Week 13: Readings and Comments

by Zach Tomaszewski

for LIS 699-2, Fall 2001, supervised by Dr. Luz Quiroga

Here is a bit of brainstorming on a syllabus. One way to structure a class would be based on the disciplines that are supposed to part of IA. So there may be the following sections:

(Admittedly, I still see only the first part as core IA. The rest describes an well-rounded and effective web development team, but not necessarily IA in the strict sense.)

Another possibility is structuring a class around an web site development schedule. (This would certainly be conducive to a large, term-long project.)

It must be a problem with every class that many areas overlap. Here, usability depends on navigation which depends on the organization which depends on content. But the reasons the doing things flow in the other direction, towards providing a usable, well-designed site.

Assignments are the trickier part. How do you test whether a student has most effectively organized content? Look for a scheme and structure of course, but which one? In the real world, it should be the one your users find easiest to use. One idea may be that students play some role in grading each other's assignments. For example, one assignment may be that students get a pile of index cards with certain content listed. They have come to up with the best organizational structure for this content. Different student structures could be compared. (If students have basic HTML skills, this exercise could be done with webpages, and the student would only have to derive the organization of links.)

Another idea is that students could have a project to work on through the whole term. I'm not sure where the content would come from though. Perhaps from the class itself--a site of students' cities of origin or hobbies or pets. This would make "selling back the design" and testing much more interesting. Or students could borrow the content pages of some small site or subsite and devise their own structure. There could be one site for the whole class, for each group, or for each student.

These are just a few ideas to get the brainstorming moving. Hope they help.

Post-discussion Issues:

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