New Media curriculum: web resources
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Issue 7   |   January 2000




Let's all re-invent the wheel, shall we?
Or maybe there's a better way to do things, like sharing information. If you've spent much time exploring Interactive Design Forum, you know that one of my goals for this website is to encourage exchange of ideas, techniques and materials among educators teaching New Media/Interactive/Web design.

So of course one night I was thrilled to stumble across the website:

New Media on the Web: Course Syllabi

It looked pretty exciting: a long list, broken down by topic area, like Writing for the World Wide Web, Web Design & Publishing, and General New Media. Under the topics, individual titles were links to online course materials. Just what I'd been hoping for! I began clicking away.

First, the bad news...
About 30% of the links did not work. Presumably this is because the courses referred to are not longer being offered at their respective colleges. Those that did connect led to a wide variety of course-related websites, some spartan, some extensive.

And now the good news...
Many of the working links are extremely valuable, including descriptions, assignments, grading policies, and recommended readings. I found that as I browsed through them I had to grab a piece of paper to jot down ideas for my own upcoming courses.

A good example is Communication 360: World Wide Web Writing, taught by Al Futrell, University of Louisville Department of Communication. In addition to the usual outline, list of reading, etc., he spells out explicitly what is expected under "Workload:"

"...experience shows that the most successful students will spend around 75 hours working on the material for this course in addition to the time spent in class. Like it or not, to learn this material ALL students must spend a great deal of time sitting in front of a computer terminal."

I've never thought to be THIS specific, but it could help avoid problems with students who wonder why when they only work during scheduled class time they don't get an "A."

And that's just the point: the value of seeing how others teach is to get a sense of the variety of ways you might approach a topic, whether it's writing a course description or planning a schedule for the semester. It's not about finding the one "right" way. Occasionally something as simple as one line in a course description will spark a new idea for you.

Make sense to you?
If you find this sharing of information useful, please take part in it. You can contact Dr. Paul Martin Lester, Professor, California State University, Fullerton via email if you have online material that you'd like added to his site. Tell him Interactive Design Forum sent you!

If you have course descriptions, etc. in digital form, email it to us and I'll add it to this website. Or you can mail printed material to:

Al Wasco, Interactive Design Forum
1711 West 32 St., Cleveland, OH 44113

Thanks. We all can benefit from each others' ideas.

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