Web design updates

I’ve been spending a lot of time updating our advanced Web design course. While it’s known around my college as “the Flash course,” we actually spend the first five weeks on CSS and XHTML. Students have already completed a prerequisite in which they learned the basics and built a small Web site from scratch. However, there are still some rough edges on their understanding of best practices.

This year I’m using Delicious links for the first time as a supplement to the course. In addition to tagging each bookmark with keywords such as “typography” or “navigation” or “webdesign,” I’m also tagging these with the course number, “mmc4341.” This makes it easy for students to check only the bookmarks I saved specifically for their benefit.

One of my colleagues went one better in this kind of strategic tagging: He’s adding tags for “week1,” “week2,” etc., so that his Delicious bookmarks become a standard, reusable part of his syllabus.

5 Comments on “Web design updates

  1. I used delicious for links for the first time in a Web Video Bootcamp I just finished teaching. It was really great–such a simple way of creating a rich collection of links quickly and easily. As an added bonus, I put an RSS widget onto the class blog so that a feed of the links would appear there.

  2. Have you considered creating a Publish2 newsgroup for the class? I’ve created two this semester, with each professor’s approval:

    Visual journalism – seminar in visual storytelling (examining multimedia projects, talking to multimedia editors and evaluating best practices, with Rich Beckman)
    http://www.publish2.com/newsgroups/cvj521

    “Print” journalism – seminar in news ethics and problems (Sam Terilli)
    http://www.publish2.com/newsgroups/cnj461

    Publish2 has a lot of useful features, such as allowing you to simultaneously save links to Delicious.

  3. I recently graduated from Chico State in California and I took a class similar to that last year (although no flash). We used delicious but having the teacher use it in such a way is a really good idea. I think it will help students understand how to use the social/connecting part of the site, as something other than to keep their own bookmarks.

  4. @Greg Linch – Good suggestion, thanks. I have not used Publish2 much because I am so used to Delicious, and its tools are so simple. It’s on my To Do list (note to self: Explore Publish2).

  5. To add to Greg’s examples, Ryan Thornburg at UNC is using Publish2 for a collaborative reporting project, involving students and local newspapers:

    http://www.ryanthornburg.org/blog/2009/01/27/case-study-link-journalism-with-publish2/

    Publish2 has a feature called Newsgroups designed for this type of collaboration (delicious has nothing like it):

    http://www.publish2.com/newsgroups/n-c-diploma-dilemma/

    Publish2 also offers an opportunity to go beyond “bookmarking” and teach students how to curate the web and practice “link journalism.”

    Mindy, I’d be happy to give you a quick walk through of Publish2 — promise to get you set up in less than 10 minutes (it’s super easy). You can automatically send all your Publish2 links to delicious (tags and everything), so you don’t really have to switch. And this way you can share links with your growing group of followers on Publish2:

    http://www.publish2.com/network/macloo/followers

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