Internship Week One & Two

I am enrolled in an internship course, ENG6947, this semester at the University of Central Florida (UCF). As a part of that internship I am currently tasked with teaching two different lab components for two similar courses. I am helping with Web Design Workshop (DIG4014) and Media for eCommerce (DIG4530). Both courses are part of the Digital Media (DM) program under the School of Visual Arts & Design (SVAD) at UCF.

In Web Design Workshop the students will be looking at various websites to find one that needs a redesign. Their project will be working on recreating the site using modern technologies. They will not actually replace the current site they choose to work on, but simply create the redesign as part of their portfolio. For eCommerce students will choose a business sector and design a ecommerce website for that business. The goal is to have a fully functioning website created from scratch using modern technologies that the students will use after graduating.

I am covering eCommerce on Mondays and Web Design Workshop on Fridays. Due to my personal academic pursuits and travels I have only been able to attend the first eCommerce lab. The second eCommerce lab was cancelled because of the holiday, and the third lab is being cancelled because of Hurricane Irma. I missed the first Web Design Workshop lab due to attending a conference, and the second lab was cancelled because of Hurricane Irma.

During the first eCommerce lab we did a round of introductions. Then the students had to form a group, due to the lower enrollment for the lab section there was only one group created. After that the students went about discussing which business sector interested them the most. They talked about what they personally liked and which sectors would be easier to design for. The group finally settled on sports apparel. They realized there are plenty of professional and school teams within Florida they could sell branded clothing for. Looking at the bigger picture they noted they could add some JavaScript functionality to allow customers to customize jerseys and other clothing. The scope of the project could be controlled solely by the number of teams they planned to sell branded items for.

Personally I like the smaller class size. For my full time job, I work with the Senior Design program within the Computer Science (CS) department. The issue I have run into recently is that the course has grown in size, and I no longer can remember every student’s name. With both sections, Senior Design 1 and Senior Design 2, we have over to 250 students enrolled. eCommerce on the other hand is 4 students. It is much easier to work with a small group of students in a quiet and dedicated work environment compared to 250 students sharing a lab space with a capacity for about 50. I feel like eCommerce can be more productive due to their situation. Though that only applies to my section, as other eCommerce lab sections are full with around 30 students. Those students I am sure have to share their instructor’s time amongst each of the groups, where as my section gets my entire attention.

At the end of the day I feel this internship will help improve my resume and give me an opportunity to pursue a career in the academic field. Getting to see how other departments outside of CS handle courses is an interesting learning opportunity. Being able to follow how Professor Novatnak has put together course materials is also very enlightening. It gives me a chance to see how other administrators and instructors handle courses within their respective fields, and it allows me to branch out slightly from only seeing the technology side of the curriculum.

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