When I first started teaching Diploma of Web Development, I was shadowing another teacher whilst I got to know my way around. When I had to develop my own resources, it was clear to me that delivering this type of course as per unit manner was ineffective and did not really prepare the students for the real work. I set about changing the way the course was delivered and started to write a new course.
When a website is to be built, there is a process in which it has to run. This includes gathering the client requirements, designing the site, developing the site, deploying and maintaining the site. I decided to design the course in a holistic manner to encompass the web development process, effectively designing the course around Project Based Learning (PBL). This would provide the students with a website that they could then use as part of their portfolio in gaining a job.
There were many units containing many performance criteria that were part of the course, so I had to conduct a lot of mapping so the students would be exposed to real-world problems (What is PBL?, n.d.), without them realising they were actually completing units.
Students were presented with a scenario of a fictitious company that required a website that included stakeholder information, social media requirements, website design, mobile and responsive behaviour and any other information that would provide the student with the data to commence the project.
At each stage of the web development project, the student would submit reports and their work for assessment. Students were able to collaborate and share with their peers as they developed their website. At each step of the project, the instructor would provide guidance and examples on how to achieve certain tasks and provide leadership where needed, making this process very student centric.
The learning theories that are used in this complex learning project would include behaviourism and cognitivism. With behaviourism the students will be ‘rewarded’ with a website that they can proudly use as a commencement to their portfolio. The student is challenged with problems that require researching and solving based on the scenario presented, which is inline cognitive learning.
What is PBL? (n.d.). Retrieved from Buck Institute for Education: https://www.bie.org/about/what_pbl