Starting on 24 September 2020 I’m teaching a 10-week course for Hills Road Sixth Form College.
Unlike many online courses there won’t just be a series of exercises for you to do – instead there’ll be tuition, interaction, support and help.
Benefits of online
At first I was disappointed not to be able to get to see people in person – the decision to teach ‘from home’ was made because of my own long-term health condition. However, I think this also opens the course up to people who also can’t travel so easily or who live a long way off.
In the current situation, with the numbers of people in the UK testing positive for Covid-19 rising, it offers people who are self isolating or shielding the chance to take part.
There are many online tutorials for how to set up a WordPress site. Some of theme are brilliant and very useful. However if your own site doesn’t do exactly what you expect after you’ve seen a tutorial video you feel stuck and a bit lost.
This course offers something more – someone to sit and ‘look over your shoulder’ so you can point out exactly the bit you’re stuck. We’ll do this using the screen share option on Zoom as we learn together.
How’s it going to work?
We’ll be having lessons as a group on Zoom – if you’re signed up you’ll get an invitation from me in the days before the course begins. I’ve run some 1-2-1 tuition classes over Zoom and Skype for clients and these have gone really well. I’m sure there will be some hiccups, and I’m also sure we’ll get over them.
I’ll share my screen to demonstrate as I explain things. I have an example site I use to demonstrate on: changing a theme, choosing a new theme, adding content, configuring plugins.
Students will also be able to easily share their screens to show something they are stuck with. This helps when you get something unexpected happen and can’t work out what is going on.
Along with the lessons (20 hours across the term, in 2-hour-long weekly sessions on a Thursday evening between 7-9pm) you’ll have access to a website I’ve created that has all my lessons plans and notes on it.
These notes and guides include:
- Clear step-by-step instructions
- tutorial videos
- links to useful outside resources to help you find your way
When you sign up for the course you’ll get a password so that you can access this private website between classes. You’ll also have access to the site in the future as long as the site is live.
The courses in past have drawn people who think they have no technical skills, through to those who have a lot of relevant technical experience. The course is a beginner level course so we don’t delve into technical issues, although you can tinker as much as your confidence allows.
We cover all the issues you’ll need to get a simple site up and running:
- email addresses and contact forms
- content (planning what you want to say)
- content (how to add your content the right way)
- search engine optimisation
- images in WordPress
We also touch on using many non-WordPress resources such as editing images, shrinking large files, and sourcing good, free stock photos.
Confidence managing your site in the future
As well as the techniques and topics covered in the course I’ll also be teaching you how to operate in the WordPress world – how to find resources that will help you, how to check if a resource is relevant to you and of good quality.
These pointers should give you the skills you need in the future to find the information you need as your website grows and changes.
What do students create?
By the end of other courses the students have created a huge variety of websites including:
- hobby sites (bird watching, for example)
- group sites (eg for a local drama group)
- charity and voluntary organisation websites
- freelancer/individual business websites
- a house rental business site
- and many more…
- Thursdays in Autumn 2020
- 7-9pm online
- 20 hours over 10 sessions
- We’ll be using Zoom to screen share and talk
- It costs £125
- There are some additional expenses such as hosting at approx £40 pa
- Find out more at the Hills Road Sixth Form website.