TT284 Review

This is going up at least a month later than I wanted it to. But I’m just having difficulty figuring out what to say about TT284. That’s because there’s precious little to review.

I just didn’t feel like there was enough in this module to be considered a Stage 2 module. I don’t know if it’s because I already know and use a lot of the technologies the module references. Maybe it’s because I have my own practices for the planning and specification phases. Or it could be that it’s just light on content.

The module materials encourage students to interact by visiting the forums and writing about specified topics. This doesn’t actually garner any (well … much) diaglogue. It’s mostly just a graveyard for scraps of students’ notes. The best way I found to use this was to look for alternate viewpoints to my own, but spending my precious study time combing through poorly formed and poorly informed thoughts had a low return on investment.

What really did work for me was the assessment for the module. Assessments were split down the middle with practical activities and academic (or, rather, academic-dressed-up-as-vocational) reports. I really felt like it did a good job of allowing students show that they could both perform and understand the details from the module’s learning objectives. The feedback from my particular tutor was insightful and constructive.

The module doesn’t teach much, though. It exposes. It gives a whirlwind tour of web-building technologies, and approaches to designing web applications. There’s a whole lot of copy-and-pasting intended. You’d come out of this module knowing what you don’t know, which is a good starting point, but that feels more like a first stage module to me. In fact, that sort of seems like the intention of the web design portions of Harvard’s CS50, but you definitely learn more on that module. And that’s just a very small section of a free-to-all introductory course.

Of course, CS50 only teaches the practical, technical side of web design, and none of the design, specification, or non-technical details. It doesn’t cover wire frames, specification gathering, accessibility considerations. It only briefly considers architectures. But it’s also only a few weeks long.

I guess my bottom line for TT284 is that it’s just not advanced enough for Stage 2. It would be an ideal module in place of TM129 … Or maybe even just one of its three blocks.

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