[p2pu-webcraft] Intermediate Webcraft Challenges

Chloe Varelidi chloe at varelidi.com
Wed Oct 12 11:47:25 UTC 2011

Hi Jessy, great stuff!

You can find some design principles for challenges which we applied to the
first round of webmaking 101 challenges
would love your feedback/input.

In the meantime I love that you are thinking of having the learners remix
the content and make it their own and would push more on having them solve
problems that apply to real world situations. Also before you start thinking
of game mechanics, you might want to consider first what is the big learning
ideas behind these challenges and what types of actions/activities would
reinforce that learning (check this
for more around games & learning strategies). Additionally you
might want to consider integrating peer to peer interaction as part of your
challenges, thinking of how can you can create opportunities for people to
complete challenges together rather than alone and give feedback as part of
the actual challenge.

hope this helps,

On Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 2:35 AM, Jessy Kate Schingler
<jessy at jessykate.com>wrote:

> hi john and all!
> (for those i don't know: my name is jessy schingler. you might have seen me
> around the lists. i'm starting to work on designing challenges for the
> school of webcraft. woo hoo!)
> this is a long email.
> first i mention a few design principles that i've been thinking about, and
> then i list a whole bunch of starting-point ideas for intermediate webcraft
> challenges. these are totally preliminary, so feel free to rip them apart,
> riff off of them, or take them in very different directions. mostly i want
> to get a sense which (if any) of these sound interesting, and if you think
> i'm headed in the right direction. so, feedback please! (and specific
> requests at the bottom).
> *Challenge Design*
> * a specific design thought is that challenges should focus on a measurable
> outcome, product or activity, but that where possible, the content should be
> left up to the user, so that they can customize the challenge to their own
> interests, or so that it can be customized to the content of a specific
> course/study group/etc.[0]
> * another is to be cognizant to creating some intermediary-level
> challenges, challenges that go beyond intro-level stuff. IMHO, part of this
> is in using real-world data sets, and asking for questions or products that
> don't have clear yes/no or right/wrong answers.
> * incorporate challenges that "reward hard work, not the right answers."[1]
> this doesn't mean to reward time spent over output-- it means to reward
> peoples' thinking process, and their willingness to struggle with something
> unfamiliar and to make learning mistakes. i can see this manifesting in
> challenges similar to the above-- by having problems which do not
> necessarily have a "right" answer, or possibly haven't been done before--
> eg. working with a new data set, refining or improving existing work, etc.
> *Challenges Ideas*
> (note: these are targeted at *intermediate* web developers)
> * writing scrapers and parsers for large/messy unstructured data. for
> example, taking the plain text transcripts from a senate hearing and parsing
> it into a structured form that identifies and associated speakers with their
> spoken text, and possibly brings in other data about each speaker from a
> secondary source.
> * examining an existing site/module/library, and identifying architectural,
> design, or deployment choices that are likely to result in a
> bottleneck/crash during scaling or high load. what component of the site in
> question would be the limiting factor? why? for example, would it be
> bandwidth? number of connections? database speed? a really inefficient loop?
> how could these expected bottlenecks/load issues be addressed?
> * design an API from scratch (either design-only or design and implement):
> for example, pick a site you think is cool, that has an API (but one that
> you are not familiar with). without looking at what they have done, write
> out a design for what you think the API should look like - what function
> calls and features would it support? what should the API calls look like?
> what format would the returned data be in? after you're done, compare with
> what the existing site has, and compare/contrast.
> * identify 10 things that cannot be done on the web today. what are they,
> why are they not possible, what could be done to make them possible.
> * an import/export tool-- for example, write an import tool that grabs all
> your tweets and imports them as wordpress posts. (this gets at the idea but
> would prefer to make it more useful). the idea would be to get at working
> with larger data, working with data you can't control, and having to work
> with/convert between interfaces that others have designed.
> * write code/pseudocode for bluetooth pairing using the android API
> * pick your favourite website. what browser standards is it compatible
> with? which ones is it NOT compatible with? are there simple changes you
> could make, to make it compliant?
> * pick a site you like that does not have a mobile version. grab a snapshot
> of their page and any necessary css and js files being used. then modify the
> design locally to produce a proper mobile version of the site.
> *Help* (aka, where i could use your feedback!):
> * do these challenges seem interesting? fun? too much work? imagining they
> were fleshed out in a more detail, do they seem self-contained/manageable
> enough? too big?
> * are they at the right level for an intermediate challenge?
> * should we explicitly design challenges to be composed (using the output
> from one as the input to another)?
> * do you have suggestions for incorporating game mechanics and incentives
> as we flesh these out?
> * who evaluates challenge content once submitted?
> * anything else that comes to mind!
> thanks,
> jessy
> [0] this comes out of some of the questions/concerns i expressed on a blog
> post the other day, and some great discussion in the comments:
> http://blog.jessykate.com/blog/2011/10/07/heterogeneous-learning/
> [1] see this article philipp sent around to the community list if you
> didn't already:
> http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/10/why-do-some-people-learn-faster-2/#
> --
> Jessy
> http://jessykate.com
> _______________________________________________
> p2pu-webcraft mailing list
> p2pu-webcraft at lists.p2pu.org
> http://lists.p2pu.org/mailman/listinfo/p2pu-webcraft

Chloe Varelidi
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