Websites and Videos

I spend a lot of time producing high-quality online resources for my students.  On average, it may take 12-16 hours to produce a one-hour tutorial that includes a code walkthrough and conceptual lecture.  Here are some of them:

  • The ISAT 348 Website
    Of particular note on this website are the detailed proficiency specifications for course content under the Topics tab, e.g. for HTML, and the blog posts that I make to show students both what is possible on the web, e.g. explanatory video, and also how to become a better web developer, e.g. this post on “How to be a Javascript Badass
  • The ISAT 252 Website
    This website contains a number of tutorial videos for students on various programming skills that include concrete examples and show the process for how to do the kind of things I’m asking them to do, e.g. this video with accompanying code on how to do structured exception handling in VB.Net.
  • The Spring 252 ISAT 252 Course Blog
    Student participated in the development of this website that contained not only a VERY detailed syllabus, but also allowed students to share their work with classmates and also aided in helping them develop their course portfolios.
  • Course Videos
    Many of my course videos are now housed at YouTube where they are accessible not only to my students, but to the world at large who may be interested in learning these topics.
In addition, I have never used Blackboard for course management.  Instead, for most of the time I’ve been at JMU I’ve used an online project management system called Basecamp.  I used Basecamp for several reasons:
  • It’s lightweight and very easy for students to learn
  • It’s much better for organizing course content than Blackboard
  • It is the type of project management system that students are likely to encounter if they go to work in the web development industry
  • It allows me to turn the class into a mini development firm and manage them the way they would be managed if working in industry
  • I could develop my own plugins for Basecamp to give it additional functionality that I wanted

I recently discontinued using Basecamp because it was costing me $48/month and I wasn’t feeling like the benefit I was getting from it warranted the expense.  Instead I turned to my own solution developed using WordPress.  That’s the site I used for the Spring 2011 ISAT 252 sections.  I’m able to develop more advanced plugins for WordPress than I could for Basecamp and I’m gradually working toward building a Learning Management System to rival Blackboard in effectiveness and ease-of-use.

In closing, here’s an example of a video on the programming process that I produced for my ISAT 252 students.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fxldkkq0Ms

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