MDN/Learning Area/Tree of knowledge
During the MDN Work Week-end in March 2014, a group of Mozilla employees and volunteers organized a workshop to start drafting a web technologies "tree of knowledge"
What is a "tree of knowledge"
A tree of knowledge is a representation of all the knowledge someone must acquire to complete a given task. It's a useful tool to build teaching courses or tutorials that are task oriented.
The organization of the workshop was roughly a card sorting exercise.
The workshop was set as follow:
- All the attendee was ask to answer two questions:
- What do I need to know to build a web site?
- What should I learn first?
In order to answer those questions the organizer was acting like the person asking the questions: It was assuming that the character played by the organizer knows how to use a computer and browse the web and that he wants to know how it works under the hood rather than just setting up a web site with a preexisting CMS or tool like that.
The workshop was divide into 3 steps:
- Each attendee used stickers to write each knowledge that was necessary to answer the first question (pink/purple stickers for theoretical knowledge, yellow stickers for practical knowledge) and stick them all on a wall
- All attendee pushed all those knowledge into three buckets:
- Required : For the knowledge imperative to learn by the character to be able to build a web site
- Nice to have : For the knowledge that are not imperative but allow the character to produce a pretty web site and become what we could call a regular web developer.
- Optional : Knowledge that are completely optional to answer the first question but could turn the character into a kick ass web developer.
- Once this first sorting was done, All attendees were asked to sort the knowledge of each buckets into layers (from top to bottom) following this rule: Knowledge in a layer can be learned in any order, but to learn a knowledge in a layer, at least one knowledge from the top layer must be learned first.
After 2 hours of work we came to the following results:
NOTE: Exact wording was kept intact
It worth noting the big shift between the required and nice to have' buckets where, all of a sudden, a students must seriously know what he wants to be able to move forward.