Hands on gets a thumbs up
26 November 2007
The normal procedure for workshops (including mine) is that the "lecturer" stands up in front of the "class" and delivers 7 to 8 hours of content. That's you (the student) listening to me (the teacher) for 7 to 8 hours. Sure, I might get you to raise your hand a few times, force you into thinking about getElementById for a few minutes, and maybe even spur you into writing a few things down. But at the end of the day you leave with a pocketful of slides and a head full of DOM jargon. I have no idea whether it was helpful to you, or whether I was just drying my throat out.
Last week was a revelation though. Because it was on-site training, I could rely on everyone having access to a computer, so I decided to pack the workshop full of practical exercises – exercises where the people I was talking to got to put the code into practice.
I have no idea why I didn't do this before.
Once someone jumps in front of a computer and starts trying out what you've told them, that's the only way you can find out whether they get it. And if they don't? Well, then you make sure they do – you can take a look at their code, see what they're doing wrong, explain some of the points that matter to them and make sure that they're confident enough to code up something by themselves.
So from here on in I'm stating a new mission objective for workshops: get everyone in front of a computer and don't let them leave until they can code. :D
Follow me on Twitter
To hear smaller but more regular stuff from me, follow @themaninblue.
- Resolution dependent layout update
- footerStickAlt: A more robust method of positioning a footer
- widgEditor: A simple, standards-compliant WYSIWYG HTML editor
- Accessible, stylish form layout