I love teaching COMM 352 because students learn how to create a Web site from the ground up. They learn about organizing content, writing for online audiences, usability and how to do simple code. I think students like the class because they get to choose their own topic, and are able to really explore something they are interested in.
A significant part of class time is spent in a workshop format. Everybody is cranking on his or her iMac, and we listen to music and try to be open and relaxed. You don’t learn if you’re all stressed.
I don’t expect students to leave the class ready to be Web programmers; I succeed if they have adopted a fearless attitude regarding learning tech. I can almost guarantee the code we learn in my class will be dated by the time graduates reach the workforce. That’s simply the reality of the industry. However, the ability to approach new technology rationally and confidently, to actually be curious and excited about its potential… that will never lose its relevance.
I get lots of messages from alumni saying how happy they are to have developed that intrepid mindset, and how useful it is at their jobs. While class is intense and time-consuming, students are really proud at the end when they realize what they have accomplished in one short semester.