Design Specifications & Prototype

The website design mainly focuses on technical training for students who are taking ETLD courses. As mentioned before, most students who are taking courses in ETLD do not familiar with web creation and do not have any skills on design a website page. Therefore, the ETLD SPACE  is simply organized and its main functions are focused to educate students to get sense of web creation and solve technical problem and confusion through their hands on practices in learning design project. Following Wenger et al. (2002)’s first principle, ETLD SPACE is simply organized and the functions are focused to support the interactions and shared practice among the members in this community.

The target users of this website are ETLD students. All the learning tutorial materials and discussions can be reached after users sign up the website. They can sign up on the website through their SFU email address only. This can create a sense of privacy for the members to contribute to this website. Experts or other future users who don’t hold a SFU email address can also join the community when they got invited by community members. People are outside the community can only access the homepage to get an idea of what this website is about.

Index Page

The index page is the homepage of the ETLD SPACE site, which is divided by the title of the website, search bar, login button, the main navigation bar, an image, a event calendar section, tutorial section and hot topic section. In addition, it brings viewers to the basic overview of the website content. Since privacy is very important to the community of practices, we require all the students to sign up a personal account to participate within the community. On the top right corner of the header, they are allowed free access and may participate in all the pages on this site once they login.

The image below the navigation bar shows that students learn through digital technology, which directly represent the community of SFU Educational Technology and Learning Design program. Students can see the technical support topics about web development languages such as HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript on the tutorial section. Based on personal needs, students can choose a particular technical tutorial to study.

Learning Page

The learning pages provide a technical menu offers students four web development learning topics, such as HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, and WordPress, to study web creation. Once students click the logo of web development topic, the link will lead them go to the particular learning page.
The particular learning page has included the vertical sidebar for users to choose a specific topic under the selected language or tool. The whole learning page has focused on simplicity – practicing easy and straight-forward learning. We provided simple code explanations through both videos and texts, to illustrate how to use the selected language or tool. The tutorials start from the basic level, and move all the way up to complete professional references. Students will have opportunities to practice coding on our site when they finish reading the text explanation and video tutorials. By practicing on our site, users can edit examples and execute computer code experimentally, to see what works and what does not, before implementing it. Additionally, the resource section can be an important authoring tool (Feenberg and Barney, 2004) for both administrators and members to upload and share web links based on particular topics, which will bring extra information to other members.

Discussion Page

Wenger et al.(2002) in their book, pointed out that the third principle of cultivating communities of practice is to “Invite different levels of participation” (p.55) . Based on this principle, the ETLD SPACE website creates an online collaborative environment that encourages all members in this community to participate (such as questioning, answering, and sharing) in this discussion. In this page, the content is divided into three main sections: Technical supports, Theoretical supports, and Showcase. Each section establishes the levels of participation. Within the three main sections, users can ask questions regarding specific tasks on the provided discussion boards. These questions will be given answers and suggestion by members of the community. The online community of practice that we designed is to encourage a willingness to share ideas and ask difficult questions (Wenger, et al., 2002, p.28). The topics from each section are posted by members themselves, thus most members could find and participate in one or more topics they are interested in or support their needs. In this way, there will be equal opportunity for all the members to contribute on online discussion (Schlager & Fusco, 2014).

Help Page

Help Page provides images and videos to introduce students how to use the site; at the same time, it provides extra resources for them to download, to take a look  and to learn. For the resources section in the Help Page, we decided to offer some useful resources and links that tie to external website pages and documents, which could benefit the community of practice. Links from external websites will provide some new insights and ideas to members in this community (Feenberg and Barney, 2004).

About Us Page

About Us page provides a detailed introduction of our website that will include history and mission/goal of the site. The text description will highlight the shared domain in our site, the key elements of ETLD SPACE sites and the rule of using this site, which directly represent three elements of Community of Practice (Wenger et al., 2002). For example, one of  rules use our site, is that members should be respectful to each other. Flaming or abusing users will not be tolerated and will lead to a warning. In addition, the FAQ section will be provided in middle of our site  that shows the most frequently asked questions and answers from “community of practice” members. Additionally, we also provided the contact information of the main administrators of this website and the contact forms for users, giving feedback and asking questions about our site. This design feature allows members to leave messages to reach the web administrators directly. Based on the feedbacks and suggestions from the users (Schwen & Hara, 2003), we can also conduct the analysis based on activity theory and make our decisions regarding updates to our website.