Curriculum Webs - more homework needed
By Murray Bourne, 08 Mar 2006
"Weaving the Web into Teaching and Learning"
Cunningham, C and Billingsly, M © 2006 Pearson
I'm not going to write much about this book because basically, I was not impressed.
- The book is disorganised - it is neither a coherent treatise on Web design nor on teaching and learning. It mixes the two aspects, leaving (I strongly suspect) the novice reader somewhat bewildered.
- Chapter 4, "Laying Out an Effective Web Page" dives into simple HTML first. While I believe educators should have a knowledge of basic HTML, you don't start there. You encourage the reader to use some WYSIWYG tool and spend most of their time thinking about learner effectiveness. The HTML (and CSS) should come a lot later.
- Right from the first page, and throughout, the authors raved about all the resources to be found on the "companion site". But there is nothing at that site at all - you just get a 403 Forbidden error.
Sheesh - what is that? Checking Google's cache of the site (you have to click on the "Cache" link for each page), I was greeted with some text-only pages copied straight from the book, some assorted badly formatted pages (also from the book). Around this point I gave up on this futile exercise.
If the book is all about effective Web design and they cannot even organise their own companion website, what are they playing at?
More homework is needed on the author's part.
Recommendation: Save your money - there are plenty of better e-learning/Web design books out there.
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