How not to design, deliver and promote an MA in Web Design

These are just my notes, there may be inaccuracies. I share them because they’re more useful on the web than sitting in Google Docs. Thoughts, corrections etc, please put them in the comments.

This was the second presentation from Monday’s Web Teaching Day that Richard Eskins (Lecturer in the Department of Information & Communications) so generously organised at Manchester Metropolitan University.

The presentation was by David Watson, programme leader for the MA in Web Design and Content Planning at The University of Greenwich. See David’s presentation in PDF and PowerPoint formats.

Website Architecture

At the University of Greenwich Web (Design) Architecture is taught in the school of Architecture and Construction. Their course has been going for 10 years and the first cohort came out in September 2003.

Why bother?

They saw a gap where web design should be. 10 years ago web design was being lead by either the graphic of computer science courses. They compared this to architecture (it’s David’s background). The architect at the centre of the picture can’t deliver a building without the engineers and the web designer is in the same position.

David Watson identifies a gap in Web Design teaching between Computer Science and Graphic Design courses.

Some key points

  • Don’t be too specific with the course description, e.g. Don’t write “will learn CSS 2.1″ in the course spec. This will change over time.
  • Don’t even think about trying to keep yourself up to date with everything. Accepted norms and standards can easily change. Consider your role as a team leader rather than teacher and learn with your students.
  • For 10 years they didn’t recruit well. They needed to promote properly. They made a marketing web page, He even uses the website as a teaching tool. He came up against university politics just trying to teach PHP on the course.
  • Earn while you learn (cheesy but true). A lot of their students managed to earn more money on their thesis project than they spent on the course.
  • He’d like to provide more web business content into the course. He wants to interface more with the industry. Get students to intern in offices.

Posted on Sunday 12 September 2010.

Posted in education, wtd2010 | 1 comment »

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