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Curriculum Survey Results

By Rob Dickerson | July 28th, 2008 | Filed in Action, Curriculum, Education, Education TF, Outreach, Web Standards (general)

The Web Standards Project Education Task Force release the results of the 2007 Curriculum Survey.

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Early in 2006, members of the Web Standards Project Education Task Force and the World Wide Web Consortium Quality Assurance Interest Group first met to discuss the need for a standards-based curriculum to aid Educational Professionals in higher education teach modern Web techniques. At that time, it was decided that more information was needed and could be gathered with a survey. Questions were formulated and much of the next year was spent taming an unruly survey engine. 

The survey was launched in the second quarter of 2007 and educators in both secondary and higher education were targeted. The survey ran for approximately three months. After many starts, stops, and delays (which included the recruitment of Industry and Educational Professionals to the Task Force), the results of the survey are available.

When Educational Professionals were asked what their biggest challenges to implementing a curriculum for best practices, including accessibility and Web standards, they indicated the lack of appropriate materials and reference materials. With both the Opera Web Standards Curriculum and the Web Standards Project Curriculum Framework in active development, this should no longer be an issue.

Later this year, the Education Task Force plans to run another iteration of the survey. We hope to have multiple translations of the survey at that time. If you are interested in translating the survey into another language, please contact the Education Task Force.

Your Replies

#1 On July 28th, 2008 11:57 am » Curriculum Survey Results replied:

[...] can read the rest of this blog post by going to the original source, here [...]

#2 On July 29th, 2008 6:52 am Max Design - standards based web design, development and training » Some links for light reading (29/7/08) replied:

[...] Curriculum Survey Results [...]

#3 On July 29th, 2008 8:37 am andy trusz replied:

What is the survey methodology used?

How was the sample chosen?

Where did the names of the individuals approached come from?

How were insititutions identified?

Does the distribution of responses reflect the distribution of educational resources globally?

How is validity checked?

Where’s the documention of the design?

In other words are these results in the least bit scientifically reliable? If not there is nothing to discuss. Publish your curriculum by all means. That document might well contribute to the discussion. Just don’t pretend it is in response to a valid, meaningful survey.

#4 On July 29th, 2008 11:39 am Grey replied:

Some of the bar charts in the results page seem to have been messed up.

For example, in “4. Which of the following technologies should be covered within this curriculum?”,
the chart shows more votes for xml and Javascript than for HTML and CSS, but the votes show that HTML&CSS each got 45 votes and JS&XML only around 30 each. But all figures in that chart are mixed up.

In “8. Which tools will you be using in your course?”, reading from top to bottom, you only need to reverse the labels on the left-hand side of the chart to get the correct result. (E.g. swap “other” with “text-based web editors”, “developement tools” with “wysiwyg” (spelling mistake there btw), and so on).

I didn’t bother to check “3. Which of the following concepts should be covered within this curriculum?”, because it is too lengthy a list, but it’s likely to be accurate.

As for the content of the survey, I’m not surprised to find server-side technologies among the write-ins. What has surprised me is that wysiwyg editors ranked comparatively low, just like standardistas generally do without them. Makes me wonder what the criteria for choosing the respondents were. Also obvious is that over 50% of the respondents teach in the United States.

#5 On July 29th, 2008 2:15 pm WaSP Member rdickerson replied:

Andy. Considering that there is very little information about this currently available, even subjective information is useful. Educators on the Education Task Force discussion list were contacted and an announcement was made on this site.

If you would like to volunteer your survey designing expertise for the next round of our survey, we would appreciate it.

#6 On July 29th, 2008 2:19 pm WaSP Member rdickerson replied:

Grey. Thanks for catching the problems with charts 4 and 8. The new charts are now online.

Educational professionals on the Task Force discussion list were contacted and asked to complete the survey. An announcement was also made on this site. Hopefully, translations of a second survey will bring in more responses from educators in other countries.

#7 On July 29th, 2008 3:35 pm Vectorpedia(Rick) replied:

Thanks for posting the results of the Education Task Force survey results. It would be nice if more educational professionals participate in the future so as to get a more balanced set of results.

#8 On July 30th, 2008 12:59 am Robin Massart replied:

@Andy: I don’t think WASP ever claimed this is a scientifically valid study (it can’t be, given the population size). We’re not talking about drugs here. It’s a basic survey with a few simple questions, presumably intended to aid WASP in creating their own curriculum. The data obviously can’t be used for any kind of real statistical analysis. But that doesn’t mean it has no empirical value.

#9 On July 30th, 2008 10:18 am andy trusz replied:

Rob, yes indeed subjective information is invaluable as a starting point; which describes this survery. I asked the questions so I would know how to evaluate the results.

The results suggest some areas for further exploration. One area being to make sure future samples reflect more than American opinion. Another being the level of tertiary educational institution.

I’m afraid my survey design skills have long since decayed. I don’t think I have the “touch” for it any longer. In a technical sense then, I don’t think I’d be helpful except as a possible set of eyes for critique; hopefully without carping. But I’d be delighted to do that.

Robin, yes the results have implicatons for empirical research. Very subtle humor and observation on your part.

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