of Responsibility #2:
Designs instruction or human performance strategy to
meet the needs of learners (e.g., analysis of problem
situation, design of instructional strategy consistent
with analysis of the learning situation, use of situated
learning models, use of collaborative learning strategies,
experience as a facilitator vs. deliverer of knowledge)
2: Web Design 1 (GWHS) – Denver Public Schools New Course
educational climate of testing and the CSAP, schools are
focusing not just on teaching students technical skills,
but also on how technology can enhance student performance
in basic skill areas. Traditionally, the Vocational Business
Department (where I teach) has taught marketing, basic
word processing, and business lecture classes (Management
and Law). The district knew that this would not continue
to serve the needs or the interest of the students and
predicted that enrollment in Vocational Business courses
would dwindle. Another target for this shift in instructional
focus is to attempt to reach students who are difficult
to engage in the educational process. Integrating technology
into learning core academics may be the defining factor
that helps some students succeed.
Situation - To begin to address this problem
the Denver Public Schools technology planning team has
made drastic changes to the vocational educational model
and course offerings. Instructional delivery continues
to be project-based and focused on developing student
vocational skills. The district technology education
philosophy is modeled after the work of John Dewey (1916,
Democracy and Education), which suggests “learners are
most successful when students are encouraged to actively
pursue interests in cooperation with others in self-directed
learning.” Field, R. (1996). John Dewey -1859-1952. The
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (On-line), Available:
Course offerings themselves have changed significantly
to reflect corporate, parent and student interest. The
first modification was to change the department title
from the Business Department to Career and Technology
Education. The district team felt the new name clearly
focused and communicated the mission of the department.
Second, Denver Public Schools has also completely changed
course offerings, creating several new courses to address
the needs and interests of secondary students.
Center for Dewey Studies)
Strategy - One new course is the addition of
Web Page Design. Last year I was assigned the responsibility
of creating the district curriculum for Web Page Design
and have now completed the first month of teaching the
class to four sections of students (n=120). It is highly
unusual to have a new elective class attract so many students
its first year, but it is an accurate reflection of the
interest and value of technology by our students. A
tremendous number of students have enrolled and they have
shown a great deal of success already. Every student
is working beyond expectations.
the course syllabus
for this class, I incorporated much of my experience from
Web Authoring. This course taught
me the importance of understanding HTML code instead of
solely relying on Web Authoring tools. I also emailed
a draft to several other teachers familiar with web authoring
to gain their input. The course covers four basic sections:
Wed Design Principles, HTML Code, Basic Dreamweaver Skills,
and Web Authoring. The course design also included principles
of evaluation and learning such as rubrics, web delivery,
and project based learning.
- I try to make my expectations very clear to the students.
Whenever possible I use rubrics and checklists
and post them to the class web site. (See Student
Assignments on the class web site for examples.) Each
assessment states the objective of the lesson, directions
for its completion, and a clearly delineated grading scale.
Many rubrics also include a student
self-assessment. Students can be self-directed
assume increased responsibility for their work.
Delivery (teacher as facilitator) –
I have created a web
site corresponding to the class. Students
and parents can check the course syllabus, assignment
due dates, print assessment sheets, download assignment
files, access web resources, and contact the instructor.
This capability is a big step forward for supporting student
learning and expanding their ability to access many technical
resources from home and other settings. Several students
have printed assessments from home and continue their
work. A traditional model of instructional delivery would
impede this. This site does not currently reflect all
web and instructional design principles. I have found
initial web development to be a very dynamic process –
it is a work in progress. Site design can be very time
consuming and will change greatly depending on the site
content. My current primary objective is to get content
distributed to students. After I evaluate what works
and what doesn’t, I plan to redesign the course site to
reflect any necessary modifications and then devote more
attention to the design of the site.
Based Learning – One of the most exciting components
of this course is the cumulative final project. It relies
heavily on students engaging in collaborative relationships.
Students must collaborate with a core academic teacher
to create a web site as the medium that demonstrates their
learning about a topic (e.g. a web site about American
history meets the needs of Web Page Design 1 and AP American
History.) Students create project proposals, navigational
flowcharts, screen mockups, a draft site, and the final
site. The sponsoring teacher “signs off” each step of
the way. A repeated formative evaluation process is built
into the sign off for each phase of the site development,
ensuring the student and the teacher (the client) that
their goals and communication regarding the site is consistent.
Students develop skills in project management (The Systems
Development Life Cycle), user needs and communication,
and academic content -- all embedded into the context
of web design and authoring.
experience teaching Multimedia for the last four years,
I have seen the benefit of collaborating with students
and other instructors with integrated academic projects.
Teachers see their content being reinforced in other areas
and students see how the class subject is applied in real
In six years
of teaching I have never experienced so much success with
a new class quite like Web Design 1. In the urban teaching
environment of Denver Public Schools, about one of every
five of my students is generally difficult to motivate.
This semester is different. I have only one student,
so far, having trouble staying focused on the work ahead.
Expectations are high and the workload demanding, but
the students are stepping up, staying focused, and staying
Web based delivery
opens new avenues of communication with students and parents.
Students can check due dates, get assignments, and work
beyond the confines of the classroom. Soon, I hope to
establish e-mail with students as another tool to encourage
communication after class hours and even in times of my
With any new
course there are struggles. Two primary concerns related
to the Web Design course are access to technology and
the distractions of the Internet. In any school, but
especially in the urban environment of George Washington,
not all students have access to technology at home. Their
temptation to surf the web sometimes overrides good judgment
and educational discipline. We plan on combating the
concerns in two ways. First, I allot ample time to complete
assignments. Due dates are assigned so that students
can complete the work at school provided they are focused.
For the few students that fall behind, I extend the their
due date, allowing them to catch-up outside of regular
class time. Advanced students are encouraged to guide
others during class and I make myself available before
school, during lunch, during study halls, and after school.
the Teacher Night I expressed a concern that the Internet
is a great distraction to students and adults.
I am constantly stressing the importance of staying focused
on assignments of the day and not allowing any time for
web surfing. If students spend 15 minutes out of a 45-minute
period checking hockey scores on ESPN.com or reading
e-mail from friends we will not accomplish much in class.
But if students can learn to use the Internet as a tool
and not an entertainment device and if they can develop
the self control that the Internet needs, students will
have learned a very valuable skill that will last a lifetime.