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TT280: Web Applications - Design, Development and Management

May - July 2002

OU TT280 Course Description

Field of Fame (The Pioneers)

Me, Computers and the Web

Bill's TT280 Journal

NOMADS (by Keith Evetts)

Philosophy (made as part of TT280 coursework)

Web Applications Development Certificate

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I took this course because I thought it might give me some confidence. Confidence? Yes, because, basically, I thought it might be easy as I already knew how to code webpages. WRONG! Oh, I knew how to code webpages alright - but not properly! I also already knew about W3C, but never thought I would have to take them seriously! This was a pilot presentation and some problems were anticipated. However, those problems were far greater than expected and became rather farcical at times. (The FC conference also became a war zone occasionally!). All's fair in love and war though - and I was very happy to come out of it with a grade 2 pass. I learnt a lot too and am trying not to fall back into bad habits. It's inevitable that I shall though!

The coursework was centred around 2 American course books.

"HTML Second Edition". Reding/Vodnik. ISBN 0-619-01770-8 and

"Designing Web Sites". Joel Sklar. ISBN 0-619-01821-6

I was grateful that I already knew how to code HTML, for or else the work would've been far too much. I felt sorry for those for whom it was new. However, there was much to learn about standards, accessibility etc - and, much indignation when I HAD to learn how to use CSS (I had always avoided it like the plague!). The coursework was tested by means of 3 CMAs (multi-choice), the first of which was a total shambles as we had to "guess" how many answers there were. I don't think anybody did all that well on that one! I got a miserable 63% and, for the other two CMAs 75% each, which gave me an average of 71% for the coursework. The ECA (the examinable component) was by way of a project in which we had to write a report of 2,500 words to a (pretend) seller of stainless steel pots who wanted us to design a web site for him! To go with this, we had to design 4 templates - but here too there was a farcical element as the powers that be firstly stated that we were not to use images or frames - and then changed their minds (when it was rather late for those who had already started). I thought mine was quite a mess, so was very surprised to find that I had been awarded 91% for my effort!

The course was poorly supported, with the right hand often not knowing what the left was - but it was an interesting jaunt and I'm glad I did it! I'm sure that, with the pilot presentation done and dusted, encountered problems will be much less and therefore the course will be more enjoyable and "sorted".

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