Discussion leading up to creation of this page.

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Original exchange on Wikieducator google group:


From Alison:

A few of us have been discussing how to proceed with updating the module content in the Commonwealth Computer Navigator's Certificate (CCNC).

The consensus is to move the current pages to a new node: http://www.wikieducator.org/CCNC/Version2 . We recognize that following the move we'll need to fix absolute links and navigation.

We plan to begin the new work under the following structure, copying material as appropriate from version 2: http://www.wikieducator.org/CCNC/Version3

Given this project has a long standing history on WikiEducator, I thought I'd post our plans to this larger group for comment.

Please respond with your thoughts and suggestions.

Thank you,


From Wayne:

A few reflections for consideration:

  • I'm very supportive and excited to see new life and energy emerging from our community to take CCNC to new levels. As a free and open source software user -- my passion is to see the development of high-quality teaching materials supporting basic ICT skills development using free software.
  • I like the idea of a dedicated list for the development --- with updates posted to the main WE list.
  • The need for these resources is far wider than the Commonwealth -- therefore I'm wondering whether a change in name is appropriate. What about something like the "Open Computer Navigators Course" (OCNC). Fortunately we use a license which permits derivative works including name changes :-). Also, speaking from experience with the CCNC -- the notion of "certificate" is confusing because the course materials do not provide certification as such -- and should be available for use in multiple contexts. Changing the name will also help getting away from the confusing subpages like Version 2, Version 3 etc.
  • A key question for our group to consider will be whether the course materials should meet the requirements of the ECDL/ICDL curriculum. Personally, I think that there are significant advantages to doing this because then we create optional paths for formal certification. That said -- there may be differences in opinion here.

In short -- I propose a name change which will be more representative of what these course materials are aiming to achieve and consideration about mapping to existing curricula and national qualifications frameworks.

Looking forward to seeing our finished product --- a community driven initiative :-).

Cheers


From Alison:

Audience I want to start by commenting on a point Wayne makes throughout his post --

Who is the audience for instructional materials designed to help beginners learn how to use a computer and select open source software tools? A few statements in Wayne's post,

--"my passion is to see the development of high-quality teaching materials supporting basic ICT skills development using free software."

--course materials should be "available for use in multiple contexts."

--"A key question for our group to consider will be whether the course materials should meet the requirements of the ECDL/ICDL curriculum."

support the creation of instructional materials for all who might need them, and not limiting our scope to the purposes of ECDL/ICDL -- European/International Computer Driving License -- certification, that we should consider creating a collection of instructional materials on how to use a computer and select open source software tools, and design it such that relevant modules meet the needs of ICDL.

I like this idea. It fits well with my broad educational vision (a pool of well-designed modular instructional content from which users/learners take what suits them).

Versioning One of the issues we have is how to structure content modules that we know will be updated regularly in the future (e.g., software applications), and where we suspect that users will move to the newer versions of software/hardware at different times. In our discussion of revamping CCNC we had taken the approach that maybe the whole project should reflect the fact that the instructional materials reflect Open Office 3.0. But Wayne's comment about "...confusing subpages like Version 2, Version 3..," suggests that users will find this aspect confusing. But we need to have some sort of mechanism to manage the content written for different versions of software.

Let's say we want to create a structure that has no WE-imposed version numbering, what guidelines might we implement to maintain such a structure into the future? Some thoughts: 1. Top page points to most current content first, older content is referenced in later sections of the page. 2. Page titles include version numbers according to publisher's naming convention, e.g., OpenOffice 3.0, Firefox 3.0 version. (Although we may want to use #.x for these to indicate that conent is kept relevant for most recent release within major version). 3. Page titles include distribution names as appropriate, e.g., Ubuntu 9.0 4. For instructional materials designed to be generally applicable to many applications (maybe file managment and printing fall into this category?), content is regularly updated to keep it current and appropriately general and new pages are started when content seems to be a somewhat large break from previous content. Avoid using version numbers in titles.

My expertise is not in computer hardware and applications, so please comment on these guidelines. I believe that we will be much more successful in creating these instructional materials, if we can establish a shared vision for how to structure and manage them.

Naming Wayne suggested "Open Computer Navigator's Course (OCNC)" as an alternative name. It's a good beginning (I like the inclusion of "Open"), but let's consider more options before we settle on something. Here are a few issues for us to think about: 1. If our vision is to create instructional materials to support basic information and communication technologies (ICT) skills development, are we creating a "course"? 2. The name is long and probably should include an apostrophe (although Wayne didn't include one), not practical for a url.User's may find it more difficult to work with long urls. 3. New, and therefore uncommon, abbreviations, e.g., OCNC, contribute to a steeper learning curve. The audience for this content is beginners.

Other options here?

I think we want something simple and direct, that clearly communicates the instructional contents within, which is "how to use a computer and select open source software tools for beginners". Let's not dwell on these issues too long, but rather have a bit of discussion and then decide. Of course WE can always change it later.

If you have some thoughts on this, please contribute.


From Wayne:

Due to my travels I may have missed an earlier post on the list -- Do we have a "home-page" in the wiki where we are planing and discussing the redevelopment? If not -- maybe a good idea to copy and past all the points and thoughts over to a wiki page for the planning and development.

A thought - We may be able to raise some external funding to help the development along. For example, the Mozilla foundation may be interested in helping us out with some funding on the Internet module which is based on Firefox. Similarly, Sun or the Open Office community may want to help out with the word processing, spreadsheet modules. Check out the Funding Proposal page where we draft proposals as free content. Do you think external funding would help speed up the development process?

I like the way you have reallocated my comments into the three areas :-) Further responses in text below.

<snip>

> *Versioning* > One of the issues we have is how to structure content modules that we know will be updated regularly in the future (e.g., software applications), and where we suspect that users will move to the newer versions of software/hardware at different times. In our discussion of revamping CCNC we had taken the approach that maybe the whole project should reflect the fact that the instructional materials reflect Open Office 3.0. But Wayne's comment about "...confusing subpages like Version 2, Version 3..," suggests that users will find this aspect confusing. But we need to have some sort of mechanism to manage the content written for different versions of software.

Versioning shouldn't be too hard as long as we keep all related content as sub-pages. When we need to develop a new version -- we simply copy over all the relevant subpages to a new landing page for the relevant version. We can ellimate the confusing url by using template {{MyTitle|}} - http://www.wikieducator.org/Template:MyTitle - which will remain in tact for the new version pages. It would also be a good idea to use Categories for the different versions.

> Let's say we want to create a structure that has no WE-imposed version numbering, what guidelines might we implement to maintain such a structure into the future? Some thoughts:

> 1. Top page points to most current content first, older content is referenced in later sections of the page. That works for me

> 2. Page titles include version numbers according to publisher's naming convention, e.g., OpenOffice 3.0, Firefox 3.0 version. (Although we may want to use #.x for these to indicate that conent is kept relevant for most recent release within major version).

Keeping with the official vendor release numbers makes sense.

> 3. Page titles include distribution names as appropriate, e.g., Ubuntu 9.0

Perhaps categories or a userbox-like feature embedded in a footer template will do the trick. > 4. For instructional materials designed to be generally applicable to many applications (maybe file managment and printing fall into this category?), content is regularly updated to keep it current and appropriately general and new pages are started when content seems to be a somewhat large break from previous content. Avoid using version numbers in titles.

Agree -- thinking carefully about a modular design upfront will save us lots of time down the track. > > My expertise is not in computer hardware and applications, so please comment on these guidelines. I believe that we will be much more successful in creating these instructional materials, if we can establish a shared vision for how to structure and manage them. > > *Naming* > Wayne suggested "Open Computer Navigator's Course (OCNC)" as an alternative name. It's a good beginning (I like the inclusion of "Open"), but let's consider more options before we settle on something. Here are a few issues for us to think about:

For the record -- I'm not wedded to any name ;-), just wanted to make the point that we are free to change the name. Folk who are more creative than me usually come up with better names. > 1. If our vision is to create instructional materials to support basic information and communication technologies (ICT) skills development, are we creating a "course"?

Good point -- these materials are not necessarily a course.

> 2. The name is long and probably should include an apostrophe (although Wayne didn't include one), not practical for a url.User's may find it more difficult to work with long urls. > 3. New, and therefore uncommon, abbreviations, e.g., OCNC, contribute to a steeper learning curve. The audience for this content is beginners. > > Other options here? > > I think we want something simple and direct, that clearly communicates the instructional contents within, which is "how to use a computer and select open source software tools for beginners". Let's not dwell on these issues too long, but rather have a bit of discussion and then decide. Of course WE can always change it later.

Easily achieved with the {{MyTitle}} template --- What about "Open Computing" as the generic home page, then we can have Open Computing for Beginners, Open Computing for ICDL etc.

ASnieckus (talk)21:04, 14 April 2009