Challenges: http://webmaking101.p2pu.org/challenges (old link / don't use)
The Introductory Challenges
Writing HTML by hand
HTML is all around you
Feedback to challenges overall
(copied from broken feedback etherpad)
http://webmaking101.p2pu.org/(old link / don't use)
General Feedback and Comments
Chloe's Feedback :
- Would be great to define the goal of this first challenges from the beginning- as a learner I want to know, why am I doing this? what will I make at the end? the expectations and goals are not very clear.
- I am reiterating what Gunner has written further down, which is to say that "the sequential learning units should always hold together well as a story". Not sure there is an overlapping "story" that holds together these first five challenges as of now. (there are snippets here and there)
- Embedding peer assessment as part of the challenge: I love that you are making it a task for the peers to give feedback to each other. However sometimes just asking someone to give feedback without having a specific reason can result in people leaving short- not so meaningful comments. Maybe you can think how can you make that step more fun? what is it that they should connect? mechanics like a debate or a collaborative story can "force" peers to leave comments to each other
- Specific feedback and assessment ideas per challenge
- CHALLENGE 2: WRITING HTML BY HAND
- Learners will have to "fix" a paragraph of "broken code" as part of what they need to write, instead of directly copying it, or as a next task. Later on this is worth exploring, but the intention was to get the learners to familiarise themselves with the structure of an entire document. My concern is that before someone can fix broken code, they have to know what correct code is. It might open up the need to dive right into syntax and tags and all the mechanics before they've began connecting their own ideas of structure to the tags. In my experience. the mechanics first approach serves only re-enforce the fear that HTML is an alien language. I do concede that learning by rote might not be much fun, but it is effective. This will be the only time I use this method.
Chloe's notes on "what makes a good challenge"
- Learners will have to comment on someone else's blogpost as part of an Exquisite Corpse game.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exquisite_corpse
- How to play:
- The course organizer posts a hand written html sentence starter such as "It was a dark and stormy night...".
- The next peer that has to take the challenge continues by adding a new sentence hidden in their code, such as "there was no one around...".
- The activity continues indefinitely having peers creating a collaborative story. The images from the handwritten code can be displayed together in a page (later release).
- The only hard and fast rule of Exquisite Corpse is that each participant is unaware of what the others have written, thus producing a surprising—sometimes absurd story.
- Learners will have to use information on some of their peer's blog posts to create and embed in their handwritten HTML code a message to them. Then other peers could respond back. This activity might encourage participants to check eachother's blog.
- CHALLENGE 3: MY TRUSTY TEXT EDITOR
- Learners will have to debate about which text editor is the best i.e. TextWrangler vs TextMate and peers can vote for which one (and give a reason) I have seen debate as a mechanic working really well.
- CHALLENGE 4: HTML IS ALL AROUND YOU
- Participants will build their own HTML world in this challenge. We could try giving the learners a real sense of agency by having them build in their page what they want to represent as their Webmaking 101 world, kind of like their headquarters. So you can take the code hints we give you, then take photographs of things in the world around you that you think match the tags, and style your headquarters accordingly.
- Jamie thought of Ze Frank's The Earth Sandwich as a precedent for a big HTML scouting game that can be organized by peers in their city or country. Something like this but with HTML tags http://www.zefrank.com/sandwich/. If this is of interest I can go ahead and make some rules :)
- CHALLENGE 5: DOMAIN NAME
- Since this is the culminating challenge it might make sense that we have learners create a bigger artifact aside from the very creative blog post about what DNS is. For example it could be that they have to upload what they made from Challenge 4 (the HTML photo world) on their domain. That might be a nice way to close those first five challenges and a moment of reflection since you will have "made" your first personal page on your own domain (how cool is that!). <<< I have moved the challenges above to make the domain name challenge the last one in the first group because this provides the room to do this.super
- Maybe ## Task Three - DNS > could have a more explanatory name?
- CHALLENGE 6: DOMAIN NAME
Simple setup- complex problem: The challenge uses a simple setup that requires learners to find the solution to a complex problem. For example- in the "Bring it all together" challenge learners have to create a portfolio site (simple setup) but the problem they have to solve has many layers (complex). they have to sketch- design and develop wireframes to build their portfolio site.
Taking on a role: learners take on an identity or a multiple set of identities such as programmer- collaborator- activist- ice cream lover. In so doing they become committed to the space and the community in which the complex learning challenge is situated.
Having a "need to know": The challenge is meaningful for the learner audience. There is a need for them to master the skills required to complete the challenge. For example there is a personal motivation for the learners- such as creating your own portfolio site- or a community related one- such as leveling up and becoming a Guru/Mentor or winning a competition among the community- and even a fun factor such as a compelling story that draws you into having a reason to solve the challenge. A need to know could be designed as a combination of some/all of the above. In doing so the learners find the challenge meanigful and personally fulfilling.
Belonging to a larger context : challenges level up and are grouped together in what could be called a Quest- Mission- etc. The architecture of the Quest/Mission allows for one to take linear or non-linear learning paths. For example in the Webmaking 101 -let's name it - Quest- a user can take some challenges through a linear path (as they appear- first- second-third etc) and other challenges through non-linear paths (like a choose your own adventure)
Clear goals: the challenge/ or group of challenges has a clear overall goal- such as building a portfolio. A challenge goal can consist of smaller goals or combinations- such as building a portfolio site- winning badges- getting community credit etc
Receiving feedback along the way: Learners receive feedback on their actions as they progress through the challenge or a group of challenges. (this could be were badges-points- progress map etc come in) For example-(from the top of my head) in the Better- Faster- Stronger challenge- the learner get's feedback on the time taken for his/ her portfolio content to load. A key idea here is that of a feedback loop. That allows users based on the challenge assessment to redo their previous action or take a new action based on the assessment.
Smart tools: Moving through levels of the challenge unlocks smart tools. A smart tool is something a learner can use again and again in other challenges. For example- Firebug (if Firebug was to be unlocked as a tool after completing challenge x) is a type of smart tool.
There is risk-taking and exploration. Learners are encouraged to take risks- explore- and try new things (trial and error). For example- in the Mish Mash challenge you have to create grids to lay out your work and there might be several sizes of grids that you can create- so during the process you might tinker with many grid sizes (trial)- make a couple of ugly layouts(error) until you find the one that works best. Note: something to think about is how we create a SAFE space for trial and error to happen and even been celebrated.
Flow: Learners feel that there is flow in the experience- meaning that the challenge tasks are doable- but increasingly challenging. Balanced scaffolding(related to flow) scaffolding can help one overcome difficulties in a challenge that- if too difficult- could prevent them from moving forward. However- it's important not to build in so much scaffolding that users can get through the challenge without actually learning anything (ref Hussain- Taib)
A sense of agency: Learners feel a real sense of agency and control over what they are learning and doing in the challenge. For example- there could be an ability to edit some challenges and remix them or a requirement to create your own challenge after completing this first course/quest/mission.
There are many solutions to the same problem: different users can solve the same problem in different ways. Being able to compare the different solutions is equally important. (this concept ties to Replayability- see below)
Fun and Replay ability: the challenges are so enjoyable that users will re-play certain ones that lead to different outcomes or allow them to pledge higher expertise (maybe a guru version of a badge). Adding a layer of community competition to this fact- such as a 'code-off' in the I heart command line challenge for example- increases the replayability of the challenge. (can explain more here)
From Gunner (AG)
- Stairstep persona -- PS it may be a stretch, but having stairstep personas associated with each challenge might be fun:
- Content hoster
- HTML whisperer
- Style setter
- such that a progress indicator can fill up thermometer style. I say this not because thermometers are the end-all be-all of feedback mechs, but because in the current format, the challenges don't help me understand "how far have I come", "how far to go" and "where am I" issues.
- Size of challenges / Start with smaller steps -- I think the size of the different challenges varies a good bit on first look. Challenge 1 seems like at least 2 challenges to me (get set up, do Hello World), and other challenges may be of arbitrarily large size. Apologies if I've missed this in earlier threads, but what order of magnitude of time is anticipated to be required per challenge? Part of why I ask is IMO learning should always start with an easy win/near-term outcome, and Challenge 1 is a bigger thing. It's substantial.
- Learning story -- My personal opinion is the sequential learning units should always hold together well as a story. e.g.
- 1) First you'll get your environment set up to do some webmaking
- 2) Then you'll do the simplest of webmaking tasks, "Hello world"
- 3) Next you'll...
- While it's arguably pedestrian to explicitly say all this, I think it's the kind of stuff that a) makes the material more accessible at first glance, and b) gives learners initial scaffolding to hang their discoveries on.
- I also think such articulations can benefit the challenge-to-challenge continuity, though I realize modularity is a goal.
- By extension, I think the most engaging materials are those that clearly convey their benefit to the user/learner. Each overview section might have explicit "after this challenge" language (aka "The Payoff" or "Victory") that describes skill and knowledge gain in non-technical terms, "you will be able to " e.g. "build simple web pages", "add design features to an existing page", "integrate video into a page', "add interactivity to a page"...
- John and Philipp will be shocked to hear me say this, but I think we should be getting uninitiated target users looking at these now, not after they've been polished/finished. More P2P-based feedback before format/structure/template decisions get cemented!
Form Laura Hilliger (LH)
LH: I'd like to give some feedback on http://webmaking101.p2pu.org/ as a whole, from the perspective of someone not involved. I get that it's a pilot program, I have no idea what your timeline is and I don't know what all you're already discussing. I'm also aware that it's a draft. If my feedback is irrelevant than please forgive me for wasting your time! That said, I have perused a bunch of your documentation.
LH 1. On the Introduction page - text says "The only assumption made is that the learner can use the web..." Really, what does this mean "use the web"? I'm a little confused on the target audience. Through the documentation that I find on Webmaking 101, the target audience is very loosely defined. In fact, the definition I find for SoW is "general audience" and "targeted niche audience" (learning web development from the ground up and niche topics for developers). Can you be more specific about the target audience? Who are you targeting, twenty-somethings that don't write HTML yet? There's a difference between people who use the web for email, facebook and amazon and people who know how to USE the web.
LH: The reason i point this out is because there are basics to web usage that aren't approached on SoW and I wonder if there should be a WebUsage 101course with challenges that approach those basics. For example, collaborative document editing - something we all do, but is MAGIC to people who aren't web "users". You'd be surprised how many people out there don't actually know that they can share documents without attaching a .doc to an email. Or searching, lots of people don't actually know how to find things on the web, believe it or not. Or online photos...This is digital divide stuff, I guess, but I always thought that SoW should think about approaching these basics, but I don't know if that was ever in discussion.
LH: These are much bigger questions that apply to a lot of projects out there, just something to think about.
LH: 2. "The challenges are designed to be followed in a serial manner..." How will you integrate the challenges to corresponding courses? I'm curious as to how this will be implemented in SoW and wonder if anyone wants to tell us about that. Where are the challenges going to be accessible? What does one have to complete to start doing the challenges? Are the challenges only attached to the Webmaking 101 course, or will they be accessible through the CSS or HTML5 courses as well?
LH: 3. There are a lot, a lot of typos. I'd be happy to do some editing if you point me to an editable document.
LH: 4. On the 2nd challenge, 1st task - "12 Rules for Choosing the Right Domain" is directed at users in the USA. European users have a very different take on some of these points. Just an FYI. 3rd Task - give recommendations for FLOSS editors!
LH: 5. Is this how the challenges are to be ordered? If so, you might want to get people visualizing their pages BEFORE they start programming, or is the intention that they learn through programming the earlier challenges and then redo the challenges when creating their site?
LH: 6. What about image editing, webfonts and open licensed content?
As a result of the meeting with Erin about badges and integration points, I've removed the old objectives and will be adding new ones that align with the integration points for badges.
The below points have been addressed. Please add new comments and feedback above the line below ( if that makes sense)
- Is there a way to participate if I can't afford to pay (or I can't pay online, because I don't have a credit card) for web hosting? Are there free options? << Great point, there are some free hosting options available, but I wondered on how far we can go to recommending services before it starts becoming a commercial proposition
- Can we have a webmaking101.org domain name that people can have subdomains on for free?
- Could we get a little VPS set up with lightweight stack ( Nginx perhaps ) and offer people free space and locked down SFTP access?
- PS: Don't think we can do this for first round.
- Good overview of how everything fits together, but need one or two challenges fully fleshed out to give detailed feedback on how this will work.
- Please link background resources (esp. from Mozilla Developer Network MDN) << Definately, but for the lower level challenges I'm having hard time finding suitable content on MDN ( choosing domain names etc etc
Left by pippa :
HOSTING / HTTP(S), DNS & WEB SERVERS / PUBLISHING
There's no specific mention of FTP, and how it will be used within producing and maintaining a website.
This is now addressed in the Fundamentals discipline : http://webmaking101.jamiecurle.com/domains/21
Good catch, I'll add this in, but state a prerference for SFTP/SCP or FTP because of the unencrypted sending of passwords - thinking about it, it may be worth splitting publishing up into it's own group because it is quite indepth. - probably a challenge in there somewhere.
Chmod / File permissions etc < Could be interesting to join this up with a challenge to on the subject of rudimentary command line skills - for certain this will help people wrap their heads around paths.http://webmaking101.jamiecurle.com/challenges/15
Browsers / Troubleshooting / Web standards
No specific mention of cross-browser testing and troubleshooting/ or the pragmatics of what level of support is provided to which browsers < I've probably been a little to tacit with
(BD2), but you're right specifically it does need to be mentioned I've added this challenge as a concept http://webmaking101.jamiecurle.com/challenges/14
PRIVACY and SECURITY
Understandably these topics are fairly large reaching and difficult to include within WM101. I think it's important to have some coverage of them. < 100% agreee
Privacy - specifically relevant regarding CVs and online portfolios - how much personal information should you reveal?
Some learners will be under 18 - there's no way we can prevent that. But we should be teaching them appropriate behaviours.< We should be seen to have stance on the subject and it's pretty sensible thing to do. I've added this challenge as a concept http://webmaking101.jamiecurle.com/challenges/12
Security - Basic coverage of this should be presented. This may be as simple as information about choosing good passwords
This is also relevant for Web Hosting - file permissions etc. < again 100% agree, on shared platforms this is very important to stop 'snooping', but there are broader implications as well. I think it'd be worth having another group of objectives to house these facets of the craft. I've added this as a concept challengehttp://webmaking101.jamiecurle.com/challenges/16