Results of the XPages and the JSF Lifecycle Courselet Tryout

collaborative art 4

collaborative art 4 (Photo credit: elliottbledsoe)

Two month ago we started with exploring the idea of using courselets as a way of experimenting with collaborative learning and online training (see references).

In our vision is a courselets an online mini course consisting of a document describing the course, an online video presentation of maximum 15 minutes, an assignment, and additional learning resources.

We developed the XPages and the JSF Lifecycle courselet one month ago and then invited former XPages students. On February 13th 2012 we organized a Google+ Hangout session where the students could present their solution of the exercise.


  • Evaluating the tryout
  • Points of improvement on the short-term
  • The future of online courses at AppliGate
  • The next courselet
  • References

Evaluating the tryout

During the courselet tryout one of the students was trying to fit the solutions immediately into their own design practice, and asked good questions to the coach.

After the courselet hangout session we asked the students the next questions:

  1. Was the description of the courselet clear enough?
  2. Could you easily understand the presentation video?
  3. The duration of the of the video presentation was it well enough?
  4. Was the exercise clear?
  5. Could you perform the exercise properly ?
  6. How did you experienced this format of the courselet: description, video presentation and assignment?
  7. How do you feel about a format with more explanatory text in the document, and accompanied by short video clips?

The group of student consisted of 6 persons. One of the students stopped in a very early stage. Two students couldn’t attend the Hangout session due to urgent personal reasons.

Here are the results of the 5 students.

Questions 1 to 4 were answered very positive by all students. For some students the XPages knowledge has been faded a little bit over time, which made performing the exercise a bit more difficult (question 5). Of both formats (question 6 and 7) we asked for, there was a slight preference for the current format (question 6).

One of the advantages students see: “Can do it in my own time and pace”

Other comments were:

  • A practical way of doing a course (1)
  • Can do it in my own time and pace (3)
  • The less travelling the better (3)
  • There was hardly any collaboration between the students (1)
  • Sharing knowledge (1)
  • Started too late with the exercise (2)
  • Sometimes voices with echo’s and slow screens in the hangout (1)
  • Limit the maximum group size to 6 students in the hangout (1)
  • Tighter time-frame to avoid students postpone the exercise (1)
  • An online meeting moments halfway(1)

Points of improvement on the short-term

The time between the moment of starting the courselet and the hangout was 3 weeks. As one of the students suggested there should be an extra meeting moment halfway to keep everybody alert and motivated.

As one of the students suggested there should be an extra meeting moment halfway to keep everybody alert and motivated

We agree with it.

The period will be shortened to two weeks, and we will organize a hangout session when we start, halfway, and at the end.

We will also ask the students to commit themselves to look at least once a day to the posts.

The future of online courses at AppliGate

Collaborative learning is something students have to get used to. In this course environment it is cross-company which has an extra advantage because students can learn from other than their own colleagues, in particular when they keep touch using social media.

Because the results of the tryout are very encouraging we are considering to offer online courses in the same way in the future.

The next courselet

Due to a question from one of the students we developed a new courselet, the XPC001 – How to programmatically manage the titleBarTabs object of the Application Layout Control.

Due to a question from one of the students we developed a new courselet

The hangouts are on 20, 27 March, and 5 April from 12:00 to 12:30 am. If you are interested, please follow the above link to the courselet document?



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