My internship that started in August is coming to an end. I have held one class for the last time already on Monday, the final class section is on Friday.
Overall it has been a fun experience. Being able to see how the other side of campus operates was a unique experience. I mean that in respect to physical location, though Digital Media and Computer Science overlap in many ways. Additionally, having been both staff and student previously at the University of Central Florida (UCF), being an adjunct faculty provided a different take on the semester. From an education standpoint I learned a lot about what goes on behind the scenes.
Over the last month things have gotten into a routine for the courses that are a part of my internship. Each week is another meeting to work on the semester’s project. The research and planning has been done for the last week or so, and the focus has shifted to getting the their project websites programmed. As a class we had fun during the research phase, we looked up many examples of sites for comparison purposes. We also spent some time focusing on older websites to see how styling and design has changed over the years.
Of the the sites we looked through, finding out that SantaClaus.com has been owned since August 30th, 1994 was quite surprising. You can even call Santa Claus. Yes, we called Santa. Another site was for a donkey rescue program. I am a little disappointed that the students chose to remodel Hooved Animal Humane Society (HAHS), when they could have redone Save Your Ass Rescue as their project. We missed the opportunity to make a lot of great jokes.
We have now completed the third and fourth week of my internship. Classes are a little behind schedule due to the delays from Hurricane Irma. This has caused some issues and concerns from the students. A few major assignments have been pushed back to have overlapping due dates. I discovered the students in my Friday lab section, Web Design Workshop (DIG4014), are a smaller subset of the Monday lab section students, Media for eCommerce (DIG4530). Unfortunately, both of these lab sections have large writing assignments due within just a few days of each other. Originally the assignments did not overlap, and there was ample time for the students to work on the assignment and receive feedback. Due to the storms, that work window shrank significantly. This week they ended up having about 20 pages due between the two courses. In addition to the writing, they were required to create and setup a five page website.
On the instructor side of things, I also realize a lot of the students likely had more time to work on the project than originally planned. Most students evacuated and were in safe places with power/internet for the duration of the storm. While it sounds kind of crazy with today’s standards, they could have resorted to handwriting a few drafts of their paper if they lost power. In most areas power was restored within just a few days, so they didn’t lose the entire week of time. If the students were proactive, they could have been ahead and done with the assignment. A few of them implied this was the case during the previous week, that they felt ahead of where they needed to be. That confidence for the most part was lost this week, as many expressed some dismay at the amount of work still ahead of them.