Results of 2018 Teacher Survey
Since 2005, over 6,000 individuals had created teacher accounts with validated email addresses to use this curriculum. Of these, 851 individuals were considered "active users" as of May 2018, having logged in to access the curriculum since August 2016.
Also, as of May 2018, 1017 individuals had subscribed to the webcourse email-based discussion list, which was created as a means of communicating with teachers who use the WebD2 curriculum, and supporting their communication with each other.
In May 2018, we reached out to each of these groups, and invited them to complete a short online survey designed to assess how the curriculum was being used. In the first 24 hours, the survey already had 95 responses. The survey was closed on May 31 with 151 responses. The following is a summary of what we learned.
Of the 151 survey participants, 144 (95.4%) are located in the United States. Three participants are from Canada, and one each is from Ireland, Thailand, and Honduras.
38 U.S. states are represented among the survey participants. States with the highest number of participants are Washington (15, 9.9%), Ohio (12, 7.9%), Georgia (11, 7.3%), and Missouri (10, 6.6%). All other states had fewer than 10 participants.
How the curriculum is being used
When asked whether they had used the curriculum in an academic course since Fall 2016, 118 (78.1%) replied "Yes". At this point, the survey branched into separate questions for individuals who replied "Yes" and those who replied "No".
Individuals who replied "Yes" were asked to describe the context in which they used the curriculum, with four examples offered as prompts "(e.g., required course, elective course, independent study, distance learning)". Of 118 responses to this question, 94 (79.7%) described their course as "elective". Most responses did not specify academic level, but those that did most commonly specified "high school" (33, 28.0%). Three additional participants specified "college" and one specified "middle school".
Participants were also asked for the name of the course in which the curriculum is being used. The most common phrase found within their course names is "Web Design" (72, 61.0%), while 19 course names (16.1%) include "Development", 7 (5.9%) include "Technology" or "Technologies", 4 (3.4%) include "Computer Science", and 2 (1.7%) include "Programming".
69 participants (58.5%) said the course in which the curriculum is used is offered as career and technical education, whereas 40 (33.9%) said it was offered as general education. Eight participants (6.8%) said it was offered as both.
Why some participants are not using the curriculum
Survey participants who responded "No" when asked if they had used the curriculum since Fall 2016 were also asked to explain why. The most common response was that they had just been consulting the curriculum as a resource or for "inspiration" while building their own course curriculum. The second most common response was that they had found other sources of curriculum that were a better fit for their needs (Code Avengers and W3Schools were specifically mentioned). Only one participant said their school was no longer offering web design or development, and blamed budget issues.
Other sources of computer science curriculum
When asked what sources (or additional sources, if using the curriculum) of web design or computer science curriculum they're using at their school, a routing glitch in the survey instrument prevented the early responders from being asked this question. Therefore, only 37 participants responded. Of these, 11 (29.7%) said they are using AP Computer Science Principles (CSP), 8 (21.6%) are using AP Computer Science A (CSA), and 7 (18.9%) are using Exploring Computer Science (ECS). However, the most common response was "Other" (14, 37.8%). Several of these wrote in "Not sure" or "Don't know", while others identified various other tools or resources such as Scratch, code.org, and Code Avengers.
Participants who said they had used the curriculum since Fall 2016 were asked approximately how many students had taken courses using the curriculum. The total is 7,969 students (mean = 69).
They were also asked the following question: "Overall, what impact has the curriculum had on your ability to teach, and your students' ability to learn, web design and development?" The following are a few of the most articulate responses:
- This has helped me plan the entire curriculum for this course and stay up to date with the latest HTML. With this I have updated curriculum that the kids enjoy.
- Tremendous! I was new to teaching HTML and this was an amazing help to me and easy to use and implement.
- It has been very helpful. Students like it and so do I.
- Using the curriculum allowed the instructors to ensure they were including the correct topics in the correct order.
- It was very help in regards to teaching basic web design to first time students and laid a good foundation for my Web Design and Construction II students.
- This is a comprehensive, well-designed curriculum that provides excellent help for both teacher and student. We use this, along with W3Schools for our 9th grade classes.
- If I was not using your curriculum, I probably would not be teaching this course in my high school.
- It has given a good base on what is a good Web site and why we need to think about accessibility. Finding examples on the net is easy but finding the why is harder. It has a good pacing in assignments.
- It's a great curriculum that does a great job teaching students web design skills. I like it because the students can work at their own pace and the students that really understand the material quickly are able to work through the units faster. I supplement the units with my own projects along the way.
- The course had a wide reaching impact on the general knowledge base of my students. We went through the curriculum and then studied a few more items (sql, databases) for the End of Pathway test and a study curriculum.
- It covers many of the state standards for this course. Not only do the students learn to code, they learn about color theory, accessibility, planning a website, hierarchy, CSS, image editing.
- The units and lessons are great. Its nice that they are so closely aligned with the W3C standards. My students can work through self paced or choose to follow the instructors demonstrations. The project based learning is a great model to see if students are able to grasp and execute the concepts.
- I use only the first 2 sections leading up to actual web design. This is because most books do a poor job of the designing aspect prior to learning how to code. Accessibility is important to me because most books ignore some of these aspects.
- My students learned about assistive technology - color blindness, real world application of copyright law, and project design. I think this made for better website projects from my students (compared to last spring and this past fall).
- I love this curriculum! This curriculum (along with W3schools), has been a wonderful resource for my students. We do not have text books (which become quickly obsolete), and the students can access the curriculum from anywhere -- which is great when they need to do homework or makeup work. It is also nice to have all of the additional resources that supplement the lessons. Students enjoy the ability to work at their own pace. I can use this curriculum while closely guiding students, and those who want to move ahead at a faster pace.
How teachers are integrating accessibility and/or universal design topics
All participants, whether or not they're using the WebD2 curriculum, were asked the following: "Please describe how disability, accessibility, and/or universal design topics were integrated into your web design or other computing courses." The following are a few of the most articulate responses:
Inviting guest speakers
- We highlighted the lessons on accessibility and had our district Webmaster talk to the kiddos about ADA compliance.
Creating accessible websites
- Lesson is taught regarding accessibility, students are required to create a website for the blind and to create a website for the hearing impaired and to create a website that is accessible to any disability.
- Students must design their web-pages with universal access in mind - the Web must be accessible to all!
Evaluating websites for accessibility
- We talk about them as a unit and students evaluate websites for these issues and talk about how they could adjust the websites to be more accommodating and useful.
- Students learned about accessibility and then searched for some sites that were and were not compliant. They also reviewed our own website and made suggestions for revision.
Tightly integrating accessibility concepts throughout course
- We studied the accessibility principles in depth and consistently revisited universal design principles throughout the course to make sure students were creating quality, universally-designed web pages.
- I teach a standalone unit that encompasses creating websites for users with various disabilities. Also, I talk about the importance of using the right code, utilizing alt tags, and writing comments throughout the course.
- We spend a couple of days discussing the ideas of disabilities and accessibilities issues in class. As a person who has color impairment I find the students make a connection with this unit and seem to be interested in how others perceive the web. This learning then is put to use in the development of their web portfolios as part of their final exam/project.
- disability and accessibility are part of our CS and design engineering courses, as they are directly part of our school's value of inclusivity
- As part of the course I teach, I need to teach about the digital divide and I utilize your curriculum to show how those who have disabilities / accessibility issues still can access the Internet.
- It is a theme that runs from the beginning of the course, through final projects and exams.
- This is my favorite lesson of all. My students (and at one time, myself) don't think about the different types of accessibility issues that users may have. We spend a fair amount of time on this unit. Accessibility coding becomes part of our day-to-day coding.
- Students often don't realize or think about why some features of web browsers exist until they have to consider individuals when creating something that is for EVERYONE to use. I emphasize the fact that everyone relies on the internet and the information it contains and thus the importance of ensuring all can access it regardless of their disability or lack of.
- Disability, accessibility, and/or universal design are an integral part of curriculum. Students are expected to demonstrate what they have learned in their final projects as well.
- We talk constantly about making our websites accessible and using universal design.
Tapping into the perspectives of students with disabilities who are taking the course
- We have disabled students that can speak to these topics.
- I have all ability levels in my course. I have many students who have varying disabilities. Many students use a built in screen reader.
- I emphasized the sight impaired more than others partly because I had some students who were color blind. We found some examples where they couldn't use the site because of the color issues.
- In my Web design class I have students with serious learning disabilities learning alongside students who have already dabbled in programming languages. As such, my curriculum is more individuated than other courses, and each student has a unique set of learning goals for the semester.
- I have several deaf students. An interpreter is with me at all times and reviews the material with me
- The students in my course work through the accessibility lessons and actually simulate (where possible) utilizing accessibility features on our pcs. We discuss where else these features are used in school and work.
- We spent time exploring websites with images turned off, used a Chrome extension to modify color and contrast, and watched videos about accessibility. Students had good discussions about these topics and showed awareness of needs when making their web pages.
- We practice navigating websites "as if" we actually had some level of disability. The students are not permitted to use the mouse or students are not permitted to have 'images' turned on while navigating.
- We loved the lessons on how people with disabilities access the web. We tried typing using only a pencil in our mouths. Also we did all components that involved access issues each time we encountered it in a lesson. My students seemed genuinely interested to be learning about the issue of disability and technology use.
Extending accessibility into other courses
- Students get a broader understanding of how disabilities are effected and I have seen that come into other classes as well. Such as my Game Design; a student said that they needed to change something taking into account disabilities.
- Until I taught this curriculum I was unaware of web accessibility. I've incorporated the use of alternative text and transcripts, when I have taught other assignments such as podcasting. Also, the simulation of turning on the accessibility features on the computer and your mobile device has been useful, even if you are not disabled.