Outreachy week 9: My first lesson plans

I mentioned last week I will be starting with writing lesson plans, so here are my first ones:

And here are some of the ideas I was keeping in mind when writing them:

  • If some hands-on actions are going to be performed, it’s might be helpful to frame them as a scenario/use case. That makes it easier for a reader and also helps the reader to figure out how the lesson is relatable to their own projects.
  • First compose the outline: break the materials into logical steps and use it as headers later on. That makes the resulting lesson more visually appealing and increases its readability.
  • It’s important to keep yourself from the situations when there’s plenty of details on how to do something and no or little explanation why do we do it. After the learner is done with the tutorial it’s important for them to apply the knowledge they gained to the projects they will be working on, so explanations are crucial.

Outreachy week 8: Short recap on the training-related activities

Last week I was continuing on working on the training team projects. Some the improvements I mentioned in my previous post were implemented and I also went through the feedback from the trainers who were testing the existing lesson plans, analyzed it (overall the feedback is really good) and wrote a post about it in the Making WordPress training team’s blog.
This week I’m going to try to compose some lessons plans myself, starting with a WooCommerce lesson in the “Setting up Ecommerce” unit – really looking forward to trying it!

Outreachy week 7: Reviewing the Lessons Plans

The last week was a break from WordCamp/WordPress meetup organizer training as some of the decisions regarding their organization are on hold. So I was doing some work regarding enhancing the Make WordPress Training Lessons. The idea was to make the materials more accessible and didactically digestible for the teachers who are preparing to present them in the classroom. Generally, I think the existing lessons are really good, it’s great that all of them follow a certain structure which contains learning objective, prerequisites, screening questions, etc – it definitely makes trainer’s work easier. If you haven’t seen the lesson plans yet, here is a sample of what they look like: Managing Comments lesson. So to begin with the enhancement the three things we decided should be added are:

  1. Links to lessons which are prerequisites: that can be used to help the trainer build the learning flow (which lesson should be taught after which), revise the concepts required to move on themselves and let the students know what should be revised.
  2. Links to some additional resources: 1-3 resources on the topic of the lesson which would slightly extend the lesson or sometimes repeat the lesson content in a different way. The idea here is that these links will help both trainers and students to better digest the content of the lesson through some amount of repetition, but also give the some resources to learn more on the topic.
  3. Timing estimates: as the trainers are preparing for a lesson it’s important for them to know how much time do they need to allot. Unfortunately this is something which can be best estimated only them actually conducting a lesson, but we can definitely add this recommendation to the Lesson Plan Testing Guide.

Here are the resulting documents:

And just in case – please, feel free to let me know if you have some other ideas on what that should be done to make the materials better!

Outreachy week 6: The Big Question

It is a lovely rainy day today in St.Petersburg, which is perfect when you actually need to do some work (my room windows face west, so it can be really hot and uncomfortable in the evening if a summer day was hot and sunny). So WordCamp Europe contributor day which I mentioned in my previous post actually helped us realize an issue with the course organization (so the lesson here is: do beta testing as early as possible! It’s always helpful to get an opinion of someone from outside the group which is working on the project). I have written a detailed post on this in the official blog of the community/outreach team for the WordPress open source project for us to be able to understand how should we proceed. You’re welcome to check it out! 🙂