Technical Editor - web design course

Open Polytechnic technical editor

My professional status: contractor at The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand

Client: The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand

Dates: December 2003 - January 2004

Brief: to comment on the accuracy, currency and relevance of the learning material being written for a new online Web Design course.

The course was aimed primarily at e-government website developers, and students would be expected to understand and be able to code HTML prior to beginning the course. It focused on the use of XHTML (developing this from an HTML starting-point) and CSS, and strongly encouraged students to code in XHTML or HTML 4.01 Strict.

My responsibilities included:

  • Ensuring that the content of the author's draft reflected the elements and performance criteria of the unit standards/course descriptor as outlined in the writing plan
  • Ensuring that the course content was technically correct
  • Ensuring that technical explanations were clear and unambiguous
  • Ensuring that assessments or practice exercises were realistic and achievable, and that they gave a valid and reliable measure of assessment
  • Checking that all illustrations were current and technically accurate
  • Checking that calculations and tables were correct
  • Providing a written report on my recommended corrections, amendments and additions.

In addition to learning new stuff myself in order to critique the course (mainly XHTML), I was able to look at the course from a teacher's point of view, and provide feedback to the author which would help him to develop the modules as a more effective learning tool for his students. In January 2004 I was contracted to write some of the course content myself, as there were a number of activities and assessments which were incomplete.