Re-building the site
Monday 10 September 2012
The summer is ending, temperatures are dropping back to the comfortable, and it's time for re-building the site. Websites are not like books in that they are never completed. This has the disadvantage of feeling Sisyphan at times, forever pushing the boulder up the hill and never getting there - but it leaves you with the permanent possibility of improvement, and the pleasure of coming up with new ideas, new approaches.
I am currently engaged in re-organising the structure of the site. This involves various purposes :
1. Reorganising for the new Subject Guide The site was originally written to be centred on the 'old', outgoing Subject Guide. When the new Subject Guide was released in February 2011, I began to write about it in a subsection ... which expanded and expanded. The outgoing Guide is now nearly outgone: it only has the November 2012 exam session to go.
2. Re-writing for the new Subject Guide The majority of material on the site is perfectly applicable to the new Guide - reading skills remain reading skills, no matter what structural changes there are in Paper 1 - but many pages need to be checked for references to the old Guide, and rewritten to accomodate any different approaches proposed by the new Guide.
See, for instance the rewriting of Marking text types, where the same basic ideas have had to be adapted to the new Criteria.
3. Exploring the new Subject Guide I have been studying the new Guide in detail, particularly the new assessment components. This has involved cooperating with teachers around the world to find new sample scripts and to carry out joint marking exercises. A major exercise in marking Paper 2 should be completed by the end of September - watch this space!
As the detailed implications of the new Criteria become clear, this in turn will mean re-writing, expanding and focusing existing pages about the various components - a process which will reach a climax after the first exam session in May 2013, when there will be much to learn from the first full-scale experience of marking.
The first, Start here, is intended to be the rapid-access, overview section, but I am not happy that it is clear enough or sufficiently user-friendly. I would love to have a diagrammatic structure, but that depends on software possibilities which are complicated. In addition, we are working on making the Teaching materials section more sophisticated and accessible.
The second, Activities & tasks, has always been intended as a 'toolkit' - a wide range of things to do in the classroom, which can be combined in many different ways for different purposes. I would like to lay out the toolkit more lucidly, and develop its practical benefits.
5. General expansion Many subsections of the site have been started, but need developing fully - for example the section on L1 interference, where I have masses of material which simply needs writing up properly; and the section Language of instruction, which lacks material on the Human Sciences. I want to get rid of as many 'Page in development' icons as possible !
Well, that lot should keep me busy for the next year or so ! I would love to hear from you about these ideas ... and more particularly, suggestions for new sections and subsections ... and most particularly, your views on which sections of the site you would like to see developed more fully, to answer your needs.
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