Writing Introductory Coursework is Hard

At least, it’s harder than I thought it would be.

I’ve always had a modest talent for writing. I know that some people struggle with getting what’s in their brain down on paper effectively, but it’s come naturally to me since I can remember.

Recently, I’ve volunteered to write some coursework that will provide students enrolled in the Nashville Software School a basic understanding of JSON and AJAX. These are two technologies that most of us take for granted, and come as naturally as eating a meatball sub at lunch.

Trying to break it down to the bare essentials, drawing upon my own learning curve from a decade ago, and put it all in a coherent lecture – with supporting code samples and programming exercises – is a challenge. It’s a fun challenge, though, because it’s forcing me to draw upon skills I haven’t used heavily for almost two decades. That’s back when I actually tutored students in geometry, physics, and calculus.

I created a small VPS that the students can use to pull some sample JSON file and populate a simple HTML with jQuery. These two concepts are so intertwined that I’m having a hard talking about one and not the other, so maybe in the end they will be intertwined into a single lecture.

Not sure yet.

Of course, I haven’t sent this content our for peer review yet, so we’ll see how effectively I got the concepts across once a few people critique it.

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