Home / Comment permalink

Drupal Goes to College

Starting in September, I’ll be teaching a 10 week long course at Queen's University Belfast in their Open Learning Program. Register now for this course £110.00.

Acquia has been working closely with colleges to deliver Free student Drupal training on campus. But we're working to expand Drupal's reach into higher education by developing this 10 week course.

I'll be developing the course in the open. This means the syllabus, lesson plans and assessment tools will be fully available online, and open to collaboration. If you're an educator, interested in teaching Drupal at your college or university, please get in touch!

If you've already been teaching Drupal at college level, I'd love to talk with you and share practical experience and tips.

I expect this night class to get people from a variety of backgrounds, much like Ashique Tanveer described his course at Montgomery College recently. So I want to make sure it's useful for learners with a variety of backgrounds. I also want a useful artifact after I've completed the course: A Drupal college course Kit.

My goals for the 10 week course kit is to make it as flexible as possible:

  • Can be facilitated by someone else with limited Drupal knowledge or experience.
  • Can be used in contexts such as web dev, marketing courses, knowledge management courses, teacher training courses and so forth.
  • Focus on curation of freely available existing educational resources, rather than the creation of new materials.
  • Others can evaluate and improve the materials.
  • Stream into “tracks” so individuals can choose their own level of challenge and time commitment.
  • Give learners clear paths for self-support.

Again, if you're an educator and you'd like to teach Drupal in your course, please contact me. And please do share this with anyone you think might be interested. Thanks!


Posted on by Kieran Mathieson (not verified).

I'm an assoc prof at Oakland University in Michigan, USA. Been teaching Drupal for a couple of years.

For a while, I've been studying learning science (research about how people learn, how to help them learn more effectively). CoreDogs.Com is a Drupal site for learning basic Web tech. It applies learning science principles to improve learning of those topics.

This short story...

http://coredogs.c om/article/tale-two-students

...explains the approach.

The current goal is to build Drupal tools to let other people write their own course kits (to use your term). The first version is at FlippedTextbook.Com. But I made a mistake in the branding of the individual works, and am now working on Dolfinity.Com. It gives authors more control over the identity of their work.

Dolfinity is not up yet. It uses the Domain Access module, but the admin workflow for DA doesn't scale well. I've been writing the Domain Reference Role suite for that. It's in my sandbox.

If you're interested, I'd like to work with you in creating a high quality Drupal course kit. For me, part of "quality" means following some learning science principles. Such as:

* Deep learning - emphasize concepts and problem solving. Not what buttons to click.

* Outcome-driven learning - create learning goals at the beginning of the project, goals about task (not tech) outcomes. The goals drive the creation of the course kit.

* Lots o' feedback - exercises and feedback from humans. See http://coredogs.com /article/feedback-system for an implementation.

* Clear writing, pedagogical agents, ... (lots more)

(Sorry if this seems too didactic, but these ideas are not widely known.)


* The "Oooo, but, but" principle...

There's X hours available for the course. There's X * 10 things that students need to know. There are good arguments for all of the X * 10.

If you put too much content into the course, then average students (plodders) won't have time to learn basic concepts and processes. The plodders are the most important - the better students look after themselves, maybe using optional material and exercises.

When you leave something out, someone will Oooo but but. They may get butface, a term coined by Buffy Summers.

There are things we disagree on, such as the use of existing material only. Novices benefit from a coherent guided experience using the principles above. After that, they can grab what's available, adding to a solid foundation.

I should stop typing and get to work on Dolfinity. You can contact me through my D.O page.


(Hmmm, that's odd. Comment preview is acting up... ARGH! Firefox crashed. Good start to the day. :-( )

[edited to remove email address for privacy]

Posted on by heather.

Thanks, Kieran! I've emailed you, and I hope to talk with you soon.

I want to find the "easiest" way for educators to collaborate. So I'm keen to see what you're working on. I've been jumping into helping on the http://drupalladder.org/ project - so it's cool to see how that works. (Sharing lessons, improving on them together, etc).

Re: Domain Access module - have you summarized the workflow issues on that project in an issue? I bet agentrickard would like to here the problems you're running into.

Posted on by Kosta (not verified).

Once this year, once last year. Here's a syllabus:
http://lensyoga.com/sites/default/files/tovstiadi_LIS690_syllab us.pdf

Would be happy to share more if you need


Posted on by heather.

Thanks Konstantin!

I've sent you an email - but I know we've been in touch before. Took me a while to get this gig together, so finally I am in a position to collaborate.

Thanks for sharing your syllabus. I'd love to hear how it developed!

Posted on by Tom McCracken (not verified).


That's great. We are actually scheduled to teach a Drupal class at the local community college this Fall, starting in Oct.

It would be great to have a common course plan.

Posted on by heather.

LOL Tom, I was going to email you to see how your course has been going, so I could learn from your experience. Sounds like this is perfect timing.

Sound like we're forming a bit of a group here and finally realize some of the ideas we've been working toward in the "open curriculum" project.

If anyone wants to read some of the background, that is available here:
http://groups.drupal.org/n ode/172419

To anyone reading who wants to collaborate - Please also join the Curriculum & Training group too!
http://groups. drupal.org/curriculum-and-training

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Filtered HTML

  • Use [acphone_sales], [acphone_sales_text], [acphone_support], [acphone_international], [acphone_devcloud], [acphone_extra1] and [acphone_extra2] as placeholders for Acquia phone numbers. Add class "acquia-phones-link" to wrapper element to make number a link.
  • To post pieces of code, surround them with <code>...</code> tags. For PHP code, you can use <?php ... ?>, which will also colour it based on syntax.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <h4> <h5> <h2> <img>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.