qualifications framework? All the hugely successful collaboration programs (such as Wikipedia or CSSZenGarden) allow everyone to be involved (still enabling editing and controlling vandelism). What if students and professionals could help educators to keep such a course up-to-date (like Leigh’s PayItForward Learning idea)?
According to David Hargreaves, networks of educators should be more like the internet - sharing innovative ideas without boundaries of institution, or even country:
the path to system transformation requires every school to be willing to give away its innovations for free, in the hope of some return, but with no guarantee of it.
Enter the Web Design Wikiversity course:
Given that everything you need to learn Web Design is already freely available online, the purpose of this course isn’t to provide you with yet more content. Instead, this resource aims to provide a flexible learning path linking to excellent online resources together with fun learning activities that can be updated and improved by you - the participant.
Each module of the course includes suggested activities and may also be linked to qualifications within your country, helping you to demonstrate your skills or build a portfolio that you may be able to use towards assessment.
Although it’s only in its beginnings, I’ve tried to structure this Wiki-course so that it might attract a world-wide collaboration effort by separating the ‘course’ from the ‘qualifications’ so that the course can map to different national or even state-specific qualifications. Given the nature of Web Design, the course isn’t intended to ‘contain’ much in terms of content but rather provide a structured framework for learning Web Design with links to the excellent freely available online resources.
Each module might contain something like:
- Module Aim
- Suggested (learning) activities
- Your Learning Resources
- Related Qualifications
(for an example, see the Basic HTML and CSS module.)
I don’t expect this to take off too quickly, but it has been encouraging to already have some significant input from someone overseas! Hopefully I’ll get time to keep building on it together with others. Perhaps some students might be interested in being involved this semester - it would be great to get their feedback and learn from the experience myself.
Check it out at: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Web_Design