Discussions and ideas for presenting the training materials for SummerQAmp have been underway on the AST EdSIG Forum, and we thank all those who have offerend comments, suggested arcs of study and especially helping to proof the ideas and help us determine if what we are covering will be effective for the age group represented. These initiatives have been bolstered by conversations with other organizations who have shared some of their ideas and experiences with training urban teenagers and young adults (notably Teen Force in San Jose and Year Up in San Francisco).
One thing that became clear as we discussed various strategies is that most of the training puts a lot of emphasis on teaching theory with some practical exercises, but the balance is much more on theory. For this age group, we feel that the approach needs to lean more towards letting the participants actually test, play games, poke at the software, and form opinions and ideas, and see if those ideas work or not. We’ve referred to this as “giving them the test first, and then having the lesson afterwards.
We are in the process of completing the first two modules and are aiming to have them ready and presented before the end of June. These first two modules, “What is Testing?” and “What is Context?” are sill open to input, so if you would like to discuss the ideas, review the concepts presented, or even get your two cents into the development of the material (everyone who participates will get credit in the source material.
Also, while this material is being developed primarily to help instruct the SummerQAmp participants, all contributions are considered “Open Source” and will utilize the Creative Commons Copyright, meaning these ideas are in no ways proprietary and can be used by anyone provided proper credit is given to AST and the contributors.
We are working on many other areas that we would like to bring to this initiative, and the work will be ongoing, even after this years SummerQAmpers complete their internships and return to school or other work.
We will be holding a special EDSIG meeting at CAST, and be sure that the continued development of these ideas and future modules will be a primary discussion point. If you would like to participate in this endeavor, and are an AST member, please feel free to participate in the EdSIG forum.