As I wrote last week in my first WCC course-blogging post, I am taking an online HTML course with the Women's Coding Collective and I will be blogging my progress here on HASTAC. In my first pre-course post, I mentioned my motives, my sponsors, my initial likes & dislikes, and, in the open spirit of HASTAC's collaboratory model, I issued a call for the community to join me. And some already have!
How do the courses WCC course work?
- The courses are administered online but are maintained by two live instructors. I can ask any question at any time. In addition, the instructors have a visible presence in our course space and that only works to reinforce their participation and support.
- The courses are scheduled (our challenges are released every other day for two weeks) but they are self-paced.
- The courses are not physically located but they are framed to be localized in so far as the class sizes are purposefully small and my classmates and I have a private online space where we can gather and share course content, questions, and comment.
- The courses are carefully designed, professionally taught, and educationally rigorous. The instructors here are at the forefront of innovative and effective online course design.
- The course content is accessible, available, and digitally preserved so that students can always re-access the course content even after course completion.
Need a video demo to better orient yourself? The WCC provides one on its public website.
The course began this week with our first challenge set being delivered on Sunday. The first set was designed to orient us to the course design, to the instructional team, to our classmate colleagues, and to the content we'll be studying. This first set was slow and unintimidating. For those of my classmates who may be completely new to web design, it was an encouraging and nurturing first step.
I am excited to continue with this week's challenges!
After my first challenge set, I have a new list of likes. I also have a list of loves.
- The first challenge was slow and unintimidating. This is great for newbies and great too for those of us who have very busy summer schedules who may have been hesitant to add this course as a new project.
- The format and interface are clean and clear. Though this sounds simple enough but I know that most of us have seen an online course that was neither clean nor clear. And this makes a world of difference.
- The language manages to be nurturing, encouraging, and instructional. This too is rare. The WCC is exemplary on many fronts.
- I like that my classmates and I have our names and profiles gathered on the course front page. This seems to create a group cohesion and a safe course space that I did not anticipate having owing to the fact that this is an online class. I feel like I am actually in a 'real' class with 'real' people. And I feel like the commaraderie helps us all feel as if we are all pulling for each other to be brave in our individual coding experimentation.
- I am excited by the variety of people in my course. Yes, it is a female-only course (though please do note that the WCC confirms that any who gender-identify as female can also take the course) but even within this gender-specific range, I find a nice mix of ages, backgrounds, races, etc. There is even a mother-daughter pair taking the course!
- I love that as I am completing my learning objectives, I am also gathering valuable tips for creating a productive, efficient, and nurturing online learning environment. They are setting new levels of excellence in online learning.
- I am impressed by the support architectures and by the availability of the founders in answering my questions. The endlessly generous Nicole Noll (co-founder along with Susan Buck) has been graciousl and open to answering even my non-course-related general questions about the business model and the standard protocols of the WCC. Wow. Just Wow.
- ...Speaking of that business model...I'd argue it is exemplary in its execution and it has the potential to set new standards for online education.
Ready to take your own course? Go here for a Coupon Code for $17 off a Women's Coding Collective course!: http://thewc.co/pal-tuha . The WCC wants to make it easy for you jump in and join me! Go. Start. Code!
Sincere thanks to Nicole for her help in answering my questions!
Sincere thanks to my Facebook colleagues for their feedback & comments.