I never teach web design without giving the students a project that makes sense. My assessments always, give a rewarding experience to the students, and promote interaction. My learning activities are designed to offer a personalized projects; where students choose their own, addressing both “engaging students in the classroom” and giving them “the experience that is rewarding” when they see their site online.
Students engage in discussions
This article is based on my difficulties to get the students to create CMS websites and I guess will give an advice to Multimedia/Web Design tutors to get their students going with the learning of skills which are needed on the market. This a challenge that I have been trying to overcome to the last 3 years and this year I have managed to get the opportunity to get students to experiment directly with CMS. The experiment was quite challenging, considering issues with equipment. With my Level 1 NOCN Multimedia I have simply used the online wordpress.com so they could have the basics, and the core of assignment only required them mess around with templates. With the level 2, they need more advanced skills such as the ability to plan, create, make changes, upload, experiment, test and amend.
To be able to get students to experiment with CMS you will need to –
1 – Get a web domain name, with hosting solution (in my case my site is hosted by www.heartinet.co.uk, they are cheap, £2.90 for a .co.uk domain named and easy to use)
Some internet service providers (ISP) offers free web space , but for the purpose of this project, you need an ISP that will provide you with services which allow you as much freedom as you need to get your students working. This is very important because you will be able to demonstrate how to effectively manage a domain, and also you have full control of your own domain. With a free domain the chance is that you don’t have a lot of choice (i.e wordpress.com is a good start for learning content management; free domain and hosting, but your students can not experience with plugins and back-end configuration for free. If your institution can afford it just create a domain for each students, this is good if you teach on a one-to-one basis.