To further develop Learn for everyone, there are a few problems I’d like to see the training team solve through structured Microcourses. These microcourses will be “choose your own adventure” style. Before enrolling in a microcourse, learners will be prompted to assess their own existing knowledge and use their own interest to guide their course choices.
Microcourses will be:
- Largely text-and-image based (with a few short videos thrown in for variety) for accessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility)
- Bite-sized; every lesson (currently known as a “workshop”) should be able to be completed quickly, within 5-10 minutes
- Self-paced; unlike with longer videos, Learners can set down this learning and pick it back up as their schedule allows.
- Leveled based on pre-existing knowledge (101/102? We would need to name each level and provide guidance on what someone would be expected to know at each level.)
- Interactive; each course will prompt users to do something with their knowledge.
This benefits all learners because it creates…
- A shorter period of ramp-up time for the basics (from 4.5 hours to 1 hour or less for the basic WordPress 101 course, preferably)
- Personalized learning experiences based on need & interest
- Self-Paced learning with deliberate scaffolds in place for neurodiverse learners
Eventually, I would love for each course to be recommended based on how people answer certain questions. For now, however, each microcourse page will include “suggested prerequisites” — in other words, skills and knowledge people will need to have in order to best work through a new microcourse.
Here is a potential structure for a Basic WordPress 101 Microcourse:
Setting Up WordPress
Take this course if…
- You are getting started for the first time with WordPress;
- You haven’t decided on a host yet;
- You haven’t picked a domain name yet;
- You haven’t set up WordPress in any way yet.
By the end of this unit, you will be able to… (Quiz questions will be based on these statements–you’ll notice these are very action-based)
- Describe difference between a host and a domain name
- Determine which kind of hosting may be best for your website development needs
- Set up WordPress on a host or on a server of your own
- Navigate WordPress’ unique dashboard
Do you know this information already? Take the quiz and earn a badge!
Modules within a Microcourse: Modules/lessons would explore those objectives bit by bit in a fraction of the existing course time. Structured, carefully crafted formative assessments would exist throughout the course (partially to give us feedback on our own instruction). This would ultimately culminate in a summative assessment (quiz for now, complete with action tasks) at the end of the course.
When someone completes a microcourse, it would be useful to provide suggestions for the next most useful microcourses they might take depending on their goals.
For example, on a “Course Complete!” page, learners might see something like this:
Congratulations! You’ve finished the course, “Setting Up WordPress”. To decide what you’d like to learn next, let’s find out: Which of these is closest to your goal?
- Design a WordPress website with pages that does not have a blog.
- Design a WordPress website with pages that also has a blog.
- Set up a WordPress blog–no need for additional pages.
- Something more advanced (eCommerce website, etc.)
Potential Personalization: Depending on functionality, ideally, each of these options might take learners to a slightly different grouping of microcourses .
For example, a single lesson for setting up a blog page wouldn’t be toggled on for a course if someone didn’t want a blog on their website.
To find the proposed course outline (tentative), please click here to be taken to the public GoogleDoc. You are welcome to comment upon that document as well. I would like to begin work on this by Monday, the 16th of August.
Thoughts? Questions? Comments? Is there a topic I am missing from the original course outline?
Drop your ideas in the comments!