We've finished our first week of Polycademy. During this time the students completed envisioning their grand plan and architecture of not only their web/mobile application, but also their business model. It took some time to iterate through the various ideas, because there were so many opportunities, but limited time to do all of them.
In class we went through the details of web design theory involving aesthetic foundations, user experience design (including psychology and gamification), user interface design (including typography and AJAX) and the ways web designers wireframe, mockup and prototype their applications.
At home (and during after hours in the office) they had to get stuck into the online materials (it's a wiki, kinda of like an online textbook) written by Polycademy, they had to finish approximately 23,000 words of reading, 125 minutes of video tutorials, and that's not counting exploratory research involving external resources and their own domain technology stack.
Furthermore, they had to install their solution stack (development environment) onto their laptops but also on the cloud. In doing so, we got acquainted with the command line and used it to manipulate the filesystem install software, composer, link up databases.
Throughout these 5 days, half of the class time was taken up as lectures and the other half was taken up as practical work. This was mainly due to the heavy theory involved in web design, and understanding how to apply it to their own user interfaces in a practical sense. They had to balance reward to effort. One example would be the incorporation of accessibility. Would disabled people use their web applications?
We set the milestones for the next 3 weeks. Week 1 - Web Design Theory, Solution Stack & Finished User Interface Iterations and Wireframes (either on paper or using an online tool). Week 2 - Photoshop, creating a concrete Mockup and getting started on HTML/CSS. Week 3 - Finish the HTML/CSS prototype. Each day we're doing the agile scrum, and each week, we have a short review.
Tonight the students will be meeting the mentors and advisors of Polycademy, the ones in Canberra of course.
Oh and here are the student blogs if you wish to keep up with their progress:
Photo from the mentor meetup!