Friday, December 28, 2012

DBIT students learn Joomla!

Does this sound good to you -- Earn your grades for a module without attending any lessons?

Is this real? Too good to be true?  But hey, this is real, and it is already happening in DBIT! :)

If you are not aware, Singapore Polytechnic's DBIT course has such a module! This module is known as the "Independent Study" and it has been garnering interest in many of our students because it allows them a different way of learning something that interests them and at their own pace.

As its name implies, "Independent Study" requires the students to explore new areas of study on their own, without the classroom rigour that other traditional modules impose.  The benefit of taking such a module is that students free up time from their timetable since they need not sit in lessons at scheduled timings.  The downside is that the students need to be very disciplined and learn the required skills and knowledge by managing their time and looking for resources on their own.

A very significant advantage to taking this module is that we allow our students to delve into technologies that are not mainstream but yet very useful to them in their future studies or career.   For example, this year, the students who choose to take Independent Study module get to learn Joomla and to work with real clients as part of the assignment.
If you are not familiar with Joomla, it is an award-winning content management system (CMS), which enables both novice users and expert developers to build Web sites and powerful online applications very quickly.

Many aspects, including its ease-of-use and extensibility, have made Joomla the most popular Web site software available. Best of all, Joomla is an open source solution that is freely available to everyone.

Typical freelance Joomla developers charge a couple of thousands for a basic web application project and much more for the advanced ones.

With such reasons dangling in the air, 10 DBIT students hence decided to take the plunge into the deep end and signed up for the Independent Study (Joomla) module!

To tell the truth, trying to learn Joomla from scratch, without any lecturer's explaination or notes is not that easy.   To ease the students' learning curve of this cool platform, we roped in the generous help of a Singapore Polytechnic expert Joomla developer Mr Wesley Choo who conducted a 2 days course yesterday and today (27-28 Dec) to teach the students the basics of Joomla.  Mr Wesley called his course the J.A.C.K. course (Joomla Accelerated Crash Kourse).

I attended the 2 days JACK course with these 10 students, and I have to admit that the pace was so accelerated that most of us could hardly catch up with the amount of things we had to learn!

But it was really encouraging to see the 10 students who were very determined to master the Joomla platform and ardously trying their best to solve the bugs as they tried to follow the steps demonstrated by Mr Wesley.  Of course, credit must be given to Mr Wesley who was very patient throughout the two days helping us to solve our bugs and explaining how to use the various features in Joomla.

After this two days crash course, the students would move on to 'complete' this module by working on two projects - a 'small' one and a 'big' one.   More updates of the project will be given at this blog as it progresses but for now, I will just leave you with some photos of the training sessions!

If you are interested to know more about Independent Study module or DBIT, do remember to drop us a line at or you can Facebook me at! :)

Wesley - our Joomla trainer!

From top left: Jason, Jinan, Yixuan, Kevan, Weixuan and Sally

From left: Urth, Peng Chong, Candy and Jason

From left: Theva, Urth, Peng Chong and Candy

Group photo 1

Grouo photo 2

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