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Online Resources for Web Site Building
The W3C has many, comprehesive tutorials on the major components required for this course. Here are some links:
My Teaching Philosophy for College Students
In elementary school, you were bottle-fed, and then spoon-fed, information and asked to regurgitate it on exams. During the high school years, you slowly learned how to “eat” on your own, but everything was still handed to you on a silver platter. As college students, the learning process should be quite different; indeed, it is quite different. While you are given lecture notes and other course materials, there is an expectation that you are able and willing to learn on your own without having to be spoon-fed the information.
You have probably all heard the famous saying:
“Give a man a fish, and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.”
In this class, we are not giving out fish! We are here to teach you how to fish and how to learn as on your own. Thus far, this explanation has been fairly abstract. Here’s an example to illustrate how I, the instructor, and the TAs will assist with syntax-type questions when making your web pages. The TAs will not just show you where in the code you have an error. That would be analogous to simply giving you a fish and not teaching you anything. Rather, they will identify the problem (for themselves), try to see where you are misunderstanding the issue, and then they will show you how to fish! They, along with you, will either (a) open up the textbook and show you where to find your answer, or (b) will show you online, ideally at one of the sites listed above, where you can more about the issue at hand. They will direct you to read the appropriate information to correct the misunderstanding of the material. And then, if all goes well, you will, in front of the TA, figure out the problem without them having to spoon-fed you the answer. By no means is this a quick process, and both the student and the TA need to practice patience.
And in fairness, for some students, this is downright frustrating. They come to office hours because they want answers, and spending 15 minutes reading about pointers could have been done on their own. I’ve heard remarks ranging from, "How's this supposed to help me?", “I came for help, not a reading lesson!” to “What the heck is the purpose of the TA then?”
Let us respond:
You did come for help, and if you are seriously dedicated to LEARNING the material, you will get the help you desire! However, if the TA simply shows you where you are wrong (gives you the fish) and lets you be on your merry way, this does NOT help you learn at all! This is a disservice to you and is not why we have TAs, which brings us to the question asked. Why do we have TAs and office hours? TAs are here to help facilitate the LEARNING experience and help facilitate teaching you how to learn on your own (how to fish). Indeed, this process does take longer and requires more effort on both the part of the student and TA; however, the outcome is that of a mature college student who can learn on their own.
Finally, just so no one can say I didn’t at least give out one fish, here you go.