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XiJen College of Mountain Province

Educational Insitution

Xijen College offers courses and trainings to people from all walks of life.  Our programs include Information Technology (4 years) , Business Administration (4 Years), Teacher Education (4 years), Computer Hardware Technician (2 years), Secretarial (2 years).  We started as a technical vocational school and added college degree programs in the later years.

xijen.com

Written by Joel T. Fagsao

What Goes On Behind the Scenes of a Website Design Class?

  • Sept. 3, 2011, 7:29 a.m.
  • = Responses

In my Website Design and Development class, I share my observations in the semesters that I handled this class at Xijen College of Mountain Province.

The Website Design covers not only the technical side of designing a website, but I also wanted my students to be conscious of the content of the site.  Before I go on, a website is usually a representation of what an institution, a person, a business, a government agency, a private firm, a place or country is all about.  A website combines text, video, audio and photographs to enhance the appearance of pages (called web page) within the site.  Basically the aim of a website is to provide information.  A website visitor is a term used to describe someone who visits your website. To be able to get to a website, you have to type the “address” or search for it in the popular search engine tool, “Google.”    An example of a website address is www.xijen.com.  The three w’s stand for World Wide Web-describing the service of the Internet (which is the infrastructure) which refers to a world of websites each with its own set of pages called web pages.  Xijen is the name of the organization, in this case the college and com stands for commercial.  I prefer not to use .edu (educational institution) because .com is the more popular “tag” for websites.  I mean people automatically associate .com to be related to websites; seldom do we say .edu, .org or .net.

So who does the job of working and developing somebody’s website?  Well this was the objective of the website design course offered at Xijen College.  It is about being able to learn to develop a website until “publication” stage on the World Wide Web-just like working on a newspaper-until it goes to the printing press for its final form.

There is this one argument about a web page design and development course.   If one is to learn about web page design, shall he or she not concentrate on the aesthetic side of bringing to “life” the website’s contents?  It’s true, your website might look great in terms of graphics and colors, but if the content is trash, visitors to your website can move on to another site at the click of a mouse-just like your TV remote control that easily lets you switch channels.  In the real world, a company may have a separate team of workers focused on updating the contents of the website.  After all, a website is the showcase of a company or website owner.  A badly designed website reflects the “kind” of organization, institution, company or person behind that website.  The web site development team consists of those handling the “technical” side (the programming, the structure and other bangs and whistles).  With the team are writers, editors who work on the contents.  In fact even our local papers have a separate department doing the “website” equivalent of the papers.

So how do you get students to learn the intricacies of designing a website and also be wary of the content of the site?  The thing I observed among my students is their handicap in writing.  I asked if they still do “theme” writing in their elementary years-some answered yes, a majority said, they do not remember doing it most often.  In my time, we did theme writing everyday and the teachers really made an effort to mark out our grammatical errors or try to rearrange our “thought” flow on the topics that we write.  To try to help out, I shared some writing tips and forced them to read articles-to the point of placing newspapers in the school lobby and not the library to encourage them to read while hanging out.  In the succeeding sessions, I let them work on their writing skills using WordPress.  WordPress provides a free platform to do a blog.  A blog is a short cut of web log.  To log means to write, describe an experience, share a thought or opinion.  But again there was another obstacle to face.  Some students had difficulty composing directly on the computer.  Some have to write their thoughts first on paper, after which encode it on the computer.  It is as if the brain is not yet wired to your fingers on a keyboard-which does away with pen and paper.  It was a matter of getting used to doing the “writing” with the keyboard as the pen.  So practice we did each session forcing the brain to “accept” the new writing tool.  It really needs tons of patience.  Next is the motivation factor.  I let them link their “written pieces” (blogs) on their Facebook accounts and the words of encouragement and congratulatory messages that they received from friends is motivation enough.  The fact that they have their names as authors of their blogs written is similar to the feeling of having an article on a newspaper published with your name as the author.  

(To be continued next week.).
 
From Xijen College Mountain Province

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