Rains, Pours: Web Dev Course by David Whelan June has become a very busy month, for a number of reasons. One was a late May request to step in and teach a course on Web Development for a library school summer program. I enjoy teaching online courses – there’s nothing like the flexibility of kicking back in a chat room as opposed to having physical office hours!!
I’ve been on the adjunct faculty at the University of Illinois’ Graduate School of Library and Information Science in the past, as part of their LEEP program. This summer I’ll be returning to my roots, as part of the adjunct faculty at the University of North Texas, my own library school.
The course is an interesting challenge, since it is asynchronous. Which means the readings and assignments will get most things across and the students will work on their own. We’ll interact via chat and e-mail. But there’s a compulsion I have – perhaps because I’m a lawyer, and feel that more words are better! – to try to fill in those gaps. So, in addition to getting acclimated to the UNT courseware called WebCT, I’m going to try to shift audio/visual presentations on to the Web too.
My first attempt was a Microsoft Powerpoint with audio narrative. This worked okay as a local presentation, and then I converted first into an avi video file using CamStudio (open source). Then I used CamStudio to convert it into a Shockwave Flash file. This worked fine as well. But the files are so big as to be unwieldy. But we’re only just going to start week 2, so I’ll take a different tack this week!
But the 5 week course will be exciting enough on its own, sort of a “zero to 60” in learning the fundamentals of HTML and then how Web developers have to pull together sites, dealing with style sheets (CSS), developing scripts, and managing site content.