This year, I am teaching WRA 210: Introduction to Web-Authoring. Students will learn how to create rhetorically effective and (importantly) accessible websites. This course focuses on coding (html and CSS) as well as visual design.
Here’s what my site looks like:
Students’ final project for this class is the professional portfolio site. Students practice being collaborative, facilitating feedback from their peers at ever design phase. We’ve thus talked about the need to practice strong, open listening. This includes asking students to be open as they receive feedback. We’ve discussed the difficulty of letting in feedback once you’ve already “gone down the path” of your own design. I’ve been learning a lot in this class, including clarifying the purposes of information architecture (the big picture make-
up of a project), wireframes, style tiles, mock-ups, and prototypes. I’m learning,along with my students, why each of these distinct draft versions are valuable. I also reminded that the design process, unsurprisingly, is not linear, and is never finished.
Thoughts for the future.
After talking with a WRAC faculty and their plans of using the advanced web authoring class (WRA 410) to build a website for a community project, as well as my recent immersion into professional writing & technical communication scholarship on community work/listening, I want to rethink what students do for their final projects.